President Bush declared last week that the formation of a new cabinet in Iraq marked a "turning point" and a "watershed event" -- the latest of many he has detected in the last three years:
"Now that we have reached this important milestone, I urge the nations of the world to contribute, militarily and financially, towards fulfilling Security Council Resolution 1483's vision of a free and secure Iraq."
-- July 23, 2003,
after the formation of
the interim Governing Council
"Today, as Iraqis join the free peoples of the world, we mark a turning point for the Middle East and a crucial advance for human liberty."
-- March 19, 2004,
marking the anniversary
of the U.S.-led invasion
"A turning point will come in less than two weeks. On June the 30th, full sovereignty will be transferred to the interim government. The Coalition Provisional Authority will cease to exist."
-- June 18, 2004
"Tomorrow the world will witness a turning point in the history of Iraq, a milestone in the advance of freedom, and a crucial advance in the war on terror."
-- Jan. 29, 2005,
marking the first parliamentary elections
"The establishment of a free Iraq at the heart of the Middle East will be a crushing defeat to the forces of tyranny and terror, and a watershed event in the global democratic revolution."
-- April 12, 2005
"When the history of this period is written, the liberation of Afghanistan and the liberation of Iraq will be remembered as great turning points in the story of freedom."
-- June 28, 2005
"So, again, I congratulate the Iraqi people. I thank you for meeting this milestone."
-- Oct. 16, 2005,
after Iraqi voters approved
a new constitution
"There's still a lot of difficult work to be done in Iraq, but thanks to the courage of the Iraqi people, the year 2005 will be recorded as a turning point in the history of Iraq, the history of the Middle East, and the history of freedom.
-- Dec. 12, 2005,
just days before fresh parliamentary elections
"And there's a lot of joy as far as I'm concerned in seeing the Iraqi people accomplish this major milestone in the march to democracy."
-- Dec. 15, 2005
"The formation of this government is an important milestone toward our victory in Iraq."
-- April 23, 2006,
when Iraqis settled on a new prime minister
"We believe this is a turning point for the Iraqi citizens, and it's a new chapter in our partnership."
-- May 1, 2006
"This new government represents a turning point in Iraq, a new chapter in our engagement there, and an opportunity for progress."
-- May 4, 2006
"The main reason I've come today is to talk to you about a watershed event that took place this weekend in Iraq. . . . We have now reached a turning point in the struggle between freedom and terror."
-- May 22, 2006,
after a new cabinet was appointed