Mission Still Not Accomplished

Published: March 20, 2008

Correction Appended

It has been five years since the United States invaded Iraq and the world watched in horror as what seemed like a swift victory by modern soldiers and 21st-century weapons became a nightmare of spiraling violence, sectarian warfare, insurgency, roadside bombings and ghastly executions. Iraq’s economy was destroyed, and America’s reputation was shredded in the torture rooms of Abu Ghraib, Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and the Central Intelligence Agency’s secret prisons.

These were hard and very costly lessons for a country that had emerged from the cold war as the world’s sole remaining superpower. Shockingly, President Bush seems to have learned none of them.

In a speech on Wednesday, the start of the war’s sixth year, Mr. Bush was stuck in the Neverland of his “Mission Accomplished