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Mission Accomplished? Uh, Whoops, Not Quite!

By Shlomo Maital

Bush’s Mission Accomplished speech

   A small bit of 17-year-old history: In his “Mission Accomplished” speech (named for a banner displayed above the speaker) United States President George W. Bush spoke on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003.   Bush stated it was the end to major combat operations in Iraq.  We won. Yay!  

   Bush’s claim —and the sign itself—became controversial after warfare in Iraq increased during the Iraqi insurgency. The vast majority of casualties, both military and civilian, occurred after the speech. 

   Fast forward. In the Wall Street Journal, Vice-President Mike Pence declares, just two weeks ago: “There Isn’t a Coronavirus ‘Second Wave’. With testing, treatments and vaccine trials ramping up, we are far better off than the media report.”   Meanwhile, the US is among world leaders with some 50,000 new cases daily. And President Trump? CNN reports: in mid June, “ when U.S. health officials reported nearly 27,000 new Covid-19 cases, President Trump said in a television interview that the virus was “dying out.” He brushed off concerns about an upcoming rally in Tulsa, Okla., because the number of cases there is “very miniscule,” despite the state’s surging infection rate.”

     Mission Accomplished? A victory lap?   Not quite. And people are dying as a result.

     My country Israel is no exception. We are among world leaders in new cases per 1,000 population. And the numbers are rising.   A bloated coalition cabinet is like a carving I once saw, a two headed snake, one head trying to eat the other.   This, after our Prime Minister took ‘credit’ for Israel’s astounding success in defeating the coronavirus.

     And it is no second wave. It is the continued first wave, of a sneaky wily piece of ribonucleic acid that is humiliating the vaunted brainpower of humans, 86 billion brain cells for each of the 8 billion or so people on earth. Two to zero, in favor of the virus.

     No, mission not accomplished. And the arrogance of claiming that it is, is itself criminal.

Blog entries written by Prof. Shlomo Maital

Shlomo Maital