Rosen falsely asserted that Bush administration figures "never said" Iraq war would be "easy" or "quick"

››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

Discussing the Iraq war during his Newsradio 850 KOA show, Mike Rosen made the false claim that "people around" President Bush "never said" the conflict would be "easy" or "quick." In fact, several administration officials did just that; Vice President Dick Cheney stated the war would take "[w]eeks rather than months."

Disagreeing with a caller on the January 24 broadcast of his Newsradio 850 KOA show, host Mike Rosen falsely stated that "people around" President Bush "never said" the Iraq war "would be easy" or "quick." In fact, a variety of Bush administration figures such as Vice President Dick Cheney did make such statements publicly at the outset of the war.

On the March 16, 2003, broadcast of CBS' Face the Nation, Cheney stated, "I think [the war will] go relatively quickly." When host Bob Schieffer pressed the vice president to offer a more precise estimate of how long it would last, Cheney replied, "Weeks rather than months."

Other examples of Bush administration officials who made similar predictions:

  • In a February 13, 2002, Washington Post op-ed, Ken Adelman, at the time a member of the Defense Policy Board, stated: "I believe demolishing Hussein's military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk. Let me give simple, responsible reasons: (1) It was a cakewalk last time; (2) they've become much weaker; (3) we've become much stronger; and (4) now we're playing for keeps."
  • According to a March 31, 2003, USA Today article, Gen. Richard Myers, then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters on March 4, 2003: " 'What you'd like to do is have it [Iraq] be a short, short conflict. ... Iraq is much weaker than they were back in the '90s,' when its forces were routed from Kuwait."
  • The same article also noted the comments of then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, who said in a March 11, 2003, speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars: "The Iraqi people understand what this crisis is about. Like the people of France in the 1940s, they view us as their hoped-for liberator."

From the January 24 broadcast of Newsradio 850 KOA's The Mike Rosen Show:

CALLER: What I'm saying is, he is trying to garner public support for a long, long engagement.

ROSEN: Yes, and in -- in that -- in that case, he has not succeeded.

CALLER: Right, and --

ROSEN: In his speech last night --

CALLER: -- this is part of where the bitterness comes from the American people, because when he told us that we were going into Iraq, he didn't tell us that we were going to be engaged, as he said last night in his speech, in a generational war.

ROSEN: From the very beginning, Don Rumsfeld said this would be a long, hard slog.

CALLER: Right. But, I mean that's how -- not how. But so -- you know, and then the other --

ROSEN: But -- oh yeah, right, but that's not how, and then you start mumbling about something else. I've just given you a rebuttal to your assertion, which can't be defended. President Bush never said this would be easy, and people around him never said it would be easy either. And they never said it would be quick.

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