New York Times On Bush's Speech
We did not expect Mr. Bush would apologize for the misinformation that helped lead us into this war, or for the catastrophic mistakes his team made in running the military operation. But we had hoped he would resist the temptation to raise the bloody flag of 9/11 over and over again to justify a war in a country that had nothing whatsoever to do with the terrorist attacks.I watched the speech with the low expectations that I always have for Bush. As he said just last month, “...in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda."
Sadly, Mr. Bush wasted his opportunity last night, giving a speech that only answered questions no one was asking. He told the nation, again and again, that a stable and democratic Iraq would be worth American sacrifices, while the nation was wondering whether American sacrifices could actually produce a stable and democratic Iraq.
The president, who is going to be in office for another three and a half years, cannot continue to obsess about self-justification and the need to color Iraq with the memory of 9/11. The nation does not want it and cannot afford it.
Anyone who tuned in last night expecting him to show leadership and to do anything but say “September 11” and “freedom” over and over again, must have gone to bed very disappointed.