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Bush on Iraq: All Wrong, All the Time

May 11, 2005
By Fred Polvere

THEN:
"Major combat operations in Iraq have ended."
- President Bush (5/1/03)

NOW:
Pace of Insurgent Attacks in Iraq Rises
- Associated Press (4/27/05)

THEN:
"I don't think it's likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I really do believe we will be greeted as liberators."
- Vice President Cheney, Meet the Press (3/16/03)

NOW:
1,780 coalition troop deaths. 1,601 Americans dead. At least 12,243 U.S. troops have been wounded in action. The Pentagon does not report the number of non-hostile wounded troops. Nor does it report the number of Iraqi security forces, police or civilians killed or wounded.
- U.S. & Coalition Casualties, CNN (5/09/05)

THEN:
"Any war with Iraq would be swift and not require a full US mobilization."
- Defense Secretary Rumsfeld (2/03/03)

NOW:
Stretched thin in Iraq, the U.S. military would have trouble responding as quickly and effectively as commanders would like if it had to go to war in Iran or North Korea, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told Congress.
- USA Today (2/16/05)

THEN:
"I think the intelligence I get is darn good intelligence and the speeches I have given are backed by good intelligence."
- President Bush (7/12/03)

NOW:
We conclude that the intelligence community was dead wrong in almost all of its prewar judgments about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.
- Presidential Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States (3/21/05)

THEN:
"There's a lot of money to pay for this that doesn't have to be U.S. taxpayer money…We're dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon."
- Deputy Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz (3/27/03)

NOW:
The Senate ... approved $81 billion for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in a spending bill that would push the total cost of combat and reconstruction past $300 billion.
- Associated Press (4/21/05)

THEN:
I'm absolutely sure that there are weapons of mass destruction there and the evidence will be forthcoming."
- Colin Powell (5/04/03)

NOW:
CIA's final report: No WMD found in Iraq.
- MSNBC (4/25/05)

THEN:
"There clearly are contacts between al Qaeda and Iraq that can be documented; there clearly is testimony that some of the contacts have been important contacts and that there's a relationship here."
- National Security Advisor Rice (9/25/02)

NOW:
There was no Iraqi role in the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington and no "collaborative relationship" between Al Qaeda and former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.
- 9/11 Commission Staff Report (6/01/604)

THEN:
"No terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people and the stability of the world than the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq."
- Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld (9/19/02)

NOW:
International Atomic Energy Agency head Mohamed ElBaradei says he is sure that nuclear material his agency monitored in North Korea has been converted into fuel for four to six nuclear bombs.
- New York Times (12/09/04)

THEN:
"It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months."
- Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld (2/07/03)

NOW:
The U.S. Army expects to keep its troop strength in Iraq at the current level of about 120,000 for at least two more years, according to the Army's top operations officer.
- Washington Post (1/25/05)

THEN:
"It's hard to conceive that it would take more forces to provide stability in post-Saddam Iraq than it would take to conduct the war itself and to secure the surrender of Saddam's security forces and his army. Hard to imagine."
- Deputy Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz (3/27/03)

NOW:
The U.S. military invaded Iraq without a formal plan for occupying and stabilizing the country and this high-level failure continues to undercut what has been a "mediocre" Army effort there, an Army historian and strategist has concluded.
- Washington Post (12/24/04)

And for the Bush administration's definitive, upbeat assessment of this debacle:

''I think we're definitely winning. I think we've been winning for some time." - Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (4/27/05)

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