COMMENTS: Real War or War Slogan?

The President himself preferred to concentrate on his Global War on Terrorism, on al-Qaeda and on Iraq--rather than on Iran. NBC and ABC found his speech at the commencement exercise for the US Coast Guard Academy newsworthy. CBS did not.

ABC's Martha Raddatz (subscription required) reported on Bush's allegations about abu-Mussab al-Zarqawi and Osama bin Laden. Back in the winter of 2005, before the Jordanian militant was killed, the Saudi exile apparently hatched a scheme with him. Bush asserted that al-Zarqawi accepted the task of organizing a cell in Iraq to conduct terrorist attacks on targets inside the United States such as reservoirs, the stock exchange and the military academies. Raddatz was skeptical: "Despite all the President's dire warnings the threat level has not been raised."

NBC's David Gregory consulted his network's in-house terrorism expert Michael Sheehan. He too doubted the President's warnings: al-Qaeda has "not mastered the ability" to export operatives and capabilities from Iraq. Gregory quoted Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards blast Bush's GWoT. He called it "a slogan designed only for politics. It is not a strategy to make America safe. It is a bumper sticker not a plan."


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