Tuesday, May 01, 2007

May 1, 2003

The President, May 1, 2003, from the deck of the Lincoln, in front of a banner saying "Mission Accomplished":
Thank you all very much. Admiral Kelly, Captain Card, officers and sailors of the USS Abraham Lincoln, my fellow Americans: Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. (Applause.) And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country.
Yesterday, in Washington, the State Department released a report.
Terrorist attacks against noncombatants nearly doubled in Iraq from 2005 to 2006 and were up sharply in Afghanistan, with those two countries alone accounting for a 29 percent increase in terrorism worldwide, according to a report released Monday by the State Department.
Lets go back to May 1, 2003. The President:
In the battle of Afghanistan, we destroyed the Taliban, many terrorists, and the camps where they trained. We continue to help the Afghan people lay roads, restore hospitals, and educate all of their children.
And yesterday in Kabul:
United States Special Forces said they killed more than 130 Taliban in two recent days of heavy fighting in a valley in western Afghanistan, but hundreds of angry villagers protested in nearby Shindand on Monday, saying dozens of civilians had been killed when the Americans called in airstrikes.
The President in 2003:
For a hundred of years of war, culminating in the nuclear age, military technology was designed and deployed to inflict casualties on an ever-growing scale. In defeating Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, Allied forces destroyed entire cities, while enemy leaders who started the conflict were safe until the final days. Military power was used to end a regime by breaking a nation.

Today, we have the greater power to free a nation by breaking a dangerous and aggressive regime. With new tactics and precision weapons, we can achieve military objectives without directing violence against civilians. No device of man can remove the tragedy from war; yet it is a great moral advance when the guilty have far more to fear from war than the innocent.
And in Kabul yesterday:
But the local residents said that civilians were killed in the bombardment and that some drowned in the river as they fled, according to a local member of Parliament, Maulavi Gul Ahmad. News agencies reported that demonstrators said women and children were among the dead.

Mr. Ahmad condemned the bombing and said that the fighting angered local residents because the Americans raided their houses at night.

“They should not do that,” he said in a telephone interview. “The number that they claim — that 130 Taliban were killed — is totally wrong. There are no Taliban there.”

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