“Mission Accomplished”

On May 1, 2003, In Front Of “Mission Accomplished” Banner, President Bush Delivered “Notorious, Premature Speech In Which He Declared American Operations Had Ended In Iraq.” According to MSNBC, “Ten years ago today, then-President George Bush delivered his now-notorious, premature speech in which he declared American operations had ended in Iraq. With a banner draped behind him saying ‘Mission Accomplished,’ Bush in 2003 delivered the televised address off the coast of San Diego from the USS Abraham Lincoln. ‘Major combat operations in Iraq have ended,’ he told the crowd. ‘In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.’” [MSNBC, 5/1/13]

War In Iraq Lasted Eight Years After “Mission Accomplished” Speech. According to MSNBC, “While the speech was well-received at the time, the war lasted another eight years. Congress decided to send in 20,000 more troops into the country in 2007. The war claimed the lives of at least 190,000 people–the bulk of whom were civilians, in addition to 4,488 U.S. soldiers and 3,400 U.S. contractors.” [MSNBC, 5/1/13]

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President Bush on the USS Abraham Lincoln (May 1, 2003)
U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Tyler J. Clements. (RELEASED)

suit Hunsaker

President Bush on the USS Abraham Lincoln (May 1, 2003)
U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Lewis Hunsaker. (RELEASED)

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Sailors on the USS Abraham Lincoln (May 2, 2003)
U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Lewis Hunsaker. (RELEASED)

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President Bush on the USS Abraham Lincoln (May 1, 2003)
U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Tyler J. Clements (RELEASED)

Vast Majority Of American Troop Deaths In Iraq Occurred After “Mission Accomplished” Speech. The following chart was made with data reported by The Atlantic:

atlantic fatalities

[The Atlantic, 5/10/13]

Bush In 2008: “Mission Accomplished” Sign “Conveyed The Wrong Message.” According to CNN, “On Tuesday, the president also referenced the moment aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003, during which he declared an end to major combat operations in Iraq. ‘They had a sign that said ‘Mission Accomplished.’ It was a sign aimed at the sailors on the ship, but it conveyed a broader knowledge. To some it said, well, Bush thinks the war in Iraq is over, when I didn’t think that. But nonetheless, it conveyed the wrong message.’” [CNN, 11/12/08]

Bush Named “Mission Accomplished” Gaffe When Asked About His “Single Biggest Mistake.” From a transcript of President Bush’s final press conference in office on January 12, 2009:

Q: Four years ago, you were asked if you had made any mistakes.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes.

Q: And I’m not trying to play “gotcha,” but I wonder, when you look back over the long arc of your presidency, do you think, in retrospect, that you have made any mistakes? And if so, what is the single biggest mistake that you may have made?

THE PRESIDENT: Gotcha. I have often said that history will look back and determine that which could have been done better, or, you know, mistakes I made. Clearly putting a “Mission Accomplished” on a aircraft carrier was a mistake. It sent the wrong message. We were trying to say something differently, but nevertheless, it conveyed a different message. Obviously, some of my rhetoric has been a mistake. [George W. Bush Press Conference Transcript, 1/12/09]