May 02, 2008

"'Mission Accomplished' for these sailors who are on this ship on their mission"

Dr. iRack has been in the UK all week conferencing, and I've had a hard time keeping dates straight. Anyway, as you all know, yesterday was the five year anniversary of Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech declaring an end to major combat in Iraq. Now Dr. iRack realizes that the White House has long claimed that Bush never actually said "mission accomplished." No, no, that was simply a sign hung by the crew of the USS Abraham Lincoln, coincidentally within the TV frame behind the Commander-in-Chief yet somehow unknown to the those responsible for the carefully orchestrated "optics" of Bush's landing on the aircraft carrier. Sure, sure, seems plausible. Here is a good summary of evolving explanations from the Los Angeles Times:

"Major combat operations in Iraq have ended," Bush said at the time. "The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on Sept. 11, 2001, and still goes on." The "Mission Accomplished" banner was prominently displayed above him -- a move the White House came to regret as the display was mocked and became a source of controversy.

After shifting explanations, the White House eventually said the "Mission Accomplished" phrase referred to the carrier's crew completing its 10-month mission, not the military completing its mission in Iraq. Bush, in October 2003, disavowed any connection with the "Mission Accomplished" message. He said the White House had nothing to do with the banner; a spokesman later said the ship's crew asked for the sign and the White House staff had it made by a private vendor.

Now comes this from yesterday's press conference with Dana Perino, the White House spokesperson:

"President Bush is well aware that the banner should have been much more specific and said 'mission accomplished' for these sailors who are on this ship on their mission."

Almost as catchy as "Mission not accomplished for these politicians who drove the ship of state onto the rocks on their mission."

If you have other suggestions for what the banner should have said, please chime in.