…With the fifth anniversary of his invasion of Iraq coming next week, and a decision on troop cuts in Iraq on his plate, Mr. Bush used a 30-minute speech before an enthusiastic audience — the National Religious Broadcasters association — to make the case that liberty is on the march, so long as the United States does not lose its nerve.
“The decision to remove Saddam Hussein was the right decision early in my presidency,” he said, to rousing applause and a standing ovation. “It is the right decision at this point in my presidency, and it will forever be the right decision.”
The speech was the first in a series of three talks that Mr. Bush will deliver to “set the table,” in the words of one senior White House official, for the upcoming Congressional testimony of General David H. Petraeus, the top American commander in Iraq, and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, the top diplomat there….
Oh…it’s offensive, alright.
Greg Mitchell’s new book, So Wrong For So Long, chronicles the ineptitude and outright fabricated nonsense, pageantry, and theme music that passed for news coverage in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq and afterward. Greg will be our Book Salon guest on Sunday, and he gives a little preview of some of the media lowlights. Via Mother Jones:
Here is a list of 18 of those nearly forgotten episodes, in roughly chronological order.
1) The day before the invasion, Bill O’Reilly said, "If the Americans go in and overthrow Saddam Hussein and it’s clean, he has nothing, I will apologize to the nation; I will not trust the Bush administration again, all right?"
2) Phil Donahue lost his show at MSNBC, he later claimed, because he did not wave the flag enough. A leaked NBC memo confirmed Donahue’s suspicion, noting that the host "presents a difficult public face for NBC in a time of war…. At the same time our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity."
3) After the fall of Baghdad, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews declared, "We’re all neocons now."
4) The same day, Joe Scarborough, also on MSNBC, said, "I’m waiting to hear the words ‘I was wrong’ from some of the world’s most elite journalists, politicians, and Hollywood types."
5) The New York Times’ Thomas Friedman wrote, "As far as I am concerned, we do not need to find any weapons of mass destruction to justify this war…. Mr. Bush doesn’t owe the world any explanation for missing chemical weapons."
6) President Bush’s comedy routine during the Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner in Washington, D.C., on March 24, 2004, included a bit about the still-missing WMD. While a slide show of the president scouring the White House was projected on the wall behind him, he joked, "Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere…Nope, no weapons over there…Maybe under here?" Most of the crowd roared, and there was little criticism in the media in following days. Mother Jones’ David Corn, then Washington editor of The Nation, was one of the few attendees to criticize the routine. Corn wondered if they would have laughed if Ronald Reagan had, following the truck bombing of our Marine barracks in Beirut, which killed 241, said at a similar dinner, "Guess we forgot to put in a stoplight."…
Yeah, I’m sure that O’Reilly apology will be coming along any day now. Especially now that there is definitive proof from the Pentagon that there was no connection whatsoever between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. *whistles*
So Wrong For So Long — ought to be engraved over the Bush Presidential Library, don’t you think? With neon letters for nighttime. Maybe they can add a wing for exceptional press corp ass puckery…
(YouTube — Tears For Fears, Everybody Wants To Rule The World.)