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'Mission Accomplished'? Maybe Ask George Bush About That.

Trump's Syria-related tweet once again betrays a terrifying lack of historical awareness.

Last night, President Donald Trump announced the U.S. had carried out military strikes in Syria in conjunction with France and the U.K. Although he said during the briefing that he was "prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents," this morning he had a different message for America: "Mission Accomplished!"

Sound familiar?

Almost exactly 15 years ago, President George W. Bush stood on the deck of the the USS Abraham Lincoln and congratulated the sailors aboard, and the military as a whole, on a job well done in Iraq. Behind him hung a now-infamous banner. Just weeks earlier, American forces had launched a bombing campaign against the Middle Eastern country, rolled in, and deposed Saddam Hussein. It did indeed look to many bystanders like a successful endeavor.

Bush addresses U.S. troopsLARRY DOWNING/REUTERS/Newscom

A decade and a half (and some 4,500 fallen American soldiers) later, Bush's "mission accomplished" moment has become a symbol of that administration's foreign policy blunders and a stand-in for the lesson of how supposedly short-term military intervention can still get us mired in protracted, no-win conflicts abroad. That Trump would tweet the same words Bush himself later admitted he regrets having used—words that are already short-hand for a Republican president's irresponsible naiveté when it comes to sending U.S. troops into combat—demonstrates once again the utter lack of historical awareness the current commander in chief has brought to the task of running the free world.

Photo Credit: LARRY DOWNING/REUTERS/Newscom

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  • Crusty Juggler||

    omfg another story about a Trump Tweet? lol @ TreasonNN!

  • Tony||

    whPresident's should be neither seen nor heard. --Wharton School

  • Crusty Juggler||

    That Trump would tweet the same words Bush himself later admitted he regrets having used—words that are already short-hand for a Republican president's irresponsible naiveté when it comes to sending U.S. troops into combat—demonstrates once again the utter lack of historical awareness the current commander in chief has brought to the task of running the free world.

    lol. Trump's third-greatest asset is his unpredictability. His second-greatest asset: owning the right, which this Tweet clearly does.

    His greatest asset, of course, is owning the libs.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Trump is going to enable America's great liberal-libertarian alliance to cram even more progress down right-wing throats than has already occurred during the most recent half-century of American progress (nearly all of it accomplished despite the efforts and preferences of backward, bigoted conservatism).

    Be nice, Crusty, or your betters may start shoving that progress down sideways.

    Carry on, clingers.

    So far as a half-educated, intolerant, superstitious, gullible, downscale goober can carry anything, that is.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    I literally lol'd.

  • Sevo||

    "So far as a half-educated, intolerant, superstitious, gullible, downscale goober can carry anything, that is."

    So now you're bragging?

  • Eidde||

    STEVE SMITH NOT FUNNY, WHAT ARE YOU SUGGESTING?

  • Don't look at me.||

    It's different this time. It was perfect. The best!

  • Michael Ejercito||

    The difference is thst there were no huge crowds of people protesting the war.

  • DajjaI||

    Bolton wanted a lot more bombs, and it would have been far more humiliating for Trump if he had to adopt this neocon strategy. So the fact that he could get away with pinpoint strikes under the direction of 'Mad Dog' is actually a victory. No this will not lead to a larger conflict. Putin actually feels sorry for the cucked Trump. Also, the core problem is freedom of press in Russia, and why Russians put up with it I have no idea. Maybe they are all jockeying to become Pravda Tzar some day. Well good luck with that, comrades.

  • Bramblyspam||

    This was actually the very news I was expecting and hoping for in the aftermath of the strike.

    Remember, shortly before the Douma incident that prompted the strike, Trump had said that the US would be coming out of Syria "very soon". That's exactly what I wished for. Now he's following through on it.

    I'm fine with him declaring victory and bringing our troops home. How is this not a good thing? The problem with Bush's "Mission Accomplished" is that he declared victory and left our troops there.

    Next up, I'm hoping for Trump to do a Nixon-to-China on North Korea, which would also be a great thing. Then comes the bad news: I see a very high likelihood of war vs Iran within the next two years.

    But for now, I'll celebrate the good news.

  • Bramblyspam||

    Hey, whaddya know. I wasn't even aware of this when I wrote the above!

  • JesseAz||

    Why do so many people like yourself not understand that wars are comprised of many missions, some of which can fail while others succeed? People who lambasted bush are pretty much telling the world they are ignorant of anything military related.

  • JoeBlow123||

    George Bush was objectively a horrendous president. Please enlighten us as to the otherwise.

  • Mickey Rat||

    The sign behind that Bush speech was something deliberately taken out of context to play "gotcha" with. You can say Bash's policies were wrongheaded without being dishonest about it.

  • colorblindkid||

    Obama's "We're Leaving Behind A Stable And Self-Reliant Iraq" moment was every bit as wrong and terrible Bush's Mission Accomplished, especially followed shortly with his "ISIS is a JV team" comments.

    If Obama had actually fully pulled out all our troops I would have been okay with his bullshit, but he didn't. He claimed he "ended" the war and the lackies in the press just went along with it, even though he did the same half-ass shot that Bush did and just made things arguably worse.

  • colorblindkid||

    half-ass **shit**

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Holy shit, you're stupid.

  • JesseAz||

    Please explain what he said that was wrong? He could also have discussed Obama's victory lap about Syrian chemical weapons.

  • Just Say'n||

    And again the press is praising this strike, like they did Libya intervention. No matter who wins the elections, war is always the result

  • JesseAz||

    You mean like maddow and other lefties claiming this was a way the dog strike?

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Mission accomplished" in this instance means the action is over--and thank goodness for that.

    What do you want--troops on the ground?

