Bush Asserts U.S. Is Winning Iraq War:
Democrats were scornful even before the president spoke. Regarding a turnover to Iraqi troops, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said Bush "has to tell us how we're going to get there. The people on the ground said there is one battalion that can fight alone.
"The last speech he gave, he used the word `victory' 14 times. What does that mean?" asked Reid.
Arguing against withdrawal, Bush said that "to retreat before victory would be an act of recklessness and dishonor and I will not allow."
As he has in the past three weeks, Bush acknowledged that missteps and setbacks and took responsibility for ordering the invasion based on faulty intelligence.
But, he said, "Not only can we win the war in Iraq — we are winning the war in Iraq."
He said there were only two options for the United States — victory or defeat.
"And the need for victory is larger than any president or political party because the security of our people is in the balance. I do not expect you to support everything I do but tonight I have a request: Do not give in to despair and do not give up on this fight for freedom."
Shorter George Bush: It's easy to call my political rivals defeatists when I refuse to define "victory."
"Victory" is Bush's new "freedom," a word to be repeated endlessly, a stick of a purposely-undefined concept to bash non-wingnuts with.
Folks, this is a long established pattern, and it's not just a rhetorical exercise. An open-ended, ill- or non-defined concept is, ultimately, an excuse. "Good," "evil," "freedom," "war on terror," "victory" -- all these are not instances of moral clarity, as the wingnuts like to tell us, but of obfuscation. Because it enables and perpetuates the Calvinball desires of the Bushies. All these things can mean anything at any given time, so there's no accountability; the dividend it pays is that he's always right and non-wingnuts are always wrong.