On May 1, 2003, President George W. Bush delivered his speech, “Major Combat Operations in Iraq Have Ended,” aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln at Sea off the coast of San Diego, California.
Bush Derangement Syndrome
Since February 6, 2006, Keith Olbermann, foremost victim of Bush Derangement Syndrome, has been signing off his MSNBC show, “Countdown,” by citing the number of days since May 1, 2003. No, he is not celebrating a special “May Day” event. He is deriding President Bush’s speech delivered that day aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln. Or that is what Olbermann thinks he is doing, as he ends his comedy hour that pretends to be news and political analyses.
More accurately, Olbermann is merely demonstrating his ignorance of the speech, or else he deliberately misinterprets the “Mission Accomplished” banner that appeared on the ship, where the president spoke.
Navy Congratulating Its Own
It was the Navy’s idea to place the banner on the ship to signify that for the returning men and women aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, their mission was, in fact, accomplished, and as the president says in the speech, “Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country.” This claim was totally accurate.
Saddam Hussein had been toppled by the “major combat operations,” and the troops that remained in Iraq were there to reconstruct and secure the country. But, of course, in the ensuing months the terrorist insurgency began and delayed the total pull-out of the coalition.
Democrats, including now-former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota, were quick to misrepresent and misinterpret the president’s speech. They disingenuously invented the notion that the president had declared the total mission in Iraq accomplished, when just a close look at the rest of the speech would have corrected this misrepresentation:
We have difficult work to do in Iraq. We're bringing order to parts of that country that remain dangerous. We're pursuing and finding leaders of the old regime, who will be held to account for their crimes. We're helping to rebuild Iraq, where the dictator built palaces for himself, instead of hospitals and schools. And we will stand with the new leaders of Iraq as they establish a government of, by, and for the Iraqi people.These comments make it perfectly clear that President Bush, in no way, was announcing that the total mission in Iraq was accomplished. Olbermann will continue his ludicrous valediction, no doubt, because he will not allow himself to be bothered by the facts.
The transition from dictatorship to democracy will take time, but it is worth every effort. Our coalition will stay until our work is done. Then we will leave, and we will leave behind a free Iraq.
President Bush Announces Major Combat Operations in Iraq Have Ended
Bush Derangement Syndrome