FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Bush’s Progress

Washington Post Staff Writer Mike Allen penned a piece called “Bush Cites ‘Progress’ Being Made in Iraq” (August 9, 2003) in which Allen claimed President (sic) Bush had begun “building a broad, new case that progress is being made in postwar Iraq despite the steady casualties besetting U.S. troops.”

What Allen was referring to is a 24-page White House report called “Results in Iraq: 100 Days Toward Security and Freedom.”

One hundred days and 119 dead U.S. soldiers after Bush hopped out of a fighter jet to announce “Mission Accomplished,” the president-select explained, “We’ve made a lot of progress in a hundred days, and I am pleased with the progress we’ve made, but fully recognize we’ve got a lot more work to do.”

PROGRESS:

1. Movement, as toward a goal; advance.
2. Development or growth: students who show progress.
3. Steady improvement, as of a society or civilization.
4. A ceremonial journey made by a sovereign through his or her realm (hmm…)

A couple of the Democratic presidential candidates responded to the report without actually challenging the premise that “progress” had been made. Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) said the administration “should be changing course instead of celebrating.”

Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) said that the “best way to win the peace, not just make progress, is to replace Americans with a broad array of troops that take the target off of American soldiers and eliminate the sense of American occupation.”

One more time, for Kerry and Edwards:

PROGRESS:

1. Movement, as toward a goal; advance.
2. Development or growth: students who show progress.
3. Steady improvement, as of a society or civilization.
4. A ceremonial journey made by a sovereign through his or her realm

Bush, of course, responded to the Democrats. “Pure politics,” he repeated three times. “As far as all this political noise,” he added, “it’s going to get worse as time goes on, and I fully understand that, and that’s just the nature of democracy.”

DEMOCRACY:

1. Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives.
2. A political or social unit that has such a government.
3. The common people, considered as the primary source of political power.
4. Majority rule.
5. The principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community.

Illustrating the “progress” made during Iraq’s transition to “democracy,” the report claims, “health care, previously available only for Baathist [political party] elite, is now available to all Iraqis.”

Neither the report nor the Washington Post mentions the role of sanctions in the distribution of health care prior to the U.S. occupation.

To Allen’s credit, he does display a modicum of suspicion. In paragraph 13 (of 17), he writes: “The report does not mention the almost daily attacks on U.S. forces, or the kidnappings and carjackings that terrify many Baghdad residents. It does not mention Iraq’s high unemployment or widespread lack of electricity. No documentation for the claims is included.”

But this is his only call for documentation.

“The administration’s emphasis on the justification for the war in Iraq has evolved,” Allen writes, “and Bush today said the engagement there was aimed at preventing another attack like those on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center in 2001.”

“I will not forget the lessons of September the 11th,” Bush explained.

Allen didn’t explain what these lessons were or how this stance qualifies as “evolving.”

EVOLVE:

1. To develop or achieve gradually: evolve a style of one’s own.
2. To work (something) out; devise.
3. Biology. To develop (a characteristic) by evolutionary processes.

Allen also refrained from mentioning that, despite Bush’s “evolution,” a connection between Iraq and 9/11 has never been made.

PROPAGANDA:

1. The systematic propagation of a doctrine or cause or of information reflecting the views and interests of those advocating such a doctrine or cause.
2. Material disseminated by the advocates or opponents of a doctrine or cause: wartime propaganda.

Here’s to 100 more days of progress…

MICKEY Z. is the author of The Murdering of My Years: Artists and Activists Making Ends Meet and an editor at Wide Angle. He can be reached at: mzx2@earthlink.net.

 

More articles by:

Mickey Z. is the author of 12 books, most recently Occupy this Book: Mickey Z. on Activism. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on the Web here. Anyone wishing to support his activist efforts can do so by making a donation here. This piece first appeared at World Trust News.  

Weekend Edition
June 22, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Karl Grossman
Star Wars Redux: Trump’s Space Force
Andrew Levine
Strange Bedfellows
Jeffrey St. Clair
Intolerable Opinions in an Intolerant Time
Paul Street
None of Us are Free, One of Us is Chained
Edward Curtin
Slow Suicide and the Abandonment of the World
Celina Stien-della Croce
The ‘Soft Coup’ and the Attack on the Brazilian People 
James Bovard
Pro-War Media Deserve Slamming, Not Sainthood
Louisa Willcox
My Friend Margot Kidder: Sharing a Love of Dogs, the Wild, and Speaking Truth to Power
David Rosen
Trump’s War on Sex
Mir Alikhan
Trump, North Korea, and the Death of IR Theory
Christopher Jones
Neoliberalism, Pipelines, and Canadian Political Economy
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Why is Tariq Ramadan Imprisoned?
Robert Fantina
MAGA, Trump Style
Linn Washington Jr.
Justice System Abuses Mothers with No Apologies
Martha Rosenberg
Questions About a Popular Antibiotic Class
Ida Audeh
A Watershed Moment in Palestinian History: Interview with Jamal Juma’
Edward Hunt
The Afghan War is Killing More People Than Ever
Geoff Dutton
Electrocuting Oral Tradition
Don Fitz
When Cuban Polyclinics Were Born
Ramzy Baroud
End the Wars to Halt the Refugee Crisis
Ralph Nader
The Unsurpassed Power trip by an Insuperable Control Freak
Lara Merling
The Pain of Puerto Ricans is a Profit Source for Creditors
James Jordan
Struggle and Defiance at Colombia’s Feast of Pestilence
Tamara Pearson
Indifference to a Hellish World
Kathy Kelly
Hungering for Nuclear Disarmament
Jessicah Pierre
Celebrating the End of Slavery, With One Big Asterisk
Rohullah Naderi
The Ever-Shrinking Space for Hazara Ethnic Group
Binoy Kampmark
Leaving the UN Human Rights Council
Nomi Prins 
How Trump’s Trade Wars Could Lead to a Great Depression
Robert Fisk
Can Former Lebanese MP Mustafa Alloush Turn Even the Coldest of Middle Eastern Sceptics into an Optimist?
Franklin Lamb
Could “Tough Love” Salvage Lebanon?
George Ochenski
Why Wild Horse Island is Still Wild
Ann Garrison
Nikki Haley: Damn the UNHRC and the Rest of You Too
Jonah Raskin
What’s Hippie Food? A Culinary Quest for the Real Deal
Raouf Halaby
Give It Up, Ya Mahmoud
Brian Wakamo
We Subsidize the Wrong Kind of Agriculture
Patrick Higgins
Children in Cages Create Glimmers of the Moral Reserve
Patrick Bobilin
What Does Optimism Look Like Now?
Don Qaswa
A Reduction of Economic Warfare and Bombing Might Help 
Robin Carver
Why We Still Need Pride Parades
Jill Richardson
Immigrant Kids are Suffering From Trauma That Will Last for Years
Thomas Mountain
USA’s “Soft” Coup in Ethiopia?
Jim Hightower
Big Oil’s Man in Foreign Policy
Louis Proyect
Civilization and Its Absence
David Yearsley
Midsummer Music Even the Nazis Couldn’t Stamp Out
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail