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Bush Makes Surprise Visit to Baghdad

Iraq Bush Visit to Baghdad

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#41 ervin64

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Posted 28 November 2003 - 08:49 PM

I'm coming into this discussion late.

But, just to add my two cents worth, I think it was a good gesture.  President Bush went up in my opinion a few notches with this trip.

#42 Orpheus

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Posted 28 November 2003 - 10:28 PM

I must confess that my expectations of basically every President elected in my life (before Bush 2) has been the mirror opposite of my post-facto estimation of their term. [Ford doesn't count: he wasn't elected. Nixon's second term may be the one exception: Watergate was far worse than I thought it'd be, based on the grown-ups' apathy before the election; to his credit, he did finally end Vietnam, which was a big concern of mine then)

However, my estimation of the Presidents themselves didn't change very much.

It leaves me with a really scary impression of what it takes to be an effective president.

#43 Palisades

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Posted 28 November 2003 - 11:26 PM

Good for Bush.

Oh, and Hubcap don't you remember Bush strutting around the deck of that aircraft carrier proclaiming, "Mission accomplished"? Also, WMD programs aren't nearly the same thing as actual WMDs, and they've been on that snipe hunt for well over half a year now.
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#44 MuseZack

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Posted 28 November 2003 - 11:32 PM

QuantumFlux, on Nov 29 2003, 04:26 AM, said:

Good for Bush.

Oh, and Hubcap don't you remember Bush strutting around the deck of that aircraft carrier proclaiming, "Mission accomplished"? Also, WMD programs aren't nearly the same thing as actual WMDs, and they've been on that snipe hunt for well over half a year now.
The WMDs are like the Jimmy Carter definition of adultery.  Saddam lusted in his heart for them. :love:
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#45 Rov Judicata

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Posted 28 November 2003 - 11:59 PM

Quote

Kosh: Maybe not in so many words, but Bush did declare victory.

Quote

QuantumFlux: Oh, and Hubcap don't you remember Bush strutting around the deck of that aircraft carrier proclaiming, "Mission accomplished"?

Okay, one more time:

Mission Accomplished referred to the mission of the ship in question. It's mission was accomplished, and it was coming home after a longer than expected deployment.

And from the transcript of Bush's carrier speech:

http://www.washingto.../A2627-2003May1

Quote

We have difficult work to do in Iraq.

Quote

We're bringing order to parts of that country that remain dangerous.

Quote

The transition from dictatorship to democracy will take time, but it is worth every effort.

Quote

Yet we also have dangerous work to complete.

Quote

The war on terror is not over, yet it is not endless.


The most optimistic thing he said was:

Quote

Thank you all very much. Admiral Kelly, Captain Card (ph), 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.

Which was immediately followed with:

Quote

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

I'm astonished that anybody can call that a victory speech. It marked a transition to a new phase, nothing more. The very phrase "major combat operations have ended" cedes that there will still *be* combat operations.

And despite all the complaints about Bush declaring that the mission was accomplished? He used the word 'mission' precisely once:

"Our mission continues", and it's in reference to the war on terror and not Iraq specifically.

EDIT: And the 'military uniform' that created so much controversy was a simple flight suit, with the wings that Bush earned the right to wear during his National Guard days.

Edited by Javert Rovinski, 29 November 2003 - 12:18 AM.

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#46 Palisades

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 01:06 AM

^ Sorry about that. The "mission accomplished" is from the rather large sign that was in back of Bush while he was giving the speech.

From your own link:

Quote

The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11th, 2001 and still goes on.
That's why people are saying that Bush declared victory.
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#47 Uncle Sid

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 02:40 AM

Well we did win a battle.  Destroying the Iraqi Army and deposing Saddam Hussein has to mean something, doesn't it?  Especially after all of the forecasts of failure to do just that.  Yes, there are still people out there fighting our troops, but control of Iraq isn't even just tenuously in our grasp, it's firmly in our grasp.  The issue now is not really one of fighting a military as much as it is one of fighting relatively organized elements of resistance.  The fact is plain that Saddam Hussein is not coming back to power.  That regime is dead and gone, even if it's former leader is still hanging out.  At this point, he's little more than a warlord on the run.  Dangerous, perhaps, but he's definitely seen the last of his role as leader of a state.

Total victory, especially in this era of guerilla warfare, is rarely a cut and dry thing, but the fact is that now our ability to hold on to Iraq rests less in our ability to defeat an army as it does in simply managing to sustain our will to do what it takes to mop up the remaining elements, (re)build an infrastructure and then organize an orderly transition to a government that will be able to stand on its own.  There's a defnite dividing line there between what we were looking at before the speech, and then afterwards.  

