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Cross Posted from Florida Kossacks
In November 2005, George Bush defined victory in Iraq this way:
Victory in Iraq is Defined in Stages
Short term, Iraq is making steady progress in fighting terrorists, meeting political milestones, building democratic institutions, and standing up security forces.
Medium term, Iraq is in the lead defeating terrorists and providing its own security, with a fully constitutional government in place, and on its way to achieving its economic potential.
Longer term, Iraq is peaceful, united, stable, and secure, well integrated into the international community, and a full partner in the global war on terrorism.
In a speech delivered on May 24, 2004, at the U.S. Army War College, in Carlisle, PA, Bush outlined the steps for success in Iraq:
There are five steps in our plan to help Iraq achieve democracy and freedom. We will hand over authority to a sovereign Iraqi government, help establish security, continue rebuilding Iraq's infrastructure, encourage more international support, and move toward a national election that will bring forward new leaders empowered by the Iraqi people.
Now on May 2, 2007, in a speech to the Associated General Contractors of America, George Bush unveiled his latest definition for success in Iraq:
the definition of success as I described is sectarian violence down. Success is not, no violence. There are parts of our own country that have got a certain
level of violence to it. But success is a level of violence where the people
feel comfortable about living their daily lives.
I heard Bush go on to say that sectarian violence staying down for some period of time would be his measure of success. That sounds very much like a timetable to me. Listen to what Bush had to say about timetables in the same speech:
imagine what a thinking enemy is doing when they hear timetables. Oh, you've got to be out by a certain date? Well, why don't we just wait.
Imagine what George Bush just said to the sectarian militias and insurgents. All you have to do is lay low for a while and we'll declare success and go home. Sounds pretty much like a timetable to me. Why is that any different than the type of timetable that was in the bill he just vetoed? As a matter of fact, the benchmarks in the vetoed bill were a lot more substantial than
sectarian violence down
Isn't George Bush afraid that after these bad guys lay low and sectarian violence goes down, that these bad guys will then not just follow us home?