Thursday, May 01, 2008

Misson Accomplished- Year 6

It feels like Groundhog's Day, the day that keeps replaying over and over, once a year to remind of us of one of the big lies of this war. "Mission Accomplished" wasn't the first lie about Iraq and it was not the last one. Today is the 5th anniversary of the day President George Bush playing his own personal version of Top Gun flying beside the pilot in the cockpit of an S-3B Viking Navy jet and landing on the deck of a carrier. The President of the United States in a flight suit on an aircraft carrier? Hollywood couldn't have written a better script.

Iraq fatigue has settled in around the country and maybe people are getting tired of being reminded of continued occupation and this day, this national embarrassment when the President strolled off the jet onto the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln and swaggered up to the microphone and announced that "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed" He also told us that "Iraq is free".

In the ensuing years, the White House told us, they didn't erect the banner, it was the Navy's idea, the White House actually made it, but the Navy put it up. One year later, President Bush explained that we had "achieved an important objective", sidestepping the real question of what mission, in fact, had been accomplished. Then spokesmodel, Dana Perino told the White House press corps that "we had toppled the Iraqi government and the Iraq Army", blaming the misunderstanding on the left. She said, "the left has decided to believe what they want to believe". The ever changing story of what was really meant with the "Mission Accomplished" banner on that day in May 2003, took one more twist today when Dana Perino said that the banner meant "mission accomplished for these sailors on this ship on their mission" adding that "we have paid a price for not being specific" about what the banner really meant.

What price exactly has the White House paid because of the misleading banner? Nothing, zero, zip and zilch. It is disingenuous and patronizing to even suggest that a price has been paid by anyone unless they have been handed a folded flag at the funeral of their loved one or sat by a bedside of their loved one trying to figure out what his or her normal will be after one, two, three or more deployments to Iraq. The occupants of this White House, and members of this administration have not and will never pay a personal price for the endless occupation. The troops and their families are carrying the burden of this continued occupation in blood & stress. The readiness of the military has been damaged, perhaps beyond the point of reasonable and simple repair, and this White House has the

Ken was alive 5 years ago today; he had not yet landed in Iraq, but in little more than a year I would be handed a folded flag, the same flag that honorably covered his casket that carried him home to California from the sands of Iraq.

On May 1, 2009, this country will have a new president. I am not hopeful that the mission in Iraq will have changed much by then. I am hopeful plans will have been put in place to bring the troops home once and for all. 3908 US troops have died since "Mission Accomplished" was announced. It is likely that we will lose about 800 more members of the US military and thousands of wounded before May 1, 2009 rolls around. That may be okay with you, but it isn't okay with me.

1 comment:

Chancelucky said...

Do you ever get the feeling that Dana Perino is pretty much the only person they could find who is actually dumber than her boss?