With the end of "major combat operations" we very definitely ended Phase I and started Phase II.  I don't think anyone seriously thought that Phase II was going to be easy, even if we had captured or killed Saddam Hussein and landed in Iraq with an ironclad plan to rebuild and restore order.  We won one battle and are now fighting the next one.  So, I think that it's undeniable that we were victorious, the real question is whether that particular victory ends up being decisive in the larger conflict.  No one denies that Napoleon won at Austerlitz just because he later lost in Russia and at Waterloo.  Those victories really did mean something, even though they may have been negated later on by the course of events.  It's very important for us to realize and emphasize that we did have a victory, if only for the sake of accuracy, but more importantly, also to maintain our will to do what we need to bring the conflict to a successful conclusion.  

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#48 StarDust

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 03:00 AM

Javert Rovinski, on Nov 28 2003, 03:47 PM, said:

There's a trend I've been noticing from quotes of Baghdad residents, which finally solidfied in my mind after this incident. Namely: That making things better in Baghdad would be as simple as Bush giving a few orders.

There's also the constant undercurrent of suspicion. Given the previous government they were under, and the mistakes of Bush 41, I can't blame them.
I've noticed this for sometime. They feel the US is the greatest nation on Earth, and as such can do anything, instantly.  It's the 'instantly' part that's the problem. And when things don't materialize 'instantly' they seem to start feeling we are refusing to do 'whatever'. We aren't doing enough, don't care enough, have some other agenda, so forth. Many of them seem to honestly think all the damage done by the war, and by Saddam before the war, should be all fixed by now. I'm not surprised. What surprises me is the few Americans who should know better, but don't seem to, for whatever reason.

And as you say, they have no reason to believe anyone. Considering what life has been like for them for decades, they have every reason to be suspicious and will continue to be that way for some time. Doesn't mean anymore than that. Learned behavior that hopefully, in time, they will learn can not be the case as often as it is the case.

#49 Kosh

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 09:14 AM

Quote

Destroying the Iraqi Army and deposing Saddam Hussein has to mean something, doesn't it?

When Soldiers stop dying, then it's done. Not a moment before.

I don't know what Rov is refering to, but I do know that I saw a news conference when Bush seemed to be saying "We Won", and we've probably averaged two dead a day since. I believe he intended to give people the impression that it was over for all practicle purposes.  They never expected the people of Iraq to still be against them at this point in the game.  And not finding Sadam in all this time makes it look all the worse.
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#50 Kosh

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 09:18 AM

The more I get to know this software, the less I like it.

Edited by Kosh, 29 November 2003 - 09:29 AM.

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#51 G1223

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 09:39 AM

[quote name='MuseZack' date='Nov 29 2003, 04:32 AM']
[/QUOTE]
The WMDs are like the Jimmy Carter definition of adultery.  Saddam lusted in his heart for them. :love: [/quote]
Sorry he tried to make his dreams come true. The buried parts from the nuclear weaposn labs and the "Good Humor" CBW truck was a sign that it was not a dream but at one point a working plan. That the weaposn have not been found yet means it will take time. Considering the number of histroical artifacts that were stolen  by the government that are still turning up to me it's a matter of time.

But then again I supported Bush for the same reasons I supported Clinton for going into Koslovo it was the right thing to do.(Althoght I thought dropping on Molosvic like a really angry hung over 800 lb gorillia when the word "Ethnic Cleansing " got aired would have gotten the message across about what was not going to be allowed to happen.)
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#52 Rov Judicata

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 11:32 AM

QuantumFlux, on Nov 28 2003, 11:06 PM, said:

^ Sorry about that. The "mission accomplished" is from the rather large sign that was in back of Bush while he was giving the speech.
As noted, the ship's mission was accomplished, and they did a fine job.

Quote

From your own link:

Quote

The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11th, 2001 and still goes on.
That's why people are saying that Bush declared victory.

But the battle in Iraq *was* won. We're in the phase usually called "winning the peace", which is something completely different.

First definition of battle:

http://dictionary.re...h?q=battle&r=67

Quote

An encounter between opposing forces:

That would be between the Iraqi conventional army and our forces. I'd say we won.

Agreed Stardust. It's extremely troubling.

Quote

Kosh: I don't know what Rov is refering to, but I do know that I saw a news conference when Bush seemed to be saying "We Won", and we've probably averaged two dead a day since. I believe he intended to give people the impression that it was over for all practicle purposes. They never expected the people of Iraq to still be against them at this point in the game. And not finding Sadam in all this time makes it look all the worse.

That's not in any news conference I've seen, and I'm fairly confident that I've  seen them all. If you have a link or mor einformation for me to go on, I can take another look, but I think I would have heard of it by now. And the President has consistently said that the reconstruction of Iraq would be long and difficult; indeed, he said that before the first shot was even fired.

