This afternoon, President Bush held a joint press conference with French President Nicholas Sarkozy. A reporter asked Bush where he stood “on Iraq and your domestic debate on Iraq,” and whether he had a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops. In response, Bush insisted that “freedom’s happening” and Iraq isn’t in a “quagmire”:
I don’t — you know quagmire is an interesting word. If you lived in Iraq and had lived under a tyranny, you’d be saying: God, I love freedom, because that’s what’s happened.
And there are killers and radicals and murderers who kill the innocent to stop the advance of freedom. But freedom’s happening in Iraq. And we’re making progress.
In June, Gen. David Petraeus said that U.S. troops had been in Iraq “long enough to become liberators again,” echoing Vice President Cheney’s infamous pre-war prediction that the United States would “be greeted as liberators.”
Almost five years, 3857 U.S. troop deaths, and more than 76,000 Iraqi civilian deaths later, Bush can’t figure out why Iraqis aren’t jumping around rejoicing in their freedom. (Maybe it’s because they’ve all left the country.)