Bush's Speech, June 28, 2005

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President George W. Bush's 30-minute speech to the nation on the war in Iraq and the war on terrorism delivered June 28, 2005, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, has evoked a variety of reactions worldwide.

Full Text of Speech

Noted Quote from Speech

"The work in Iraq is difficult and it is dangerous. Like most Americans, I see the images of violence and bloodshed. Every picture is horrifying, and the suffering is real. Amid all this violence, I know Americans ask the question: Is the sacrifice worth it? It is worth it, and it is vital to the future security of our country."

Fact-Checking

FactCheck.org wrote June 30, 2005, that Bush's speech was "Long On Assertion, Short On Facts": [1]

"Bush says 'progress is uneven' in Iraq, but accentuates positive evidence and mostly ignores the negative."
  • The Bloodshed: "Bush acknowledged the high level of violence in Iraq as he sought to reassure the public. ... What Bush did not mention is that by most measures the violence is getting worse."
  • Reconstruction Progress: "In talking about Iraqi reconstruction, Bush highlighted the positive and omitted the negative. ... however, State Department figures show overall electricity production is barely above pre-war levels. Iraqis still have power only 12 hours daily on average."
  • Conclusions or Facts?: "The President repeatedly stated his upbeat conclusions as though they were facts."
  • For example:
  • Bush said "They failed to break our coalition and force a mass withdrawal by our allies. They failed to incite an Iraqi civil war."
  • In fact, there have been withdrawals by allies. See coalition of the willing: beginning of the end for details.
  • Terrorism: "Similarly, Bush equated Iraqi insurgents with terrorists who would attack the US if they could. ... Despite a few public claims to the contrary, however, no solid evidence has surfaced linking Iraq to attacks on the United States, and Bush offered none in his speech."
  • Osama bin Laden: "Bush quoted a recent tape-recorded message by bin Laden as evidence that the Iraq conflict is 'a central front in the war on terror' ... However, Bush passed over the fact that the relationship between bin Laden and the Iraqi insurgents – to the extent one existed at all before – grew much closer after the US invaded Iraq."

Comments

  • "The incompetence at the highest levels of government in Washington has undermined the U.S. troops who have fought honorably and bravely in Iraq, which is why the troops are now stuck in a murderous quagmire. If a Democratic administration had conducted a war this incompetently, the Republicans in Congress would be dusting off their impeachment manuals." --Bob Herbert, New York Times, June 30, 2005. [2]
  • "Consider. Three years ago, when the Bush administration started ramping up the case for invading Iraq, Afghanistan had recently been liberated from both the Taliban and the al-Qaida terrorists who had attacked the US. There was still a vast amount to be done to make Afghanistan a safe place. Iraq, meanwhile, was a hideous dictatorship under Saddam Hussein. But, as the United States’ own September 11 commission subsequently concluded, Saddam’s regime had no connection with the 9/11 attacks. Iraq was not then a recruiting sergeant or training ground for jihadist terrorists. Now it is. The US-led invasion, and Washington’s grievous mishandling of the subsequent occupation, have made it so. General Wesley Kanne Clark puts it plainly: 'We are creating enemies.' And the president observes: our great achievement will be to prevent Iraq becoming another Taliban-style, al-Qaida-harbouring Afghanistan! This is like a man who shoots himself in the foot and then says: 'We must prevent it turning gangrenous, then you’ll understand why I was right to shoot myself in the foot.'" --Timothy Garton-Ash, Guardian/UK, June 30, 2005. [3].
  • "To the extent that George Bush had retained the slightest shred of dignity through the whole ugly Iraq imbroglio, it was found in his refusal to fully embrace the biggest of the Big Lies told by his aides: the claim that Saddam Hussein had played a role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. ... On Tuesday night, however, the president abandoned the narrow patch of high ground that he had staked out and dove into the raging flood of deceit that his administration had unleashed." --Editorial, Capital Times, June 30, 2005. [4]

Bush Iraq Speech: By The Numbers

References to September 11, 2001: 5
References to weapons of mass destruction: 0
References to freedom: 21
References to exit strategy: 0
References to Saddam Hussein: 2
References to Osama Bin Laden: 2
References to "a mistake": 1 (setting a timetable for withdrawal)
References to "mission": 11
References to mission accomplished: 0

Source: Think Progress website, June 28, 2005.

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External links

Pre-Speech

Post-Speech