How not to sell a "surge," Part II

What the president used to say about sending more troops to Iraq.

Published January 8, 2007 3:44PM (EST)

Think Progress finds one more American opposed to sending more troops to Iraq: George W. Bush, circa June 2005:

"Some Americans ask me, if completing the mission is so important, why don't you send more troops? If our commanders on the ground say we need more troops, I will send them. But our commanders tell me they have the number of troops they need to do their job. Sending more Americans would undermine our strategy of encouraging Iraqis to take the lead in this fight. And sending more Americans would suggest that we intend to stay forever, when we are, in fact, working for the day when Iraq can defend itself and we can leave. As we determine the right force level, our troops can know that I will continue to be guided by the advice that matters: the sober judgment of our military leaders."

Of course, those would be the same military leaders who argued against sending more troops to Iraq -- right up until the time the president pushed them aside en route to announcing his plan to send more troops to Iraq.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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George W. Bush Iraq Iraq War Middle East War Room