Shifting Rationales For the Iraqi Insurgency

Yesterday, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld predicted that the U.S. troops would experience an increase in insurgent attacks due to the upcoming December elections. DECEMBER. That’s approximately six months away, and Rumsfeld is already using it as a convenient explanation for the raging insurgency:

Rumsfeld: “The progress on the political side is so threatening to the insurgents that my guess is it could become more violent between now and the constitution referendum and the election in December.” [AP, 6/27/05]

This rationale is not new. Pending political events in Iraq have repeatedly been used by the Bush administration to explain the insurgency dating back prior to the transfer of sovereignty in June 2004.

Prior To Transfer of Sovereignty

Bush: “There’s likely to be more violence before the transfer of sovereignty and after the transfer of sovereignty.” [Bush, 5/24/04]

Condi Rice: “Obviously there is a difficult security situation. They’re making an appeal to Iraqi citizens not to let the foreign terrorists and the rejectionists, who have no future in a free Iraq, not to let those people derail the political transition that is taking place, and I think they’re being quite successful with the Iraqi people.” [ABC, “This Week,” 6/27/04]

McClellan: “Well, we’ve said that as Iraq moves forward on holding elections, that you can expect the terrorists and the Saddam loyalists to continue to seek to derail that transition, because they know it will be a significant blow to their vision.” [WH Press Gaggle, 7/16/04]

Prior to January 2005 Elections

Bush: “As election day approaches, we can expect further violence from the terrorists. ” [Bush, 12/7/04]

Rumsfeld: “We expect the level of violence and difficulty to increase between now and the Iraqi elections in January, so I don’t see any likelihood that we’d have a reduction in U.S. or coalition forces here in this country between now and January, which means that the current rotation schedule very likely will stay roughly what it is.” [Rumsfeld, 10/10/04]

Andy Card: “They’re attacking, but they’re not attacking all of the people all of the time. They’re kind of running timid campaigns to try to intimidate people from participating in democracy.” [ABC This Week, 12/19/04]

The Bush administration always seems to have a convenient excuse for why the number of attacks will go up. The American public wants a plan to bring the attacks down.