Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Iraq Timeline

Posted by AmishThrasher at 11:39 pm
USS Lincoln Mission Accomplished
That wasn't a lie now was it?
George W. Bush, Tuesday June 28th, 2005:

"I recognize that Americans want our troops to come home as quickly as possible. So do I. Some contend that we should set a deadline for withdrawing U.S. forces. Let me explain why that would be a serious mistake. Setting an artificial timetable would send the wrong message to the Iraqis - who need to know that America will not leave before the job is done. It would send the wrong message to our troops - who need to know that we are serious about completing the mission they are risking their lives to achieve. And it would send the wrong message to the enemy - who would know that all they have to do is to wait us out. We will stay in Iraq as long as we are needed - and not a day longer."


Hold on, I'm confused. See, I thought that the Iraq War was won - or at least as good as won - already. Weren't the Iraqi's going to greet the Americans as 'liberators'? Wasn't the only thing uncertain about this war was the number of days or weeks it would take to win? Weren't there only going to be 30,000 US troops in Iraq by the end of 2003? Didn't Bush declare victory on the USS Lincoln? Wasn't the resistance just a bunch of small groups of maybe 10 Saddam dead-enders? Wasn't capturing Saddam supposed to bring the insurgency to its knees? Didn't (re) - capturing Fallujah break the insurgency's back? Didn't this month mark the return of 'some normalcy' in Iraq? Won't the insurgency be totally gone by Christmas, this year? Isn't the insurgency in its last throws?

After all, it couldn't be that we've all been lied to, now could it?

Let's take a little trip down memory lane, shall we?

In 1999, Bush Demanded A Timetable
In 1999, George W. Bush criticized President Clinton for not setting a timetable for exiting Kosovo, and yet he refuses to apply the same standard to his war.

George W. Bush, 4/9/99:

“Victory means exit strategy, and it’s important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is.”

And on the specific need for a timetable, here’s what Bush said then and what he says now:

George W. Bush, 6/5/99

“I think it’s also important for the president to lay out a timetable as to how long they will be involved and when they will be withdrawn.”

[ed. note: article originally ran in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on 6/5/99]


George W. Bush, 6/24/05:

“It doesn’t make any sense to have a timetable. You know, if you give a timetable, you’re — you’re conceding too much to the enemy.”


Pentagon briefing transcript
March 27 2003, 11:58 AM
Defence Department Operational Update Briefing
Briefers: Secretary Of Defense Donald Rumsfeld;
General Richard Myers, Chairman, Joint Chiefs Of Staff
Pentagon Briefing Room, Arlington, Virginia
1:30 P.M. Est, Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Rumsfeld: Good afternoon. It's now about five days since the major ground forces entered Iraq. It's almost four days and 30 minutes ago that the air war began. We're still, needless to say, much closer to the beginning than the end. The men and women in the uniform, the U.S. and coalition alike, are performing superbly. They're doing an outstanding job. The resistance that's being encountered was expected. It has not affected coalition progress. Iraqi forces are capitulating by the hundreds. The total now, as I understand it -- at least early this morning -- was something in excess of 3,500 Iraqi prisoners of war and thousands more that have been part of units that have simply disband (sic). With each passing day, the Iraqi regime is losing control over more of the country. Coalition forces are closing in on Baghdad and will not stop until that regime has been driven from power. Their defeat is certain. All that is unclear is the number of days or weeks it will take. The threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction will be removed and a regime that is one of the world's most notorious sponsors of terror will be no more.

This war is an act of self defense, to be sure, but it is also an act of humanity. Coalition forces are eliminating a regime that is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of its own people and which is pursuing weapons that would enable it to kill hundreds of thousands more. In recent days, the world has witnessed further evidence of their brutality and their disregard for the laws of war. Their treatment of coalition POWs is a violation of the Geneva Conventions.


Days or weeks? Weapons of Mass Destruction? Geneva Convention?

Iraq: When Can We Go Home?
For obvious domestic political reasons, the Bush Administration going into the war had downplayed the scale and duration of a post-war occupation mission. When then-Army Chief of Staff General Eric Shinseki told legislators that such a mission would require several hundred thousand U.S. troops, his assessment had been immediately dismissed by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz as "wildly off the mark." Wolfowitz explained that "I am reasonably certain that (the Iraqi people) will greet us as liberators, and that will help us to keep requirements down." Six weeks ago, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld was still suggesting the U.S. force in Iraq could be reduced to 30,000 by the end of the year. But the prevailing assessment in Washington appears to be shifting to the idea of a figure closer to Shinseki's.


Bush makes historic speech aboard warship
Friday, May 2, 2003 Posted: 0148 GMT ( 9:48 AM HKT)
ABOARD THE USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CNN) -- The following is an unedited transcript of President Bush's historic speech from the flight deck of the USS Lincoln, during which he declared an end to major combat in Iraq:

Thank you. Thank you all very much.

Admiral Kelly, Captain Card, officers and sailors of the USS Abraham Lincoln, my fellow Americans, major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.

And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country.

In this battle, we have fought for the cause of liberty and for the peace of the world. Our nation and our coalition are proud of this accomplishment, yet it is you, the members of the United States military, who achieved it. Your courage, your willingness to face danger for your country and for each other made this day possible.

Because of you our nation is more secure. Because of you the tyrant has fallen and Iraq is free.


