June 29, 2005

Terrorist haven? Since when?
"Bush's speech could widen his credibility gap."

"More than two years ago, Bush argued that Saddam Hussein's control over Iraq could make the nation a haven for terrorists. But in his nationally televised speech, Bush asserted that the tumult that has followed Hussein's removal created the same threat. That argument drew instant scorn from some Democrats, who argued that Bush was defending the continued military operations on the basis of a threat that did not exist before the invasion." - Ron Brownstein, in the Los Angeles Times.

Peter Canellos in the Boston Globe: "In a bold redefinition of a war that began primarily as an attempt to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction, President Bush yesterday said Iraq is where the United States will make its stand against terrorists from around the world who flowed into the country after the fall of Saddam Hussein. There was no discussion, however, of how those fighters slipped through borders that US forces failed to secure, or any other flaws in postwar planning."

"Bush was greeted with stony, untelegenic silence by the troops the White House had gathered at Ft. Bragg to serve as his audience. There was only one outburst of applause, apparently provoked by a member of Bush's own advance team." - Dan Froomkin, the WaComPo.

"NBC's Kelly O'Donnell, reporting from Fort Bragg, said afterward that the applause appeared to have been 'triggered by members of the president's advance team' and that once they began clapping, the soldiers joined in."

The Washington Post: "Mr. Bush didn't explain how a war meant to remove a tyrant believed to wield weapons of mass destruction turned into a fight against Muslim militants, a transformation caused in part by his administration's many errors since Saddam Hussein's defeat more than two years ago.

The Los Angeles Times: "President Bush's pep talk to the nation Tuesday night was a major disappointment. He again rewrote history by lumping together the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the need for war in Iraq, when, in fact, Saddam Hussein's Iraq had no connection to Al Qaeda. Bush spoke of 'difficult and dangerous' work in Iraq that produces 'images of violence and bloodshed,' but he glossed over the reality of how bad the situation is.

The Baltimore Sun: "Mr. Bush addressed the nation last night in an attempt to rally support for his policy on Iraq, and instead it became disturbingly clear that the events of the past two years have barely made an impression on him.


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