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Wednesday, April 14, 2004


Was there a time when reporters were journalists?
Or was that my imagination/denial/ignorance?

Leading US dailies said US President George W. Bush showed
determination to stay the course in Iraq but offered no new
into how he plans to convert the country to democracy

IF YOU MISSED THE NEWS CONFERENCE LAST NIGHT, the White House has an online transcript. I was very encouraged by the President's inclusion of Israel in his description of global terror:
"The violence we are seeing in Iraq is familiar. The terrorist who takes hostages, or plants a roadside bomb near Baghdad is serving the same ideology of murder that kills innocent people on trains in Madrid, and murders children on buses in Jerusalem, and blows up a nightclub in Bali, and cuts the throat of a young reporter for being a Jew."
The reporters were, in general, disgraceful. They made no attempt to hide their political agenda to cast the President in the most negative light possible.

For what it's worth, I found him believable, terribly earnest and in possession of the courage of his convictions. I was satisfied with the information he presented, and feel like I understand what he intends.

I watched the FoxNews aftermath, and couldn't believe that Susan Estrich sat there and questioned the connection between 9/11 and the war in Iraq. For her, and anyone else who still doesn't get it, the connection is TERRORISM. As explained by the President last night:
The servants of this ideology seek tyranny in the Middle East and beyond. They seek to oppress and persecute women. They seek the death of Jews and Christians, and every Muslim who desires peace over theocratic terror. They seek to intimidate America into panic and retreat, and to set free nations against each other. And they seek weapons of mass destruction, to blackmail and murder on a massive scale.
Think of it like the mafia: there may be different "families," but they are interrelated and their goal is held in concert.
Polls show that support for your policy is declining and that fewer than half Americans now support it. What does that say to you and how do you answer the Vietnam comparison?

How do you explain to Americans how you got that so wrong? And how do you answer your opponents, who say that you took this nation to war on the basis of what have turned out to be a series a false premises?

Two-and-a-half years later, do you feel any sense of personal responsibility for September 11th?

. . . you never admit a mistake. Is that a fair criticism? And do you believe there were any errors in judgment that you made . . . ?

. . . Richard Clarke, offered an unequivocal apology to the American people for failing them prior to 9/11. Do you believe the American people deserve a similar apology from you, and would you be prepared to give them one?

Your critics . . . say. . . your coalition is window dressing. How would you answer those critics?

You have been accused of letting the 9/11 threat mature too far, but not letting the Iraq threat mature far enough. . . could you respond to that general criticism?

Will it have been worth it, even if you lose your job because of it?

After 9/11, what would your biggest mistake be, would you say, and what lessons have you learned from it?

. . . with public support for your policies in Iraq falling off the way they have -- quite significantly over the past couple of months -- I guess I'd like to know if you feel in any way that you've failed as a communicator on this topic?

. . . you deliver a lot of speeches and a lot of them contain similar phrases, and they vary very little from one to the next . . . guess I just wonder if you feel that you have failed in any way? You don't have many of these press conferences, where you engage in this kind of exchange. Have you failed in any way to really make the case to the American public?
And yet, Gd bless him, the President ended on a high note:
"I feel strongly about what we're doing. I feel strongly that the course this administration has taken will make America more secure and the world more free, and, therefore, the world more peaceful. It's a conviction that's deep in my soul. And I will say it as best as I possibly can to the American people.

I look forward to the debate and the campaign. I look forward to helping -- for the American people to hear, what is a proper use of American power; do we have an obligation to lead, or should we shirk responsibility. That's how I view this debate. And I look forward to making it, Don. I'll do it the best I possibly can. I'll give it the best shot. I'll speak as plainly as I can.

One thing is for certain, though, about me -- and the world has learned this -- when I say something, I mean it. And the credibility of the United States is incredibly important for keeping world peace and freedom.

Thank you all very much."
Maybe it's the press that needs to come up with some "new insight."