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Happy Mission Accomplished Day (Tomorrow)

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  • Happy Mission Accomplished Day (Tomorrow)

    Let me be the first to wish you Happy Mission Accomplished Day, which arrives in less than 24 hours. In a just world, the media will provide as much coverage tomorrow about what has transpired in Iraq since that not-so-magical moment on the aircraft carrier as they did on the day itself, but they won't, so it is up to others to do it.
    Feel free to dust off all the great quotes from that day, such as Chris Matthews gushing over Bush, "He won the war. He was an effective commander. Everybody recognizes that, I believe, except a few critics." As Bush spoke before the Mission Accomplished banner, American casualties stood at 139 killed and 542 wounded. That was nearly 4000 lives lost ago, and a Rand Corp. study released this month reveals that we now have 300,000 vets with mental problems of some sort.
    Just to remind you: The jet landing with Bush emerging in his flight suit and cod piece, it turned out, was a pure stunt. The White House had said that the Abraham Lincoln was too far offshore for the usual helicopter landing, but when the big moment arrived the carrier was only 30 miles off San Diego, an easy trip by copter.
    To focus on just one other aspect today (my new book on Iraq and the media goes into all this in-depth), let's explore the issue of the Mission Accomplished banner itself. Surely you recall that there was great controversy over it but here's a refresher.
    -First the White House claimed that the banner was the Navy's idea, it had nothing to do with it - the sailors just wanted to celebrate their own homecoming, no more than that.
    -When word emerged that the White House had actually made the banner, a spokesman explained, well, the Navy was not cut out for that sort of thing so we produced it - but it was still all the sailors' idea!
    -Okay, the White House admitted, we not only made it, we hoisted it - but still, it was for the sailors!
    -"Even that explanation didn't sit well with some long-time Bush aides," Time magazine later reported, quoting one: "They (the White House) put up banners at every event that look just like that and we're supposed to believe that at this one it was the Navy that requested one?" Other insiders recalled staffers boasting about how the president had been specifically positioned during his speech so that the banner would be captured by cameras.
    And so "bannergate" was born - along with the image of the president spiking the ball on the five-yard line before scoring a real touchdown. "He blamed the sailors for something that his advance team staged," said General Wesley Clark. "I guess that next thing we are going to hear is that the sailors told him to wear the flight suit and prance around on the aircraft carrier. This is a president who does not want to take accountability." Well, some things never change.
    Be passionate about what you believe in, or why bother.

  • #2
    White House admits fault on 'Mission Accomplished' banner

    By TERENCE HUNT, AP White House Correspondent 1 hour, 35 minutes ago

    WASHINGTON - The White House said Wednesday that President Bush has paid a price for the "Mission Accomplished" banner that was flown in triumph five years ago but later became a symbol of U.S. misjudgments and mistakes in the long and costly war in Iraq.

    Thursday is the fifth anniversary of Bush's dramatic landing in a Navy jet on an aircraft carrier homebound from the war. The USS Abraham Lincoln had launched thousands of airstrikes on Iraq.

    "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended," Bush said at the time. "The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on Sept. 11, 2001, and still goes on." The "Mission Accomplished" banner was prominently displayed above him — a move the White House came to regret as the display was mocked and became a source of controversy.

    After shifting explanations, the White House eventually said the "Mission Accomplished" phrase referred to the carrier's crew completing its 10-month mission, not the military completing its mission in Iraq. Bush, in October 2003, disavowed any connection with the "Mission Accomplished" message. He said the White House had nothing to do with the banner; a spokesman later said the ship's crew asked for the sign and the White House staff had it made by a private vendor.

    "President Bush is well aware that the banner should have been much more specific and said `mission accomplished' for these sailors who are on this ship on their mission," White House press secretary Dana Perino said Wednesday. "And we have certainly paid a price for not being more specific on that banner. And I recognize that the media is going to play this up again tomorrow, as they do every single year."

    She said what is important now is "how the president would describe the fight today. It's been a very tough month in Iraq, but we are taking the fight to the enemy."

    At least 49 U.S. troops died in Iraq in April, making it the deadliest month since September when 65 U.S. troops died.

    Now in its sixth year, the war in Iraq has claimed the lives of at least 4,061 members of the U.S. military. Only the Vietnam War (August 1964 to January 1973), the war in Afghanistan (October 2001 to present) and the Revolutionary War (July 1776 to April 1783) have engaged America longer.

    Bush, in a speech earlier this month, said that "while this war is difficult, it is not endless."

    O RLY?

    Last edited by Moon Man; 04-30-2008, 06:47 PM.