Let’s review, shall we?
“We’re making steady progress. A free Iraq will mean a peaceful world. And it’s very important for us to stay the course, and we will stay the course.”
July 10, 2003
“But we will stay the course. We will do what is right. We will make sure that a free Iraq emerges, not only for our own security, but for the sake of free peoples everywhere. A free Iraq will change the Middle East. A free Iraq will make the world more peaceful. A free Iraq will make America more secure. We will not be shaken by thugs and terrorists.”
April 5, 2004
“Look, this is hard work. It’s hard to advance freedom in a country that has been strangled by tyranny. And, yet, we must stay the course, because the end result is in our nation’s interest.”
April 13, 2004
“Iraq is the central front in this war on terror. If we leave the streets of Baghdad before the job is done, we will have to face the terrorists in our own cities. We will stay the course, we will help this young Iraqi democracy succeed, and victory in Iraq will be a major ideological triumph in the struggle of the 21st century.”
August 30, 2006
“Well, hey, listen, we’ve never been ‘stay the course,’ George. We have been — we will complete the mission, we will do our job, and help achieve the goal, but we’re constantly adjusting to tactics. Constantly.”
–President Bush, to George Stephanopoulos
Granted, he did say this last year:
“Some critics continue to assert that we have no plan in Iraq except to, ‘stay the course.’ If by ‘stay the course,’ they mean we will not allow the terrorists to break our will, they are right. If by ‘stay the course,’ they mean we will not permit al Qaeda to turn Iraq into what Afghanistan was under the Taliban — a safe haven for terrorism and a launching pad for attacks on America — they are right, as well. If by ‘stay the course’ they mean that we’re not learning from our experiences, or adjusting our tactics to meet the challenges on the ground, then they’re flat wrong.”
November 30, 2005
Maybe the reason more people aren’t screaming, “Flip-Flop!” is that they’re glad that it finally appears that some re-thinking may not be beyond the realm of possibility.