Trash Talk Anniversary

by digby

There is a lot of competition for the stupidest Bush comment ever. "Mission Accomplished" always leaps to mind. But in my informal survey of my own household (including the cat) and personal friends, this is the one that makes everyone groan the loudest. Four years ago today, this was the top report on CNN:

Thursday, July 3, 2003 Posted: 10:54 AM EDT (1454 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) --Challenging militants who attack U.S. forces in Iraq, President Bush said Wednesday they would be dealt with harshly, and declared, "Bring 'em on."

For the second day in a row, Bush vowed that attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq will not shake his administration's resolve to stay in that country until a strong and stable democratic government takes root.

"Anybody who wants to harm American troops will be found and brought to justice," Bush said. "There are some that feel like if they attack us that we may decide to leave prematurely. They don't understand what they are talking about if that is the case. Let me finish. There are some who feel like the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is, bring 'em on."

This was the ultimate expression of Bush's puerile trash talk style of leadership. (And an awful lot of people thought at the time that it was sooo manly and virile and hot.)

Here was where we stood that day:

Since May 1 -- when Bush declared an end to major combat in Iraq -- there have been more than two dozen "hostile" U.S. military deaths in Iraq, according to the Pentagon.

Bush said on Tuesday that rebuilding Iraq, following a U.S.-led invasion there, will be a "massive and long-term undertaking," one that he suggested would require further sacrifice.


The administration has not provided a specific timeline for when the United States will pull troops out of Iraq.

"We're not leaving until we accomplish the task," Bush said Wednesday.

Nearly 3500 hundred Americans have died since then and tens of thousands have been wounded. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are dead and millions are refugees. They brought it on alright.

"Bring it on" may not have been the stupidest thing he ever said, but it had the gravest consequences. With that comment, he verified once and for all that he was a fool whose biggest weakness was that he saw all opposition as a personal attack on his manhood. They've been working him ever since. With great success.

Update: Joan Walsh notes that Bring It On Day was very special for another reason as well.