For years, President Bush and Vice President Cheney have asserted that “absolutely, we’re winning” in Iraq. Bush put an end to such happy talk last Wednesday night, omitting suggestions that we’re “winning” or making “progress,” and instead stating:
The violence in Iraq [over the last year] — particularly in Baghdad — overwhelmed the political gains the Iraqis had made. … And the result was a vicious cycle of sectarian violence that continues today. The situation in Iraq is unacceptable to the American people — and it is unacceptable to me.
Vice President Cheney does not appear to share the same assessment of the situation in Iraq as Bush. On Fox News this morning, Cheney claimed, “If you look at what’s transpired in Iraq, Chris, we’ve made enormous progress.” Watch it:
WALLACE: The president and you have repeatedly said that you are on the path to victory, sometimes proposing exactly the opposite policy of what the president did this week. Let’s take a look.
[begin Fox video clip]
BUSH: Sending more Americans would undermine our strategy of encouraging Iraqis to take the lead in this fight.
BUSH: Not only can we win the war in Iraq, we are winning the war in Iraq.
BUSH: Will we be nimble enough? Will we be able to deal with the circumstances on the ground, and the answer is yes, we will.
BUSH: Absolutely we’re winning.
[end Fox video clip]
WALLACE: Mr. Vice President, why should we believe that this time you’ve got it right?
CHENEY: If you look at what’s transpired in Iraq, Chris, we have in fact made enormous progress.