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The Ever Changing Definition of “Mission” In Iraq

By Faiz Shakir on June 21, 2005 at 12:35 pm

"The Ever Changing Definition of “Mission” In Iraq"

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A headline in the Washington Post today declares “Bush Defends Strategy In Iraq, Pledges to ‘Complete the Mission’.” The trouble is that Bush has changed the definition of “mission” so many times, it’s hard to have any confidence in his most recent declarations.

THE PRE-WAR MISSION WAS TO RID IRAQ OF WMD

Bush: “Our mission is clear in Iraq. Should we have to go in, our mission is very clear: disarmament.” [3/6/03]

AFTER THE WAR BEGAN, THE MISSION EXPANDED

Bush: “Our cause is just, the security of the nations we serve and the peace of the world. And our mission is clear, to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein’s support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people.” [3/22/03]

Bush: “Our forces have been given a clear mission: to end a regime that threatened its neighbors and the world with weapons of mass destruction and to free a people that had suffered far too long.” [4/14/03]

THEN THE MISSION WAS COMPLETE

Bush: “On Thursday, I visited the USS Abraham Lincoln, now headed home after the longest carrier deployment in recent history. I delivered good news to the men and women who fought in the cause of freedom: Their mission is complete, and major combat operations in Iraq have ended..” [5/3/03]

BUT THEN IT CONTINUED AGAIN

Bush: “The United States and our allies will complete our mission in Iraq.” [7/30/03]

THEN THE MISSION WAS TO DEVELOP A FREE IRAQ

Bush: “That has been our mission all along, to develop the conditions such that a free Iraq will emerge, run by the Iraqi citizens.” [11/4/03]

Bush: “We will see that Iraq is free and self-governing and democratic. We will accomplish our mission.”
[5/4/04]

AND TO TRAIN THE IRAQI TROOPS

Bush: “And our mission is clear there, as well, and that is to train the Iraqis so they can do the fighting; make sure they can stand up to defend their freedoms, which they want to do.” [6/2/05]

NOW, COMPLETION OF THE MISSION IS FAR FROM CLEAR

Bush: “We’re making progress toward the goal, which is, on the one hand, a political process moving forward in Iraq, and on the other hand, the Iraqis capable of defending themselves And we will — we will complete this mission for the sake of world peace.” [6/20/05]

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