Mission Accomplished!

Or How We Won the War in Iraq, Christopher Cerf, Victor S. Navasky, Simon & Schuster.


There's a school of thought that says Americans would prefer their political leaders to be “strong and wrong” rather than weak and right. “Mission Accomplished!” is a vivid reminder of how consistently and overwhelmingly wrong the Bush Administration has been when it comes to Iraq.

This 200-page book consists of a collection of quotes (issued by the likes of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell and dozens of others) on subjects like weapons of mass destruction, troop levels, casualties, and the projected cost of the occupation. While the illustrations and authors’ commentary add a bit of levity to the subject matter, “Mission Accomplished!” is thoroughly depressing—a devastating indictment of the relatively small group of people who misled the American public into a costly, ill-conceived conflict.

Notably, Republican presidential candidate John McCain is quoted many times: “I believe … that the Iraqi people will greet us as liberators” [March 20, 2003] and “This conflict is … going to be relatively short” [March 23, 2003] are among McCain’s most memorable predictions. Meanwhile, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is conspicuously absent. The authors cheekily attribute Obama’s prescience to his lack of foreign policy expertise, saying, “Obama was against the war from the start, but that was because he lacked the experience” to know any better.