Apologize to the American People, Mr. President - June 18, 2004

June 18, 2004
Apologize to the American People, Mr. President
"Now President Bush should apologize to the American people, who were led to believe something different. Of all the ways Mr. Bush persuaded Americans to back the invasion of Iraq last year, the most plainly dishonest was his effort to link his war of choice with the battle against terrorists worldwide." - The Times June 17 editorial, after the release of the interim reports from the 9-11 Commission.

Bush "Sharply Contradicted" on Iraq-Al Qaeda Ties

"The staff of the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks sharply contradicted one of President Bush's central justifications for the Iraq war, reporting on Wednesday that there did not appear to have been a 'collaborative relationship' between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein." - Philip Shenon and Christopher Marquis, June 17.

Bush "Directly Contradicted" on Iraq-Al Qaeda Ties
"As for Iraq, the commission's staff said its investigation showed that the government of Mr. Hussein had rebuffed or ignored requests from Qaeda leaders for help in the 1990's, a conclusion that directly contradicts a series of public statements President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney made before and after last year's invasion of Iraq in justifying the war." - Philip Shenon and Christopher Marquis, June 17.

Bush "Strikingly Contradicted" on Iraq-Al Qaeda Ties
"The contradictions between the staff reports' findings and past White House statements on Iraq were all the more striking given that the commission's staff director, and the final editor of the reports, is Philip D. Zelikow, a University of Virginia historian who was a member of Mr. Bush's White House transition team and who served on his Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board until last year." - Philip Shenon and Christopher Marquis, June 17.

"Spotty Scorecard" on the Iraq War for Bush

"The bipartisan commission investigating the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks further called into question on Wednesday one of President Bush's rationales for the war with Iraq, and again put him on the defensive over an issue the White House was once confident would be a political plus. In questioning the extent of any ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda, the commission weakened the already spotty scorecard on Mr. Bush's justifications for sending the military to topple Saddam Hussein." - From Richard Stevenson's "News Analysis" of June 17.

Bush: No Ronald Reagan
"As Republicans try to cloak President Bush in the mantle of Ronald Reagan, their biggest obstacle may be Mr. Reagan's own family. Even before Mr. Reagan died, Nancy Reagan and her daughter, Patti Davis, made their opposition to Mr. Bush's policy on stem-cell research well known. But on Friday, at the culmination of an emotional week of mourning for the former president, his son Ron Reagan delivered a eulogy that castigated politicians who use religion 'to gain political advantage,' a comment that was being interpreted in Washington as a not-so-subtle slap at Mr. Bush." - Sheryl Gay Stolberg, June 15.

Fellow Panderers-In-Chief
"The White House's efforts to follow the Reagan playbook have been nothing if not relentless. As Michael Deaver's crew famously would have Reagan cut ribbons in front of nursing homes even as he cut funds for their construction, so Mr. Bush can be found communing with nature each time his administration takes a whack at the environment.Those who dislike both men see less salutary parallels. Both presidents tried every stunt imaginable to create the illusion that their wartime service had not been confined to the home front. Both pandered to the religious right by impeding urgently needed federal medical research that would have saved lives (Reagan with AIDS, Mr. Bush with stem cells)." - Arts editor and columnist Frank Rich, June 13.

Things Were So Secure and Non-Traumatic Under Saddam
"Tripped up by problems ranging from sabotage to its reliance on by-the-book engineering, the United States has failed by a wide margin to meet its long-stated goal of reviving Iraq's electricity output for the start of the searing summer. The American-led occupation missed its goal by as much as 30 percent, starving air-conditioners, lights, factories and oil pumps. That has damaged the occupation's efforts to foster stability and good will among a populace already traumatized by the failure to guarantee their security." - James Glanz, June 14.