    I don't think we can really discuss interventions intelligently unless we differentiate between occupying a country with ground troops and a bombing raid.

    You know why it was so hard to pull out of Iraq? Because we had troops on the ground there. About the worst thing a president can be--in the American imagination--is a president who sacrificed American heroes for no good reason. Once Americans die on the ground, it seems like anything less than the total freedom of the Vietnamese people, Iraqi people, etc. means that American heroes died for nothing. This is the stuff that quagmires are made of. Can't make the Iraqis want freedom and justice--can't pull out until establishing anything less than that.

    Pulling our troops out of Libya was easy--since we never launched an invasion or occupation on the ground. In fact, sending an ambassador in on the ground after the fact was a big mistake. The easiest way to avoid a drawn out occupation is to never invade on the ground in the first place.

    If Trump's action didn't include any troops on the ground, the risk of getting America into a "mission accomplished" quagmire is mighty, mighty low.

  • Joe_JP||

    I didn't take the OP as supporting troops on the ground.

    The concern is regarding a certain term that naively thought the mission was accomplished with the implication we could just move on. The OP is concerned about "how supposedly short-term military intervention can still get us mired in protracted, no-win conflicts abroad" and the fact this is at least the second bombing of Syria by Trump shows that the conflict is likely to continue. Troops on the ground is not the only problem in this fashion though eventually it is far from unlikely that ground troops of some type will be used, as they are used repeatedly in conflicts these days.

    Occupation and ground troops is not the only cause of problems here, including for the people in the region. The OP is concerned about simplistic sloganeering especially after the use of force clouding the long term complications of military force in the world.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I didn't say troops on the ground was the cause of the problem in Syria. I said not putting troops in on the ground limits how bad this quagmire can get.

    Whatever the risks to American troops were, if the action is over, then so is that risk for now. I'm glad this action is over.

    People trying to pressure Trump into stating some specific objective in the name of dissuading him from future actions are horribly misguided. Pressure Trump into stating some objective, and he'll define it in some way to give himself as much leeway in the future as possible--and the neocons in congress will be only too happy to oblige his broad objective, too.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    'Mission Accomplished'?

    SNAFU: Situation Normal, All Fucked Up.
  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Is this real life?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Caught in a landslide.

  • Eidde||

    But if Trump follows through on his promises with MJ, there will be an escape from reality.

  • Just Say'n||

    We seem to have slipped into an alternate reality where Tucker Carlson is making sense

  • Tony||

    Flight suit or it doesn't count. Come on Trump, let's see you fit yourself into a flight suit.

  • Just Say'n||

    Killing some Arabs to troll Putin.

    #merica

  • Eidde||

    Would you prefer he say "I shot my wad and I'm satisfied for now"?

  • Jerryskids||

    This is Trump we're talking about, "Mission Accomplished" doesn't mean what you think it means. Just as Trump insists his casino fiasco was a success based on the fact that he personally made money off the deal and who gives a shit if a bunch of suckers lost their ass, this "mission" had no larger purpose than making Trump look PResidential. Mission accomplished! Who gives a shit if it makes Syria better or worse off or how it affects our relationship with other countries or groups or what the longer-term implications are? Trump gets to puff his chest out and brag about what a manly man he is and that's all that matters.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Isn't a bunch of suckers losing their asses kind of like the casino business model?

  • Sandab||

    Let's be clear on the facts: the banner was put up by the ship's crew who were done with THEIR mission. Not by Bush. His only error is he didn't tear it down.

  • JoeBlow123||

    I want a link for this. There is no way I believe an O-6 took the initative to make a giant ass banner like that.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    "Later, a Pentagon spokesman called The Associated Press to reiterate that the banner was the crew's idea.

    "It truly did signify a mission accomplished for the crew," Navy Cmdr. Conrad Chun said, adding the president's visit marked the end of the ship's 10-month international deployment."

  • JoeBlow123||

    Well there we go. Thanks for that. Color me surprised and wrong.

    It did say the White House was involved with the process though and had the banner made at the crews request. So someone knew in the White House, they just did not shoot it down.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    As I recall it, Bush got a bum rap on "Mission accomplished"; He was on a ship whose mission, literally, had been accomplished. What were they supposed to do, lie about it?

  • Variant||

    An even more terrifying lack of historical awareness... the banner was to commemorate the completion of aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln's deployment.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    OK, did anyone consider that Trump may be determined to NOT get talked into long term impossibilities like 'nation building'

    The Problem with Afghanistan and Iraq was not that we destroyed the governments in place. That was a reasonable goal, under the circumstances. The problem is that we didn't then pack up and go home, leaving behind a message of "Do what you want, just don't some to our negative attention again."

    If various nut jobs around the world were reasonably sure that if they attacked US interests or people their countries would be laid waste, but we would not stay and give them the opportunity to wear us down with guerrilla tactics, they might think twice before doing something exceptionally stupid.

  • FlameCCT||

    It is obvious that Stephanie hasn't a clue about the topic of "Mission Accomplished". While I can't fault her completely, it is sad that she couldn't spend a few minutes of research.

    When a military unit returns from a completed mission, especially a high risk, combat, or long term deployment mission, they are congratulated on it aka Mission Accomplished.

    Seriously, do we not congratulate the Super Bowl winner? The World Series winner? Even the college graduates?

  • Tell It Right||

    The "Mission Accomplished" banner behind Bush wasn't about the overall Iraq war, but about a mission the team recently completed. The media ran with it as they do with anything that can be construed against a Republican.

  • pemaintoto||

    Ingat, sesaat sebelum insiden Douma yang mendorong pemogokan, Trump mengatakan bahwa AS akan segera keluar dari Suriah "segera". Itulah yang saya harapkan. Sekarang dia mengikutinya

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