Plenty of 'Turning Points' Along the Way
Skeptics of President Bush's strategy in Iraq highlight his frequent optimistic assessments of conditions there. Bush has emphasized a series of "turning points" over the years that he said signaled more progress to come:
"We're helping Iraqis take responsibility for their own security. We're continuing to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure, and we're helping Iraq move to free elections. 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
"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. The Iraqi people will make their way to polling centers across their nation."
-- January 2005
"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 2005
"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. . . . we believe this is a turning point for the Iraqi citizens, and it's a new chapter in our partnership." -- May 1, 2006
"The progress we've made has been hard-fought, and it's been incremental. There have been setbacks and missteps -- like Abu Ghraib -- that were felt immediately and have been difficult to overcome. Yet we have now reached a turning point in the struggle between freedom and terror." -- May 22, 2006