Bush's Speech, June 28, 2005
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
- White House News Release: President Addresses Nation, Discusses Iraq, War on Terror, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, June 28, 2005.
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."
FactCheck.org wrote June 30, 2005, that Bush's speech was "Long On Assertion, Short On Facts": 
- "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."
- "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. 
- "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. .
- "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. 
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.
Related SourceWatch Resources
- Bush administration
- Bush administration approval ratings
- Bush lies and deceptions
- Bush regime delusions
- George W. Bush's news conferences
- Operation Iraqi Freedom: Year Three: Quagmire
- The case for impeachment of President George W. Bush
- war in Iraq
- war on terrorism
- David Corn, "No Reason For Networks To Show Bush's Iraq Speech?" davidcorn.com, June 27, 2005.
- Marc Leclercq, "Bragg backdrop could help Bush sell policy," Fayetteville Online, June 28, 2005.
- John F. Kerry, "The Speech the President Should Give," New York Times, June 28, 2005.
- Robert Parry, "Bush's Alternative Speech," Consortium News, June 28, 2005.
- "North Carolina Suffering More From War," Institute for Southern Studies, June 28, 2005: "As I write, President Bush is likely preparing for his fly-in photo-op to shore up support for the Iraq war which will be held at Fort Bragg, home of the 82nd Airborne and other units heavily deployed overseas."
- Fred Kaplan, "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Bush's Iraq speech was great on the stakes and terrible on strategy," Slate, June 28, 2005.
- Tom Raum, "Newsview: Troops a Favorite Bush Audience," Associated Press, June 28, 2005.
- "Is Bush Reading from Kennedy's Playbook? JFK on Staying in Vietnam," CounterPunch, June 28, 2005: Walter Cronkite's CBS Interview with President John F. Kennedy, September 2, 1963.
- Billmon, "Same Old Same Old," Whiskey Bar, June 28, 2005.
- Nedra Pickler, "Bush Criticized Over Speech About Iraq War," Associated Press, June 28, 2005.
- "Bush slammed for Iraq link to 9/11," CNN, June 29, 2005: "Critics of the U.S. war in Iraq have condemned President George W. Bush for attempting to link the insurgency there with the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington."
- "Bush TV ratings a flop," Crooks and Liars, June 29, 2005: "Only 23 million saw the show, down from 34.7 million for his Social Security speech. It sure looks like he was preaching to the choir," according to Keith Olbermann.
- Billmon, "Bombing Run," Whiskey Bar, June 29, 2005.
- David E. Sanger, "Bush Declares Sacrifice in Iraq to Be 'Worth It'," New York Times, June 29, 2005.
- Omar Anwar, "Bush tells Americans their troops to stay in Iraq," Reuters UK, June 29, 2005.
- "Bush at Fort Bragg—fear-mongering, lies and desperation," wsws.org, June 29, 2005.
- Glenn Kessler and Robin Wright, "A Case for Progress Amid Some Omissions," Washington Post, June 29, 2005.
- David Corn, "Bush's No-News Iraq Speech," The Nation, June 29, 2005.
- Michael Mayo, "Backing for Bush on Iraq is gone, local veterans say," South Florida Sun-Sentinel, June 29, 2005.
- Margie Burns, "Vice-President George W. Bush?" Bush Watch, June 29, 2005.
- Linda S. Heard, "Bush's Speech: the View from Cairo. Give Him an Oscar for Crass," CounterPunch, June 29, 2005.
- Greg Mitchell, "President Urges Patience on War -- but it's LBJ, in 1965," Editor & Publisher, June 29, 2005.
- Roger Burbach and Paul Cantor, "Who's Spreading What? Bush's Big Democratic Hoax in Iraq," CounterPunch, June 29, 2005.
- Raymond McGovern, "Bush, Ft. Bragg and 'Disassemble'. Stay the Crooked Course,"; also posted at Common Dreams, June 29, 2005.
- Stan Moore, "President Bush: Inspiration for 'Insurgents' and 'Terrorists'," Media Monitors Network, June 29, 2005.
- "President Bush's Speech About Iraq," New York Times, June 29, 2005.
- Barry Grey, "The New York Times closes ranks with Bush on Iraq war," wsws.org, June 30, 2005.
- David E. Sanger, "Troops' Silence at Fort Bragg Starts a Debate All Its Own," New York Times, June 30, 2005: "So what happened to the applause? .. there was a parallel debate under way about whether the troops sat on their hands because they were not impressed, or because they thought that was their orders."
- Simon Tisall, "No solution and no apology as president runs out of ideas," The Guardian/UK, June 30, 2005.
- Peter Baker and Dan Balz, "Bush Words Reflect Public Opinion Strategy," Washington Post, June 30, 2005.
- Zogby poll, June 30, 2005: "President Bush's televised address to the nation produced no noticeable bounce in his approval numbers, with his job approval rating slipping a point from a week ago, to 43%, in the latest Zogby International poll. And, in a sign of continuing polarization, more than two-in-five voters (42%) say they would favor impeachment proceedings if it is found the President misled the nation about his reasons for going to war with Iraq."
- "Bush speech nets career-low TV audience," CNN, June 30, 2005: "President Bush's latest address to the nation, urging Americans to stand firm in Iraq, drew the smallest TV audience of his tenure, Nielsen Media Research reported Wednesday."
- Bob Herbert, "Dangerous Incompetence," New York Times, June 30, 2005.
- Stephen Pizzo, "Bush's Big Gambit," AlterNet, June 30, 2005: "If imitation is the highest form of flattery, then ex-presidents Johnson and Nixon must be (the only ones) feeling good about Bush's speech on Tuesday."
- Julian Borger and Richard Norton-Taylor, "Bush 'exploited 9/11' in Iraq plea. Doubts cast on success of speech in halting slide against conflict," The Guardian/UK, June 30, 2005.
- Editorial: "'His target was his political base'. George Bush put on a brave face at a time of wavering public support," USA Today, June 30, 2005.
- Editorial: "Bush Fails Again to Speak Candidly About War in Iraq," Kennebec Journal (Maine), June 30, 2005.
- Timothy Garton-Ash, "The sobering of America. US foreign policy is getting better - and that's partly because Iraq has got worse," Guardian/UK, June 30, 2005.
- "Bush's Iraq Speech: Long On Assertion, Short On Facts," FactCheck.org, June 30, 2005.
- Editorial: "The Biggest of Big Lies," Capital Times (Madison, Wisconsin), June 30, 2005.
- Jim Lobe, "Bush's Iraq Speech Falls Flat," Inter Press Service, June 30, 2005.
- Fran Shor, "Liberated into a No-Man's Land. Disassembling Bush's Iraq War," CounterPunch, July 2/4, 2005.