A fresh attempt by President Bush to redefine success in Iraq was undermined within hours by the American military and Iraqi officials.
Mr Bush surprised America by admitting yesterday to growing similarities between the wars in Iraq and Vietnam. But he also emphasised that success should not be measured by the body count, but in terms of the ability of Iraqis to defend themselves, their access to healthcare and education.
"I define success or failure as whether or not the Iraqis will be able to defend themselves. I define success or failure as whether schools are being built or hospitals are being opened. I define success or failure as whether we're seeing a democracy grow in the heart of the Middle East," he told ABC News.
Only hours after his statement Major-General William Caldwell, spokesman for the US forces in Iraq, said that the results of a vast security operation to secure Baghdad - the key to this war - had been "disheartening".
And there is little more heartening news from the results of the $30 billion (£16 billion) to $40 billion American reconstruction effort. Since the invasion not a single Iraqi hospital has been built, according to Amar al-Saffar, in charge of construction at the Health Ministry.
In fact, no hospital had been built since the Qaddumiya hospital opened in 1986 in Baghdad, he said. When the war started it had 20 intensive care unit beds. Now it has half that, with many patients forced to buy their own oxygen supplies on the black market. Read on...