Making Progress? Bush Backtracks In Assessments of Iraq and Afghanistan

Today, as he often does, President Bush said we are making progress in Iraq and Afghanistan: “We are making progress in the march of freedom — and some of the most important progress has taken place in a region that has not known the blessings of liberty: the broader Middle East.”

But a quick review of Bush’s statements today versus his earlier statements about Iraq and Afghanistan reveal that the condition in those countries has deteriorated steadily over time.


And as a result of the United States military, Taliban no longer is in existence. And the people of Afghanistan are now free. [9/27/04]


Taliban and al Qaeda remnants continue to fight Afghanistan’s democratic progress. In recent weeks, they have launched new attacks that have killed Afghan civilians and coalition forces. [3/13/06]


We thank all of the citizens of Iraq who welcomed our troops and joined in the liberation of their own country. [5/1/03]


The past few weeks, the world has seen very different images from Iraq — images of violence, and anger, and despair. We have seen a great house of worship — the Golden Mosque of Samarra — in ruins after a brutal terrorist attack. We’ve seen mass protests in response to provocation. We’ve seen reprisal attacks by armed militias on Sunni mosques — and random violence that has taken the lives of hundreds of Iraqi citizens. [3/13/06]