Major combat operations in Iraq have ended?

Rumsfeld dismisses Iraq's 'dead-enders'
Associated Press
Posted 6/19/2003

WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Wednesday played down recent deadly attacks on Americans in Iraq, equating those losses with everyday violence in large U.S. cities.

Attacks and accidents have killed about 50 American troops - including about a dozen from hostile fire - since major combat was officially declared over on May 1. Between March 20, when the war started, and May 1, 138 Americans died from accidents or hostile fire.

Asked at Pentagon press conference about the Iraqi resistance, Rumsfeld described it as "small elements" of 10 to 20 people, not large military formations or networks of attackers. He said there "is a little debate" in the administration over whether there is any central control to the resistance, which officials say is coming from Saddam Hussein's former Baath Party, Fedayeen paramilitary, and other loyalists.

"In those regions where pockets of dead-enders are trying to reconstitute, Gen. (Tommy) Franks and his team are rooting them out," Rumsfeld said, referring to the U.S. commander in Iraq. "In short, the coalition is making good progress."


...and hasn't he made good progress since June 19th 2003! I mean, the US death toll isn't much higher than 138 now, right?

Iraqi interim president: Insurgents will be gone in a year
Thursday, December 9, 2004 Posted: 0854 GMT (1654 HKT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Iraq's interim president has said he sees no reason why the insurgency should not be vanquished within a year and Iraq well on its way toward becoming a constitutional democracy.

"Why not?" Ghazi al-Yawar said in a CNN interview on Wednesday. "We're not fighting a Viet Cong, which has principles and popular support. We are fighting Saddam loyalists. ... They know they are fighting for a losing battle. The whole Iraqi population is against them. I'm sick and tired of them.

"I think one year from now, exactly, we'll be very busy preparing for our free democratic election after we have a constitution."

Al-Yawar said he believes the United States was wrong when it eliminated the Iraqi army.

"In hindsight, it was a mistake to disband the Iraqi military," he said.

He said he foresees U.S. forces remaining in Iraq until enough Iraqi forces have been recruited and trained to replace them.


One year from December 4th?

World still waits for Saddam trial
Last Updated: Monday, 13 December, 2004, 09:35 GMT
In a television address, President Bush declared: "In the history of Iraq, a dark and painful era is over."

General John Abizaid, head of the US Central Command, said the capture had dealt the insurgency "a huge psychological blow" that would "pay great benefits over time".

And the commander of the 4th Infantry Division, Major General Jay Odierno, whose troops were credited with seizing Saddam, declared the insurgency to be "on its knees".

"Within six months I think you're going to see some normalcy,"
he added.


Insurgency on it's knees? Normalcy 6 months on from the 13th of December?

Iraq insurgency 'broken,' general says
MSNBC News Services
Updated: 4:55 p.m. ET Nov. 18, 2004

BAGHDAD, Iraq - The U.S. offensive in Fallujah has "broken the back of the insurgency" in Iraq, disrupting rebel operations across the country, a senior U.S. commander said on Thursday.

Lt. Gen. John Sattler, commander of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force at Fallujah, said the all-out assault on the city, which had been a stronghold for Iraqi insurgents who rose up after last year's ouster of President Saddam Hussein, had flushed the rebels out of their lair and scattered them.

The comments by the top Marine commander in Iraq came as insurgents in Mosul attacked the governor's office and amid bloodshed elsewhere in the north, while U.S. forces and allied Iraqi government troops continued house-to-house sweeps to find remaining insurgents in Fallujah.

"We feel right now that we have broken the back of the insurgency and we've taken away the safe haven," Sattler said in a briefing from outside Fallujah monitored at the Pentagon.

Sattler, citing records captured from rebel positions inside Fallujah, said insurgents had lost its "means for command and control" and "the turf where you're operating, the town that you feel comfortable moving about in, where you know your way about."

'Now you are scattered'
Speaking as if he were addressing the insurgents, he added, "Now you are scattered. You've been flushed from your hide-out. You have no friends in the area you move into. You must make new contacts."

"Each and every time we can force these individuals to go to new locations, expand their circle of friends - if you want to call it that - to include some that they don't know and they don't trust, they'll bring in rookies, more junior people that will, in fact, make mistakes," Sattler added.

"And that's why I mentioned that this has disrupted them, I believe - my personal belief - across the country. This is going to make it very hard for them to operate. And I'm hoping that we'll continue to breathe down their neck," Sattler said.


Sattler spoke as U.S. troops continued to mop up pockets of resistance in Fallujah, occasionally coming under heavy fire.


Awfully long mop-up?

Iraq insurgency in 'last throes,' Cheney says
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The insurgency in Iraq is "in the last throes," Vice President Dick Cheney says, and he predicts that the fighting will end before the Bush administration leaves office.

In a wide-ranging interview Monday on CNN's "Larry King Live," Cheney cited the recent push by Iraqi forces to crack down on insurgent activity in Baghdad and reports that the most-wanted terrorist leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, had been wounded.

The vice president said he expected the war would end during President Bush's second term, which ends in 2009.

"I think we may well have some kind of presence there over a period of time," Cheney said. "The level of activity that we see today from a military standpoint, I think, will clearly decline. I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency."


Come to think about it, maybe it's better there isn't a solid timetable - I somehow doubt it would be remembered anyway. And, as history has shown, we've gotten the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but... Right?