Bush on Iraq’s Insurgency: Up is Down

Today, President Bush was asked about the growing casualty numbers in Iraq:

Question: “Mr. President, as you know, the casualties of Iraq is again high today — 50 more people dying. Do you think that insurgence is getting harder now to defeat militarily? Thank you.” Bush: “No, I don’t think so. I think they’re being defeated. And that’s why they continue to fight.” [Bush, 5/23/05]

Over the past couple of years, Bush and his advisors have consistently argued that increases in violence is evidence that the insurgency is losing. As a result, the administration has failed to acknowledge, much less address, fundamental problems in the fight against the insurgency. Here are a few more examples:

The Elections


Bush: “As election day approaches, we can expect further violence from the terrorists. You see, the terrorist understand what is at stake. They know they have no future in a free Iraq, because free people will never choose their own enslavement.” [Bush, 12/7/04]

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 Transfer of Sovereignty

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]

Bremer: “The dead-enders can see that all this, plus the fact that the Iraqi people will get their sovereignty back, spells trouble for them,” Bremer said. “So I think we will see a phase now when we will actually see increased attacks,” he said. [AP, 12/5/03]