Lukewarm, Strong, Whatever


Here's some reactions to George W.'s Iraq speech last night, courtesy of a New England TV station and the AP:

…Japan is normally a quick backer of Washington, but its response has been lukewarm. A spokesman for Prime Minister Koizumi said Japan has always been willing to provide help—particularly humanitarian assistance. But he said Iraq is a dangerous place and doubts Japan will send troops.

Dick Jones said he's glad Bush in his speech Sunday night put a dollar figure on continuing work in Iraq—even if it is $87 billion.

The Atlanta salesman watched the speech in New York's Times Square. Referring to the attack on the World Trade Center nearly two years ago, he said, "Increasing the spending pales in comparison to that deed that took place less than a mile down the road." He said you can't spend enough to protect innocent people.

But student Marly Halpern-Graser, who watched the speech in her dorm at Boston's Emerson college, said Bush tried a little too hard to tie the war to Sept. 11, 2001, and to shift the focus from his failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. She said she finds it striking that Bush mentioned Sept. 11 and the war on terrorism in Afghanistan more than he talked about what's happened in Iraq.

In East Alton, Ill., Randy Bush gave the president high marks for seeking U.N. help. Randy Bush's son and daughter both served in Iraq. The son was killed.

U.S. Rep. Dick Gephardt gave credit to Bush for recognizing that he has been going down the wrong path. Now he said the administration must begin the process of "fully engaging" America's allies and sharing the burden of building a stable democracy in Iraq.

Howard Dean compared Iraq with Vietnam. He said the government is again "feeding misinformation to the American people in order to justify an enormous commitment of U.S. troops."

HBO subscribers were reportedly mostly glad that the speech and commentary was over in time to catch Sex & The City.