My husband and I have been reading a few pages of this 30 page document together every evening after dinner. It is unusually clear and waffle-free, and worth a reading by anyone who wants a first-hand account of the Bush Administration’s strategy:

National Strategy for Victory in Iraq

Prodos and I have also been reading numerous press and Internet accounts of the Bush plan for Iraq, and have noticed that some important information contained in the administration’s document has been ignored in these many accounts, or pulled out of context or otherwise misrepresented. If you’ve been getting your information about this plan from reporters, I recommend you stop doing that, and go to the source!

You can make a game of comparing what you read in commentaries and even the allegedly journalistic reports with what you read in the original government document.

I just want to add that some of the content of this document that is being treated in the press as if it were new seems, in my memory at least, to have been stated by President Bush for quite some time, some of it from the beginning, before the USA got into the war in Iraq.

I could swear that even before we went into Afghanistan, Bush was saying that this fight against terrorism was likely to take many years, that it would be tough, there would be setbacks, etc. – all common sense when it comes to any war. But some in the press have been writing as if Bush expected the war to be a snap.

Did Bush ever say anything like that in regard to Iraq, in partricular? I don’t remember it. But even if he did, he had already told the country that the war against terrorism would not be over soon, and that the country should not expect a swift and easy job.

We need to go back and read the original sources periodically, because if we rely on the second-hand reports and commentaries, our memories of what Bush has actually said will get badly warped.

My opinion of journalists in general has been pretty low for a long time. There doesn’t seem to be many that believe in objective reporting. Perhaps they don’t even know what it is or how to do it anymore. Even a commentary writer who has a specific point of view can be objective – he can take care to present all pertinent facts, the full context, honestly, before he evaluates it according to his philosophy. But context-dropping and, well, LYING, is not objective, and is to no writer’s credit.

When I get some time, I want to find and read all those terrorism-related speeches from the White House since September 11, 2001. Relying on memory isn’t good enough, and relying on reporters to remind me is worse than useless.

Note to self: always go to the source.

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