Since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Bush has been trying to convince the international community that more progress was being achieved in the war-torn country than it realized. As recently as two weeks ago, the U.S. President was saying that things in Iraq are better than they seem. The new Iraqi government "has shown remarkable progress on the political front," he said on Aug. 7, calling its mere existence "quite a remarkable achievement."
Shifting arguments for the Iraq War indicates a broader pessimism that gripped the Bush Administration as the war enters its fourth year; a sense that the invasion of Iraq has taken a dark turn and will not be resolved anytime soon.
White House officials are telling their associates outside the government that they've become frustrated over the Iraq War. Even the death of al-Qaeda's alleged leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, didn't curb the violence in the country.
At Monday's news conference, Bush admitted that he's been discouraged as well. "Frustrated?" he asked. "Sometimes I'm frustrated. Rarely surprised. Sometimes I'm happy. This is -- but war is not a time of joy. These aren't joyous times. These are challenging times and they're difficult times and they're straining the psyche of our country."
This admission represents a striking change from what critics considered an overly rosy portrayal of Iraq. With sectarian violence claiming the lives of thousands of Iraqis each month, the White House felt the need to connect with the anxiety in the American public, analysts say.
"Most of the people rightly are concerned about the security situation, as is the president," presidential counselor Dan Bartlett said.
But with the midterm elections just two and half months away, the Bush administration is trying to turn the public debate away from whether the Iraq War was justified to what would happen if U.S. troops left the country, as some Democrats demand. The necessity of not failing, Bush aides believe, is now a more compelling argument than the likelihood of success.
- "Last-ditch argument"
Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16