On The Day After the anniversary of the Declaration of Mission Accomplished, a study in Fantasy Success, your best bet is to read Tom Engelhardt's TomDispatch article on this special occasion, which gives the best take on it - some excerpts below:
The "magic hour light" of May 2003 has disappeared, along with those glorious photos from the deck of the carrier. The sort of descriptions you see today, as in a recent David Ignatius column in the Washington Post, sound more like this: "Republicans voice the bitterness and frustration of people chained to the hull of a sinking ship." (The USS George W. Bush, undoubtedly.) Oh, and the President and what's left of his tattered administration have stopped filming on a Top Gun-style
movie set and seem now to be intent on remaking The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
This White House has plunged Iraq and the world into the geopolitical equivalent of a blood-and-gore exploitation film that simply won't end. Call that "Mission Accomplished"! ...
Four years later, U.S. prisons, one of the few reconstruction success stories in Iraq, are chock-a-block full, holding 18,000 or more Iraqis in what are essentially terrorist-producing factories; Iraq has the worst refugee problem (internal and external) on the planet with perhaps 4 million people in a population of 25 million already displaced from their homes (202 of whom were admitted to the United States in 2006); the Iraqi government inside the Green Zone does not fully control a single province of the country, while its legislators are planning to take a two-month summer "vacation"; a State Department report on terrorism just released shows a rise of 25% in terrorist attacks globally, and 45% of these attacks were in Iraq; 80% of Iraqis oppose the U.S. presence in their country; 64% of Americans now want a timetable for a 2008 withdrawal; and the President's approval rating fell to its lowest point, 28%, in the most recent Harris poll, which had the Vice President at a similarly record-setting 25%. ...
As a senior advisor to the President told journalist Ron Suskind back in 2002:
"[G]uys like me were ‘in what we call the reality-based community,' which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality... That's not the way the world really works anymore,' he continued. ‘We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality... We're history's actors... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.'"
The U.S. CounterTerrorism Center just released statistics showing that from 2005-2006,
terrorism increased in Iraq 91%, and "Of the 14,338 reported terrorist attacks worldwide last year, 45 percent took place in Iraq, and 65 percent of the global fatalities stemming from terrorism occurred in Iraq. In 2005, Iraq accounted for 30 percent of the worldwide terrorist attacks." As well, "Almost all of those incidents involved the death, injury or kidnapping of at least one person. All told, the number of people killed, injured or kidnapped as a result of terrorism in Iraq jumped 87 percent, from 20,685 to 38,713."
There is so much more to be said and read about this, but it has become all too obvious... the war in Iraq has not brought democracy, liberty, freedom, or anything approaching this to Iraq. In fact, even the oil fields, which drew us there like a magnet, may be more difficult to nab at this point. If the Mission was not War on Terror, but War for Terror, then it was accomplished!
Otherwise, we'll have to take a more realistic position: it was the massacre of another nation, one that was once a republic, and we'll have to plead guilty to ... republicide...
something that never happened in Vietnam, or when we nuked Japan, or any other U.S. war involvement. We even avoided it in the Civil War. Is it time, then, to say "Goodbye Iraq"? Or should we hold a public referendum in Iraq for all Iraqis to vote on: US stay and help? or US go and good riddance... I'll bet the violence will stop long enough for the polls to stay open.