Friday, September 01, 2006

NYT: Bush on another road show to sell the war

In Latest Push, Bush Cites Risk in Quitting Iraq - New York Times: "The latest White House offensive — the third major public relations effort in the past year to offset a decline in public support for the Iraq war and place it in the context of a broader cause — began unfolding this week, with combative speeches to veterans groups by Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld. Both invoked variations of the word “appease’’ to characterize critics of the president’s policies, with Mr. Rumsfeld saying they had not “learned history’s lessons.’’

That language drew an immediate backlash from Democrats on Wednesday, and Mr. Bush did not adopt it. But he did echo the allusions to the failed strategy of trying to appease Nazi Germany. He called today’s terrorists ‘’successors to Fascists, to Nazis, to Communists and other totalitarians of the 20th century,’’ and cautioned Americans against concluding that five years after the Sept. 11 attacks the threat had receded.

“That feeling,’’ he said, “is natural and comforting — and wrong.’’

It was an aggressive opening salvo to the midterm election season, timed to coincide with the days preceding the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. In forceful language, the president painted the war on terror as an epic struggle between good and evil.

While he predicted victory, resurrecting a word he had dropped months ago and using it 12 times in a 44-minute speech, Mr. Bush also cautioned that the road ahead would be fraught with obstacles."


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