Bush admits some fault then pledges more of the same, plus more troops in Iraq failure

President George W. Bush, for the first time, admitted a mistake in his conduct of his failed Iraq war, then returned to the same old rhetoric in a vain attempt to rationalize compounding his many errors.

“Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me,” Bush said, a rare admission from a President who does not acknowledge his mistakes.

However, the President’s plan to send 21,500 additional troops is viewed by military experts as too little too late and a strategy doomed to fail.

“The situation in Iraq is unacceptable to the American people and it is unacceptable to me,” Bush said. In reality, American voters in the November mid-term elections made it clear that what is unacceptable is Bush’s conduct of the war and public opinion polls show only 16 percent of Americans support sending in more troops.

Bush continued: “America’s commitment is not open-ended. If the Iraqi government does not follow through on its promises, it will lose the support of the American people and it will lose the support of the Iraqi people. Now is the time to at.”

Actually, polls show the Iraqi government does not enjoy support of the American people now so it is unclear how Bush can threaten Iraq with a loss of support that it does not enjoy.

The military increase puts Bush on a collision course with the new Democratic Congress and pushes the American presence in Iraq toward its highest level. It also runs counter to widespread anti-war passions among Americans and the advice of some top generals.

Bush pushed back against the Democrats’ calls to end the unpopular war. He said that “to step back now would force a collapse of the Iraqi government, tear that country apart and result in mass killings on an unimaginable scale.”

“If we increase our support at this crucial moment and help the Iraqis break the current cycle of violence, we can hasten the day our troops begin coming home,” he said.

In addition to extra U.S. forces, the plan envisions Iraq committing 10,000 to 12,000 more troops to secure Baghdad’s neighborhoods.

Even before Bush’s address, the new Democratic leaders of Congress renewed their opposition to a buildup. “This is the third time we are going down this path. Two times this has not worked,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said after meeting with the president. “Why are they doing this now? That question remains.”

Senate and House Democrats are arranging votes urging the president not to send more troops. While lacking the force of law, the measures would compel Republicans to go on record as either bucking the president or supporting an escalation.

Besides the expected Democratic opposition, Bush is losing the support of an increasing number of Republicans. On Wednesday, GOP Senators Sam Brownback and Richard Lugar joined other Republicans who have announced opposition to Bush’s troop surge. GOP leaders acknowledge that at least 10 Republican senators have jumped ship along with many others in the House.

Bush tried to offset this by announcing a “bipartisan effort” group of member of Congress that he said will meet with him on a regular basis to advise him on the war. But the effort, he said, was developed with former Democrat, now Independent, Senator Joe Lieberman, who lost the Democratic primary in his home state of Connecticut because of his support of the Iraq war and then won the general election with backing from the White House.

Usually loath to admit error, Bush said it also was a mistake to have allowed American forces to be restricted by the Iraqi government, which tried to prevent U.S. military operations against fighters controlled by the radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, a powerful political ally of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The president said al-Maliki had assured him that “political or sectarian interference will not be tolerated.”

After nearly four years of bloody combat, the speech was perhaps Bush’s last credible chance to try to present a winning strategy in Iraq and persuade Americans to change their minds about the unpopular war, which has cost the lives of more than 3,000 members of the U.S. military as well as more than $400 billion.

Bush’s approach amounts to a huge gamble on al-Maliki’s willingness — and ability — to deliver on promises he has consistently failed to keep: to disband Shiite militias, pursue national reconciliation and make good on commitments for Iraqi forces to handle security operations in Baghdad.

“Our past efforts to secure Baghdad failed for two principal reasons: There were not enough Iraqi and American troops to secure neighborhoods that had been cleared of terrorists and insurgents,” the president said. “And there were too many restrictions on the troops we did have.”

He said American commanders have reviewed the Iraqi plan “to ensure that it addressed these mistakes.”

Bush said that under his plan, U.S. forces will work alongside Iraqi units and be embedded in their formations.

Responding to concerns from U.S. commanders, Bush said American troops will have a clearly defined mission to help Iraqis clear and secure neighborhoods, assist in the protection of the local population and “to help ensure that the Iraqi forces left behind are capable of providing the security that Baghdad needs.”

