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September 17, 2006


Brendan, I've long appreciated your criticism for not just being focused rightward.

But I can't accept your suggestion that Bush's remark: "I am often asked why we are in Iraq when Saddam Hussein was not responsible for the 9/11 attacks" is a case closer.

Yes, he is explicit there, but there are constant allusions to the common umbrella of the Iraq War and 9/11, and I don't think you give enough credit to the average American's ability to glaze over that sentence in favor of Bush's allusions. A few quick examples:

"We are in a war that will set the course for this new century"

And he near seamlessly merges Iraq and 9/11 here:

"Our nation is being tested in a way that we have not been since the start of the Cold War. We saw what a handful of our enemies can do with box-cutters and plane tickets. We hear their threats to launch even more terrible attacks on our people. And we know that if they were able to get their hands on weapons of mass destruction, they would use them against us. We face an enemy determined to bring death and suffering into our homes. America did not ask for this war, and every American wishes it were over."

Without explicitly stating it, Bush went back and fourth between the war on terror (Iraq) and the tragedy of 9/11.

That gently encourages the idea that invading Iraq was, for whatever reason (including Saddam's involvement), a relevant reaction to the 9/11 attacks, and it's an impression which utterly saturated his entire speech.

It's not that Bush should never be able to discuss the two together, but that every time he does he engages in fundamentally counterproductive dishonesty.

i think you might be too smart for your own good. it's the implications that occur from constantly hearing iraq/ saddam hussein whenever this administration talks about 9/11. remember bush isn't talking to you or me when he delivers his speeches, rather average/ non-political junkies/ non-intellectuals/ etc. americans. for proof just look at the polls stating the % of americans that still believe there is a connection b/t iraq & 9/11, let alone the % that believed the connection leading up to the iraq war.

what would you say if bush talked about north korea during his 9/11 speech? i would say irrevelant to 9/11 and in poor taste. just as his mention of iraq/ saddam in his speech. yet no one believes north korea had anything to do with 9/11 b/c bush never implicates north korea whenever he speaks about 9/11.

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