Monday, May 01, 2006

turn, turn, turn

yes, folks, you've heard this song before. it's sung to the tune of "the light at the end of the tunnel". 1

from today's remarks at the white house, on the third anniversary of bush's "mission accomplished" speech:

bush: a new iraqi government represents a strategic opportunity for america — and the whole world, for that matter. this nation of ours and our coalition partners are going to work with the new leadership to strengthen our mutual efforts to achieve success, a victory in this war on terror. this is a — we believe this is a turning point for the iraqi citizens, and it's a new chapter in our partnership. (may 1, 2006)

after the nomination of the prime minister:

cheney: i think we'll look back several years from now and see that 2005 was really a turning point, in the sense the progress we made both in terms of training iraqi forces, because we've now got a large number of iraqis taking the lead various places around the country from a security and military standpoint, but also because of the political milestones that were achieved ...

i think about when we look back and get some historical perspective on this period, i'll believe that the period we were in through 2005 was, in fact, a turning point; that putting in place a democratic government in iraq was the — sort of the cornerstone, if you will, of victory against the insurgents. (february 7, 2006)

after the iraqi elections ...

cheney: the basic point, and one i've made already that i believe that the elections were the turning point. and we had that election in january — first free election in iraq in decades — and that we will be able to look back from the perspective of time, and see that 2005 was the turning point, was the watershed year, and that establishment of a legitimate government in iraq, which is what that whole political process is about, means the end of the insurgency, ultimately. (december 18, 2005)

before the elections ...

bush: there's still a lot of difficult work to be done in iraq, but thanks to the courage of the iraqi people, the year 2005 will be recorded as a turning point in the history of iraq, the history of the middle east, and the history of freedom. (december 12, 2005)

after the january elections ...

mrs. bush: people in the middle east and commentators around the world are beginning to wonder whether recent elections may mark a turning point as significant as the fall of the berlin wall. (march 8, 2005)

mcclellan: it marks a turning point in iraq's history and a great advance toward a brighter future for all iraqis, one that stands in stark contrast to the brutality and oppression of the past. the election also represents a body blow to the terrorists and their ideology of hatred and oppression. (january 31, 2005)

before the january elections ...

bush: tomorrow the world will witness a turning point in the history of iraq, a milestone in the advance of freedom, and a crucial advance in the war on terror. (january 29, 2005)

before the transfer of sovereignity ...

bush: a turning point will come two weeks from today. on june the 30th, governing authority will be transferred to a fully sovereign interim government, the coalition provisional authority will cease to exist, an american embassy will open in baghdad. (june 16, 2004)

bush: and this is a turning point in history. it's a — it's an important moment. and one of the reasons why i'm proud to stand here with [italian prime minister berlusconi] is he understands the stakes, he understands the importance. and like me, he shares a great sense of optimism about the future. (june 5, 2004)

at the first anniversary of the invasion ...

bush: one year ago, military forces of a strong coalition entered iraq to enforce united nations demands, to defend our security, and to liberate that country from the rule of a tyrant. for iraq, it was a day of deliverance. for the nations of our coalition, it was the moment when years of demands and pledges turned to decisive action. today, as iraqis join the free peoples of the world, we mark a turning point for the middle east, and a crucial advance for human liberty. (march 19, 2004)

after the mideast summit (and subsequent violence):

rice: the events of the last few months make clear that the middle east is living through a time of great change. and despite the tragic events of the past few days, it is also a time of great hope. president bush believes that the region is at a true turning point. he believes that the people of the middle east have a real chance to build a future of peace and freedom and opportunity. (june 12, 2003)

turning point, new chapter, milestone, cornerstone, watershed, body blow (!) — call it what you will, but a quagmire by any other name would smell just as rank.

1 a popular hit from the vietnam era:

a year ago none of us could see victory. there wasn't a prayer. now we can see it clearly — like a light at the end of a tunnel. (september 28, 1953)

— lt. gen. henri-eugene navarre, french commander-in-chief

at last there is a light at the end of a tunnel. (september 13, 1965)

— joseph alsop, syndicated columnist

i believe there is a light at the end of what has been a long and lonely tunnel. (september 21, 1966)

— president lyndon johnson

their casualties are going up at a rate they cannot sustain ... i see light at the end of the tunnel. (december 12, 1967)

— walt rostow, state department policy planning chairman

come see the light at the end of the tunnel. (december 1967)

— new year's eve party invitation, u.s. embassy, saigon

from "the experts speak: the definitive compendium of authoritative misinformation", by christopher cerf and victor navasky, 1984

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