While Bush is putting the onus on the Iraqis to meet their responsibilities and commit more troops, Bush did not threaten specific consequences if they do not. Iraq has missed previous self-imposed timetables for taking over security responsibilities.

Bush, however, cited the government’s latest optimistic estimate. “To establish its authority, the Iraqi government plans to take responsibility for security in all of Iraq’s provinces by November,” the president said.

Resisting calls for troop reductions, Bush said that “failure in Iraq would be a disaster for the United States. A democratic Iraq will not be perfect. But it will be a country that fights terrorists instead of harboring them.”

But Bush warned that the strategy would, in a short term he did not define, bring more violence rather than less.

“Even if our new strategy works exactly as planned, deadly acts of violence will continue, and we must expect more Iraqi and American casualties,” he said. “The question is whether our new strategy will bring us closer to success. I believe that it will.”

Pentagon leaders do no share Bush’s optimism. The Joint Chiefs of Staff oppose the troop surge and call it a “hail Mary” pass in football terms.

Other military experts are less charitable, calling Bush’s plan a disaster before it was even announced and they predict American casualties will escalate sharply.

(Includes information from the Associated Press)


  1. Joe Lawrence

    I wish the media types would stop saying, “Bush admits his mistakes.”

    He didn’t, and he won’t. It is pure theater-based semantics, and implies that, thouogh SOMEONE ELSE made the mistakes, HE – being the regent – is magnanimous in “accepting responsibility,” even though we all are supposed to act as if it was those terrible generals and secretaries who did the bad things.

    His saying that he “accepts responsibility for mistakes” is nothing more than a parent agreeing that he has to pay for a window broken by his child.

    Bush is a liar and a fraud, and any remaining supporter of his is, by complicit association, also a liar and a fraud.

    S’croom all.

  2. Jerry

    It amazes me how reckless and dangerous this man(Bush) is. He not only continues to follow the same failed path, but now is openly and brazenly attempting to provoke Iran and Syria. Our military raided an Iranian consulate in Iraq today. This is probably only the beginning of a campaign to further antagonize an already dangerous situation with Iran. George W. Bush is as mad as a hatter. It has been said that the democrats are not powerful enough to stop him, but as I watched the opening statements of Congress this morning there are many republicans ready and willing to cross the aisle on this one. Bush is a blundering idiot. He is willfully both arrogant and ignorant. Why is this lunatic still occupying the Whitehouse?

  3. N. Dispair

    He admitted mistakes?!?


    How about God damned murderous lies?!!!


    How long will the brain dead ameriKan poople sit by and listen to this septic sludge? Anyone planning to file those tax forms again this year? That is the cut off point – that is the only way to stop it – STOP PAYING FOR IT!!!!

  4. Sonorous Pest

    Bush is singing the same song,;Third verse, a little bit louder and a lot worse.
    How many mistakes does it take to learn? But these mistakes cost lives and money, Bush is afraid of losing the OIL and his legacy. He’ll never get the oil and he lost his legacy a long time ago. Just goes to prove you should never vote for a drunken moron.

  5. Lysistrata

    Maybe Paul has his answer, according to the news Americans attacked the Iranian Consulate in Iraq.

  6. dave

    What burns my butt is the reconstruction and the Iraqi Army. You do not reconstruct a war zone until the war is over. Duh, all your efforts will be destroyed. Besides, they have more oil reserves and wealth then we do. They can rebuild their own damn country.

    The Iraqi’s are not our friends nor our allies. So why in the hell are we training their army? Duh, were training and equiping the enemy. There may be a Shite Army. There may be a Sunni Army. There amy be a Kurd Army. But there is no firking Iraqi Army.

    Victory is what you declair when you go home home. It is not something that is achieved by occupying a country.

  7. Phil

    Funny how the only vaguely redeemable things mentioned in the speech (the fact that the troop surge didn’t happen long ago and the fact that US troops were restricted by the Iraqi government) are the things Dumbya considers ‘mistakes.’

