Friday 24 May 2019

Mission Accomplished: Trump uses phrase that haunted Bush

President Bush was heavily criticised for the move.

Trump Mission
Trump Mission

By Catherine Lucey, Associated Press

As he declared the US-led airstrikes against Syria a success, President Donald Trump adopted a phrase that a previous president came to regret — “mission accomplished”.

On Saturday, President Trump tweeted: “A perfectly executed strike last night. Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!”

In May 2003, President George W Bush stood on an aircraft carrier under a giant “Mission Accomplished” banner and declared that “major combat operations in Iraq have ended” — just six weeks after the invasion.

But the war dragged on for many years after that and the banner became a symbol of US misjudgments and mistakes in the long and costly conflict.

President Bush was heavily criticised for the move.

After shifting explanations, the White House eventually said the “Mission Accomplished” phrase referred to the carrier’s crew completing its 10-month mission, not the military completing its mission in Iraq.

President Bush, in October 2003, disavowed any connection with the “Mission Accomplished” message.

He said the White House had nothing to do with the banner; a spokesman later said the ship’s crew asked for the sign and the White House staff had it made by a private vendor.

Former White House press secretary Dana Perino said in 2008: “We have certainly paid a price for not being more specific on that banner.”

Press Association

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News