On May 1, 2003, standing directly under a “Mission Accomplished” banner, President George W. Bush claimed victory in Iraq in what came to be known as the “Mission Accomplished” speech.
“In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed,” Bush said.
The speech eventually sparked criticism, as Bush’s remarks appeared to claim victory just six weeks after the invasion in Iraq. The war in Iraq continued for several more years, and Bush’s speech has been regarded as a symbol of misjudgment under his administration.
Below are the top newscasts regarding Bush’s speech:
President Bush gave his full “Mission Accomplished” speech in an MSNBC broadcast. Bush said Americans will never forget the impact of 9/11, and that U.S. and coalition allies had prevailed in Iraq and that the country had been liberated.
Watch the full speech below:
In a highlighted clip from the Associated Press archive, viewers can see some of the key points of Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” speech.
“The liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror. We have removed an ally of Al Qaeda and cut off a source of terrorist funding,” Bush said. “And this much is certain: No terrorist network will gain weapons of mass destruction from the Iraqi regime because that regime is no more.”
Following the “Mission Accomplished” speech, John Kerry, his Democratic political opponent in the 2004 elections, criticized the Republican president’s remarks.
Kerry said, “We need to put pride aside, in order to build a stable Iraq.” Kerry insinuated that President Bush made the speech to boost the morale of Americans, after entering a rather aggressive war.
Five years after giving his “Mission Accomplished” speech, the Bush administration admitted that they had made a mistake with the phrase. The administration stated that the banner should’ve been more specific, as it pertained to the crew of the USS Abraham Lincoln.