Five Years Later: Costs of Iraq Hit Home in the US
RFI: President George Bush defends the military invasion of Iraq and affirms that the war for liberty will be won…
Segment of George Bush: …War critics can no longer credibly argue that we are losing the war in Iraq….
RFI Translation: Bush…So now they are saying that the war is costing too much…we have heard exaggerations about the costs of this war. No one will dispute that this war has had a high cost in lives and treasure. But these costs are necessary when we consider the costs of a strategic victory of our enemies in Iraq….
RFI: Bush affirms that the invasion in 2003 was a sound decision, and that it is a battle America can and should win. The president’s legacy now rests on the outcome of the war on Iraq which started five years ago tomorrow. This speech may be one of the last George Bush makes about Iraq as president. Let’s turn to comments about the president’s speech to Grant Smith of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy in Washington, DC.
Grant Smith: He is desperately trying to avoid any discussion or measurements made based upon his pretexts for the US invasion of Iraq. He also wants to solidify a larger base of support around the concept that the war on Saddam Hussein in 2003 was the correct decision. This is now contrasted against the position of Democratic Party candidates, in particular Barack Obama, who is saying that it was a mistake to invade, and that mistake is affecting the US economy in a very negative way, underneath the broader sentiment that all of the stated reasons for invading were never legitimate.
It [Bush’s speech] was predictable. It was basically the same old justification roped to the tired and simplistic rhetoric that there is some sort of massive global “war on terror” in the world and that Iraq formed some kind of front. In terms of public opinion in the US, there’s not only much credulity in this, but few even pay much attention any more to this type of speech. Voters are turning toward fall elections in which, for the first time ever, they’ll have a true referendum on the entire Iraq war, its costs and its consequences.
Audio File (MP3) foreign language broadcast