  8. David Williams

    Good morning Sandy,
    I’m anxious to read the papers this morning to see how well the rest of America is swallowing the latest incarnation of GW’s ongoing and forever growing saga,”Tex,Lies,and Secret Cellphone Videotape.”
    Obviously,I’m not only depressed,I’m also delusional and in need of serious psychiatric intervention.(also a little sleep).
    I’m with you 100% though.I really am ready for us to get the hell out of that part of the world.Can you imagine;absolutely no U.S. influence,no meddling,no weapons,no money,and most important,no more telegrams informing wives and husbands,mothers and fathers,or sons and daughters that their whole world has been needlessly shattered.In 2 or 3 years,after all the God loving, deeply religious, and faithfully pious, gentle folk of the region have murdered each other in their vain attempt to ram their particular God down each others’ throats, we can just waltz back in and take what we want.

    You are absolutely correct that we have the leaders that we deserve.At the time we invaded Iraq, only 7% of people in this country were completely against the idea.I and my better half,Beverly were among that small minority,and I bet you were too.
    There is very little that we can do more than what we are now doing.Like you,I think that educating ourselves on the important issues and challenges that we face and demanding as much accountability as possible from those that we hire to govern us is the most important thing we can do.If we somehow manage to survive W,there is going to be such a mess left in his wake that we are going to need an intelligent,thoughtful,open minded,and brilliant statesman in charge if we are to ever repair the damage done by the nightmare years of Bushco.We will require a leader that is everything that W is not.Maybe we’ll make it through somehow.
    D.W.in N.C.

  9. Sandy Price

    I tried very hard to listen to the speech with an open mind. In giving some thought, I heard a pep talk for both sides which means a lot of lies.

    Bush wants to attack Syria and Iran and is looking for permission. He keeps using the word “winning” and I cannot put any concept to what he means. Winning what?

    After the speech, Senator Durbin came closer to my wishes than anyone who hashed the speech over and over.

    We’ve done our duty, seen the end of Saddam, and have ended up as targets. We have little support of the people on the street and our guys can trust no one.

    This may sound selfish, but I don’t care what happens in the Middle East. They blow each other up and our borders should be closed to anyone from those nations. Bush seems to be pandering to the Arabs and wants to protect them. Ahem, who exactly attacked us on 9/11? It was the Arabs!

    The GOP will always bend to a Republican President even if it means breaking the law. I finally learned that fact. The Democrats remind me of a bunch of 13 year old boys just entering 8th grade and are individually scared to death.

    We have only ourselves to blame for what Bush does. We elected a completely ill-prepared man who ran on social issues only. He became our religious leader with a single focus to take us into a one world religious police force.

    I can only hope the voters learned from this terrible man. But on every talk show and many CSPAN callers seem to want this kind of leadership. Americans have lost their ability to know right from wrong and look to big daddy to tell us what to do. This lack of spine among Americans has taken the starch out of our leaders and removed any semblence of individual freedoms.

    We are way too gullible to sustain a Constitutional Republic. In 1992, the GOP had mentioned this entrance into the Middle East that would guarantee our oil supply. That was before many were on the internet but it still lost 41 his election. It will and should lost 43’s legacy as Americans do not want to rule as an Empire. They thought they were electing a Christian leader. They got a sick man with an attitude of an Emperor.

    We will never leave the middle east. We don’t have the moral strength to stand against another Bush-type leader. Our only hope is a third party and we don’t have the brains to start one. Okay, Bush’s speech depressed me!

  10. SUN TZU

    “When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, then men’s weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be damped. If you lay siege to a town, you will exhaust your strength.” (YEP)

    “Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources of the State will not be equal to the strain.” (YEP)

    “Now, when your weapons are dulled, your ardor damped, your strength exhausted and your treasure spent, other chieftains will spring up to take advantage of your extremity. Then no man, however wise, will be able to avert the consequences that must ensue.” (THINK CHINA & FRIENDS)

    “Thus, though we have heard of stupid haste in war, cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays.” (YEP)

    “There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.” (YEP)

    “It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand the profitable way of carrying it on.” (YOUR MORON IN CHIEF & HIS MORON ADVISORS ARE A BUNCH OF DRAFT DODGERS)

    “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” (YEP)

    Looks like the US military is fucked…….

    We may end up defeating your “empire” without having to fire a shot…