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October 07, 2002
TIME TRAVEL AT THE INDEPENDENT! Reader Balaji Srinivasan notes that although Bush hasn't delivered his speech yet, the Independent already has a story up that makes it seem as if he has:
Bush addresses nation to explain why he won't back down over Iraq
By Rupert Cornwell in Washington and John Lichfield in Paris
08 October 2002
President Bush took his case against Saddam Hussein directly to the American people last night, explaining why he believes the Iraqi leader to be such an immediate threat to US security and to world peace that he must be dealt with now.
In his speech in Cincinnati, the President's first primetime address devoted exclusively to Iraq, Mr Bush sought to meet the complaints of critics that he is rushing his country into conflict, making war the firstresort, and riding roughshod over every misgiving.
Mr Bush's 20-minute address kicked off what was likely to be a decisive few days for his policy on Iraq. In New York the UN Security Council is struggling to agree on a resolution enabling the return of weapons inspectors to Baghdad, while on Capitol Hill the Senate and House of Representatives are preparing to vote wide powers for the President to go to war with Iraq.
Hours before Mr Bush spoke, Senator John Edwards – the North Carolina Democrat who may run against him in 2004 – delivered a speech accusing the White House of "gratuitous unilateralism" and of "frequently sending the message that others don't matter". The House is likely to vote through a resolution before the end of the week.
In the Senate, where resistance is greater, a vote may not come until next week, but a handsome victory for the President is all but certain there too.
But his key target last night was the wider American public. He spoke in a heartland city, at a museum complex featuring an exhibit on the Second World War entitled Rallying the Home Front – exactly what the President sought to do last night.
The speech did not contain any major new disclosures, but Mr Bush was expected to set out the latest public evidence – much of it cited by Tony Blair to Parliament a fortnight ago – about the state of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programmes.
There was no sign that he would provide evidence of links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qa'ida that the administration has failed to come up with so far.
Signs are growing that, in the absence of proof that Saddam's chemical and biological weapons represent an immediate threat, the public is tiring of the issue. A New York Times/CBS poll yesterday found that 70 per cent of the public felt there was too much talk about Iraq, and that almost 60 per cent considered the faltering economy a more important issue for the upcoming midterm elections.
Note that unlike the Samizdata parody of The Guardian, this is a real article from The Independent! I always figured that they wrote these things without bothering to hear Bush's speeches, but it's nice to see proof that they really do write him off in advance.
UPDATE: Ken Layne comments on journalistic sloppiness:
Journalism is a total scam. Even in an era of 24-hour news channels and raw wires on the Internet, there's still no shame at daily newspapers. Whole sections are prepared days or even weeks before they arrive in your "news" paper, and you'd be surprised how much of the "A" section for today's paper was done while you were having breakfast yesterday. Or earlier.
Uh oh. Nobody tell Daniel Schorr.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Erin Blockley emails: "Have you ever considered calling yourself a War Propheteer?"