Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Sunday, May 29, 2005


It's the strangest thing. Friday afternoon I was driving down to my brother-in-law's place and listening to Public Radio when I heard the voice of President Bush say something that I have been waiting for a very long time to hear, yet I have been unable to find a reference either in the newspaper or online to those words. Without a reference, I dare not repeat the words for fear that it must have been an hallucination on my part. But here is the gist of it.
On the evening of the first day of the Iraq War in March 2003, President Bush made a speech in which he promised America that the troops would stay in Iraq not one day longer than it took to get the job done, or something to that effect. He has repeated that phrase several times in speeches that have reached my ears. But I have been listening for any kind of definition of just what that job was. At first, we all assumed that it was the removal of Saddam Hussein from power and the removal of "weapons of mass murder" (or WMDs) from Iraq's arsenals. Those jobs were long since accomplished or found to be unnecessary, yet the troops are deeper into the Iraq War now than ever before. Since the removal of Saddam and the discovery that there were indeed no arsenals in Iraq of WMDs, we have assumed that there were other jobs in Iraq that needed to be done before "not one day longer" applied. There was the establishment of "democracy," there was fighting terrorists over there rather than here on our own soil, there was the training of Iraqi police and defense forces, and a dozen or more other essential jobs.
But Bush never seemed to quite link any of those "jobs" with the actual withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. In fact if anything, Bush has seemed to want to justify keeping the troops in Iraq indefinitely. He has linked the Iraq War to the War on Terror which we all assume will continue indefinitely. There has been the hushed issue of the 14 permanent military bases in Iraq that the US has been investing heavily in. Neither Bush nor the Pentagon has ever really clearly stated that the troops would come home once Iraq's defense forces were trained. We only assumed that they might, basing our assumptions on official allusions.
So Friday when I heard Bush's voice stating that the troops would come home once the Iraqi defense and police forces were trained and capable of securing Iraq's government, when I heard Bush himself clearly making that link, it caught my attention. But now I can find no mention of this anywhere so I am beginning to wonder if I was just hallucinating.
If anyone else heard what I heard or has a link to any media coverage of this, could you maybe back me up here? It seems to me that this would be a significant historical event if indeed it did happen. If Bush actually said this, he should be held to his word, don't you think?


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