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This post has little to do with the image to the left, but I like to revisit it every now and again to remind myself just whose false optimism helped keep this unwinnable war going. The cover is from last spring, less than a year ago...

Unless of course you buy Bill Kristol's (he's beginning to sound more Billy Crystal...) view that the past three years just haven't been a "serious effort" to win; that the war, as Judd Legum writes of Kristol's apparent point: "isn’t working out because Donald Rumsfeld is Michael Moore."

The administration's catch phrase for some time has been that: "As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down..." Here are Bush's exact words from June, 2005:


"...as we pursue the terrorists, our military is helping to train Iraqi security forces so that they can defend their people and fight the enemy on their own. Our strategy can be summed up this way: As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down."
In late September General Casey let slip that there was only one Iraqi unit prepared to take over. That number has since dropped to zero. Fortunately, for the administration and its Jim Jones-ian followers, they can go on national TV and tell this quasi-truth: We're going to defeat the terrorists and win the war in Iraq. Why, even with all the recent setbacks we've only lost one Iraqi unit.

Of course, there's this, written by Rumsfeld's Pentagon so it's, you know, reliable: "In the new report to Congress, the Pentagon also said the insurgency was losing strength, becoming less effective in its attacks and failing to undermine the development of an Iraqi democracy."

Its thesis was promptly undermined...

"The report was written last week, before the bombing of a Shiite shrine north of Baghdad and a wave of deadly reprisal attacks."

I wonder if General Casey still believes that we've "absolutely" lost no ground... Wonder if the National Review still thinks "We're Winning"... (Buzzflash, ThinkProgress)

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