Bush has screwed enough things up on his own, IMHO, the missing WMD's being among them. I think it's silly to try to put words in his mouth instead of going after him for his very real mistakes.

Edited by Javert Rovinski, 29 November 2003 - 11:54 AM.

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#53 MuseZack

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 12:40 PM

^^^
Rov, during the war months of March and August, the U.S. and its allies suffered 92 and 79 personnel killed, respectively.  In November (which still isn't quite finished yet), we've lost over 100 (it's still unclear how many Spanish troops were killed in today's attack.)  This isn't "winning the peace."  We're still at war, a war that's simply mutated from a clash of conventional armies into an insurgency.  

And it's pretty clear that, especially in the center of the country, a large chunk of the Iraqi army wasn't defeated in battle (the bitter price of failing to secure a northern invasion route from Turkey), but simply melted away to continue the war by other means.

Zack

P.S.  For a truly horrifying look into the utterly botched postwar planning, read this lengthy but essential New Yorker article:

http://www.newyorker...?031124fa_fact1

An excerpt:

The Pentagon also spent time developing a postwar scenario, but, because of Rumsfeld's battle with Powell over foreign policy, it didn't coördinate its ideas with the State Department. The planning was directed, in an atmosphere of near-total secrecy, by Douglas J. Feith, the Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy, and William Luti, his deputy. According to a Defense Department official, Feith's team pointedly excluded Pentagon officials with experience in postwar reconstructions. The fear, the official said, was that such people would offer pessimistic scenarios, which would challenge Rumsfeld’s aversion to using troops as peacekeepers; if leaked, these scenarios might dampen public enthusiasm for the war. "You got the impression in this exercise that we didn't harness the best and brightest minds in a concerted effort," Thomas E. White, the Secretary of the Army during this period, told me. "With the Department of Defense the first issue was 'We've got to control this thing'--so everyone else was suspect." White was fired in April. Feith's team, he said, "had the mind-set that this would be a relatively straightforward, manageable task, because this would be a war of liberation and therefore the reconstruction would be short-lived."

This was the view held by exiles in the Iraqi National Congress, led by Ahmad Chalabi. The exiles told President Bush that Iraqis would receive their liberators with "sweets and flowers." Their advice led policymakers to assume that Iraqi soldiers and policemen would happily transfer their loyalty to the Americans, providing a ready-made security force. "There was a mistaken notion in certain circles in Washington that the Iraqi civil service would remain intact," Barham Salih, the Prime Minister of the Iraqi Kurdish administration and a strong advocate for the overthrow of Saddam, said. A week before the war, he discussed the problem of law and order with a senior member of the Administration. "They were expecting the police to work after liberation," Salih told me. "I said, 'This is not the N.Y.P.D. It’s the Iraqi police. The minute the first cruise missile arrives in Baghdad, the police force degenerates and everybody goes home.'"

In the Pentagon's scenario, the responsibility of managing Iraq would quickly be handed off to exiles, led by Chalabi--allowing the U.S. to retain control without having to commit more troops and invest a lot of money. "There was a desire by some in the Vice-President's office and the Pentagon to cut and run from Iraq and leave it up to Chalabi to run it," a senior Administration official told me. "The idea was to put our guy in there and he was going to be so compliant that he'd recognize Israel and all the problems in the Middle East would be solved. He would be our man in Baghdad. Everything would be hunky-dory." The planning was so wishful that it bordered on self-deception. "It isn't pragmatism, it isn't Realpolitik, it isn't conservatism, it isn't liberalism," the official said. "It’s theology."

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#54 FlatlandDan

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 01:29 PM

All I can say is that if it helped the moral of the soldiers over there, then it was worth it.

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#55 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 02:37 PM

Quote

QF: ^ Sorry about that. The "mission accomplished" is from the rather large sign that was in back of Bush while he was giving the speech.

The mission of the Lincoln (%#% Carrier naming convention! It should be named Saratoga :angel: ) was accomplished.  That carrier was returning home after a rather hard deployment and I think they deserved to get a big mission accomplished for that deployment.  


Quote

Kosh: When Soldiers stop dying, then it's done. Not a moment before.

The key term is the end to major combat operations not the end to conflict.  Bush never once said conflict was over with.  Just large scale conflict between organized military units had ceased and that the tempo was shifting to counterinsurgency operations.  It is like trying to say the Spanish American War ended with the Philippine Insurrection rather than the moment a cease-fire between the US and Spain came into effect.

Edited by CJ AEGIS, 29 November 2003 - 06:39 PM.

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#56 MuseZack

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 05:19 PM

CJ AEGIS, on Nov 29 2003, 07:37 PM, said:

Quote

QF: ^ Sorry about that. The "mission accomplished" is from the rather large sign that was in back of Bush while he was giving the speech.

The mission of the George Washington was accomplished.  That carrier was returning home after a rather hard deployment and I think they deserved to get a big mission accomplished for that deployment.  


Quote

Kosh: When Soldiers stop dying, then it's done. Not a moment before.

The key term is the end to major combat operations not the end to conflict.  Bush never once said conflict was over with.  Just large scale conflict between organized military units had ceased and that the tempo was shifting to counterinsurgency operations.  It is like trying to say the Spanish American War ended with the Philippine Insurrection rather than the moment a cease-fire between the US and Spain came into effect.
CJ, it was the Abraham Lincoln.  Tsk-tsk, Mr. warship guru.  ;)
"Some day, after we have mastered the wind, the waves, the tides, and gravity,
We shall harness for God the energies of Love.
Then, for the second time in the history of the world,
we will have discovered fire."
--Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

#57 jon3831

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 05:30 PM

^<snicker>


Hehehehe

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#58 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 06:37 PM

MuseZack, on Nov 29 2003, 05:19 PM, said:

CJ, it was the Abraham Lincoln.  Tsk-tsk, Mr. warship guru.  ;)
Opps... :blush: Can I declare a blonde moment? ;)  Washington wasn't even at sea at the time...  yard work.  *sighs*  You know this is the problem with naming carriers after Presidents...  The names just don’t stick in my head.

Edited by CJ AEGIS, 29 November 2003 - 06:45 PM.

"History has proven too often and too recently that the nation which relaxes its defenses invites attack."
        -Fleet Admiral Nimitz
"Their sailors say they should have flight pay and sub pay both -- they're in the air half the time, under the water the other half""
        - Ernie Pyle: Aboard a DE

#59 Kosh

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 06:53 PM

Quote

QUOTE
Kosh: When Soldiers stop dying, then it's done. Not a moment before.


The key term is the end to major combat operations not the end to conflict. Bush never once said conflict was over with. Just large scale conflict between organized military units had ceased and that the tempo was shifting to counterinsurgency operations. It is like trying to say the Spanish American War ended with the Philippine Insurrection rather than the moment a cease-fire between the US and Spain came into effect.

Maybe you didn't get that impression from GWB's speach, but probably a lot of the USA did, that's why he's catching so much flack now. Personally, I'm not one of them. It's gone better then I thought it would, but I'd still be surprised if it lasted less then 5 years.



Quote

That's not in any news conference I've seen, and I'm fairly confident that I've seen them all. If you have a link or mor einformation for me to go on, I can take another look, but I think I would have heard of it by now. And the President has consistently said that the reconstruction of Iraq would be long and difficult; indeed, he said that before the first shot was even fired.




Quote

"The tyrant has fallen and Iraq is free," Mr. Bush told 5,000 cheering sailors and Marines, who interrupted his 22-minute address with 25 rounds of applause and six standing ovations. "The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September 11, 2001, and still goes on," he said on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln.



Sorry Rov, I guess it was the Lincoln speach. He gave as much of an impression of winng in Iraq as he coulod, without coming right out and saying it.



Looks like the Washington Times agreed.

Quote

From The Washington Times:
SAN DIEGO — President Bush symbolically closed a crucial chapter of his presidency last night by declaring "victory" in Iraq aboard an aircraft carrier returning combat forces to the United States.

Can't Touch This!!

#60 MuseZack

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 12:02 AM

CJ AEGIS, on Nov 29 2003, 11:37 PM, said:

MuseZack, on Nov 29 2003, 05:19 PM, said:

CJ, it was the Abraham Lincoln.  Tsk-tsk, Mr. warship guru.  ;)
Opps... :blush: Can I declare a blonde moment? ;)  Washington wasn't even at sea at the time...  yard work.  *sighs*  You know this is the problem with naming carriers after Presidents...  The names just don’t stick in my head.
Hey, it happens to all of us.

Speaking of correcting errors, did you know that the White House actually went back and retroactively altered the headline on their website's story about the Lincoln landing?

Story at http://www.thememory...ol/iraq-combat/

          When the White House published the text of and photos from Bush's speech          announcing the supposed end of the Iraq attack, the headline read: "President          Bush Announces Combat Operations in Iraq Have Ended." But on Tuesday,          19 Aug 2003, the Cursor website noticed          that the headline had been changed to read: "President Bush Announces          Major Combat Operations in Iraq Have Ended." The word "major"          had been added.


Fascinating.
"Some day, after we have mastered the wind, the waves, the tides, and gravity,
We shall harness for God the energies of Love.
Then, for the second time in the history of the world,
we will have discovered fire."
--Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin



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