Bush administration talking points on Iraq

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"No speech about homeland security or Iraq should begin without a reference to 9/11." [1]

Bush administration talking points on Iraq include the following by President George W. Bush, members of Bush's White House Staff, and various members of Congress.


"more tough fighting ahead" in Iraq

On March 20, 2006, President Bush said that there will be "more tough fighting ahead" in Iraq. Actually, over the past three years, there have been several warnings that "more tough fighting" is ahead in Iraq:

Readiness of Iraqi Armed Forces

  • On Fox News Sunday, November 20, 2005, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld said: "The U.S.-led coalition continues to make progress in training Iraqi security forces, [placing] their number at 212,000[, disputing] reports that fewer than 1,000 Iraqis were capable of fighting the insurgency without coalition assistance." Rumsfeld called "the lower number 'a red herring'" and said "it does not reflect the involvement of Iraqis in securing their country."
  • Before the December 15, 2005, elections in Iraq, starting with a speech by President Bush in Annapolis focusing on "what the administration says is clear progress in training of the Iraqi security force," White House officials will make other speeches in an "attempt to use the final weeks of this year and early next year to shape public opinion." --Washington Post, November 25, 2005.

Stay the Course

  • In his November 19, 2005, statement, Press Secretary Scott McClellan said that "Victory in Iraq is key to prevailing in the war on terrorism and laying the foundation of peace for our children and grandchildren. Our commanders and troops know how high the stakes are, and they understand the importance of completing the mission. For the second time this week, Congress in strong, bipartisan fashion rejected the call to cut and run. The best strategy to keep America safe is to continue taking the fight to the terrorists, not to retreat in the face of the despicable attacks of a determined enemy. We will succeed in Iraq by hunting down the terrorists, training Iraqi forces and supporting the Iraqi people as they build the foundations for a lasting democracy in the heart of a dangerous region of the world. When victory is achieved our troops will return home with the honor they deserve."
  • On November 23, 2005, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (D-CT) told Iraq's Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari that "U.S. forces will remain in Iraq until their mission is complete, despite growing unease in Congress about the progress of the conflict here."

Embolden the Terrorists

Scaling Back U.S. Troop Levels

  • Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld said November 20, 2005, on CBS' Face the Nation: "There's no doubt in my mind that were we to pull out precipitously, the American people would be in greater danger than they are today."
  • Rumsfeld said November 21, 2005, that U.S. troop levels in Iraq "will remain at 160,000 as Iraqis prepare for elections Dec. 15, ... and will return to a baseline strength of 130,000 when the commanders there determine that conditions on the ground warrant a drawdown. Pentagon policy has long based significant redeployments on the situation at hand."
  • "The Bush administration and military leaders are sounding optimistic notes about scaling back U.S. troops in Iraq next year, as public opposition to the war and congressional demands for withdrawal get louder." --Associated Press, November 25, 2005.

Previous: 2002-2004

"The central rationale for going to war against Iraq, of course, was that Saddam Hussein had biological and chemical weapons, and that he was pursuing an aggressive program to build nuclear weapons." [2]

  • On April 11, 2004, Phyllis Bennis examined point-by-point Bush administration talking points regarding the war in Iraq:
  • "We have liberated Iraq from tyranny."
  • "We are bringing democracy to Iraq."
  • "Iraqis view us as liberators and support our troops being in their country."
  • "We have enough troops in Iraq and our lean-and-mean military is capable of whatever needs to be done."
  • "We are in Iraq leading a broad international coalition – dozens of countries are participating in the Coalition with us."
  • "The United Nations will support our transfer of power, and UN endorsement of the new interim Iraqi government after June 30th [2004] will pave the way for the UN to return to Iraq."
  • "Our liberation of Iraq is only the first step in a broad campaign to bring democracy to the Middle East."
  • "The overthrow of Saddam Hussein makes America and the whole world safer."

External links

2002-2004

2005

2006

Related SourceWatch Resources

The following relate directly or indirectly to Bush administration talking points on the war in Iraq:

Additional SourceWatch Resources

Bush administration article for links

George W. Bush article for links