Today is the fourth anniversary of Bush’s dubious “Mission Accomplished” speech, which he gave on the deck of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln. On that day, he said:
We do not know the day of final victory, but we have seen the turning of the tide.
Today, Congress is sending him a bill (which he promises to veto) to fund our troops in Iraq while beginning the process to bring them home from a civil war we cannot control.
I feel the need to say, “I told you so.”
I wrote this entry on July 23, 2003, two months and 26 days after Bush made this dubious speech. I wrote:
In retrospect I believe it will be shown that Bush jumped the shark on May 1, 2003. On this day he landed on the flight deck of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, somewhere off San Diego, emerging from a fighter aircraft in a flight suit. Pompously parading down the flight deck with a huge banner in the background that said “Mission Accomplished” Bush basically said we had won the war and there was just a little cleaning up to do. You know small things like bring civil order, turn on the lights, prevent looting and instill democratic values. Small stuff apparently. Just a few addendum to the nation’s checklist, hardly worth mentioning really!
The carrier episode, particularly in hindsight, was the defining moment. You can rest assured as this war of attrition drags on and on that you will see this video clip used endlessly against Bush in the general election next year. Michael Dukakis’s moment emerging from the turret of a Massachusetts’s National Guard tank has nothing on this wholly preventable photo op.