FRIDAY’S LETTERS: Bush Among Friends, Consuming News in 2020

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By: E&P Staff

In today’s letters, readers respond to Greg Mitchell’s column on President Bush’s recent meeting with eight conservative columnists, and another remarks on how technology is already changing our news consumption.


On Mitchell’s ‘Bush Among Friends’

Thank you for the most interesting story, “Bush Among Friends.” Never have I seen such a pointed piece illustrating that Bush is a looney-toon with virtually no grasp of reality — or maybe it’s the empire thing. I’d like to offer the following comment, which I’ve never seen or heard related in the news:

The U.S. military being mired — and beaten up — in Iraq has nothing whatsoever to do with anybody’s ability to “attack” the U.S. If some group or country wanted to zap us, now would be the time to do it, while half our military and National Guard is out of town. As for Iraqis coming after us if we leave, well, we’ve given them good cause, having killed 600,000 and bombed the daylights out of their country. Cartoon, indeed.

Dave Sturdevant
Juneau, Alaska

To Greg Mitchell: I am a real fan of your criticism, and link to it regularly … but … you let facetiousness get in the way of a deadly serious construction of President Bush’s, which if polls are to be believed still hamstrings our nation’s abliity to elucidate its best options in Iraq.

You [write]: Then he goes on: “I believe when you get attacked and somebody declares war on you, you fight back. And that’s what we’re doing.” Of course, this ignores the fact that Iraq did not declare war on us — but it’s been so long now, maybe he’s just forgotten.

This is simply too cute, even for your most sophisticated audiences. Your primary journalistic responsibility is to present fact as sacred when it appears. As you well know, Mr. Bush hasn’t forgotten that Iraq was unconnected to Al Qaeda’s attack on 9/11/01. He himself has said so many times on the record, and recently. So when he says to an audience of conservative journalists “I believe when you get attacked and somebody declares war on you, you fight back. And that’s what we’re doing …” this is the most vile sort of code practicioning in our political climate — encouraging your own colleagues in the media to lie outright, in exchange for Oval Office access, to defend and prosecute a pre-emptive war.

Simply put, we Americans are not well enough informed (and too purposefully distracted) by our media to be entrusted with decoding this lie. We still need your help. You are perfectly within your rights to say, “According the president himself, Iraq neither declared war on us nor attacked us on 9/11. He is not telling the truth here.” To say, “(M)aybe he’s just forgotten …” simply doesn’t cut it, even in jest.

Greg Wiberg
Berkeley, Calif.

Seriously, how is this NOT like the use of the White House for partisan political purposes for which Clinton/Gore were crucified by the media? And, why is no one saying it?

Barry Jay Warsch
Miami , Fla.

Only an idiot couldn’t see when [Bush is] lying, which is most every time he
opens his mouth.

Paul Gustafson

Just read your recap of W’s group hug with the 8 conservative columnists. Is this guy for real? I have a son-in-law in the Marines and it’s absolutely amazing that he’s putting him (and thousands of others) in harm’s way for what? Oy. Thanks for your good work.

Dave Traub

Even your friends know when you are “going around the bend”, and after reading your article, I have to say, President Bush seems to be living in a fantasy world. What on earth is he talking about……Iraq attacked us! The enemy is going to follow us here, if we leave Iraq?! How will they get here, by boat, by air, or will they swim? Why should this be a concern, as we have Homeland Security to protect us. Apparently, Bush has no confidence in that organization. Welcome to the real world, President Bush and it’s not pretty.

He doesn’t have his finger on the pulse of this country, that’s for sure. Perhaps, the mid-term elections will enlighten him.

Susanne Brown
West Hartford, Ct.


On Hirschman’s ‘News in 2020’

As a former newspaper editor, I say fantastic job on [David Hirschman’s] piece. I found the article through the RSS feed on my handheld, and am emailing you from the same. After using my Nokia all day, newspapers seem so “cute”.

Mark Phillips

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