It was superbly evasive and misleading (Review of 4-13-04 Bush Press Conference at the White House)

Mr. Bush:
With minor mistakes covered in this review, it was a well-acted performance. Although, the reading part of the press conference was good staying clear of big words, there were some areas you should not have gotten yourself into; like for example the small, illegal matter of Iraq occupation. 

There were also some weaknesses when it came to answering questions but on the whole, it was superbly evasive and misleading. 

Here are a few suggestions that you may consider fixing up before the election if you are still serious about running again.

YOU SAID: Iraq will either be a peaceful, democratic country or it will again be a source of violence, a haven for terror and a threat to America and to the world. 

You should not have been so daring here. Boldness does not always pay. Especially when it is treading on a lie. You see, the world knows today that Iraq was neither a threat to the US nor the world. Careless bravado as such, albeit verbal, may cement the cowboy stigma of rather simple-minded audacity some have already stuck on you.

YOU SAID: America's armed forces are performing brilliantly, with all the skill and honor we expect of them. 

This was a big mistake! Your boys have killed well over 10,000 civilians today. It is usually no good, especially during elections, to be proud of mass murders. The trigger-happy GI s have shot children simply out of fear and out of anger for being there. Tens of your brilliant soldiers have been charged by your military with maltreatment, torture, assault and abuse of prisoners. 

Let s just hope that people won t find the real truth about these brilliantly performing boys. Let s hope they won t find, for example these pictures on because, if they do, they may go around saying you tend to tell a lie.

YOU SAID: The people of our country are united behind our men and women in uniform. 

This was unwise, sir, to say the least. It requires some pretty daring arithmetic to stretch 44% to the united. Numbers are icky this way and are best left alone when they don t work for you. Even your skilled staff of well-trained spin doctors could not budge this one. 

Let s hope people won t poke around too much and won t find the recent Newsweek polls at, which show less than half of Americans supporting your assault on Iraq. 

YOU SAID The spirit [of our soldiers] is incredible. 

This was not so clever either. Even ABC, your typical supporter, aired a story in which your soldiers complained on Good Morning America of pathetically low morale. That was, of course, before you forbade them to speak with the media under the threat of court martial and revoking their benefits.

But still, there is the matter of a CBS broadcast, which exposed a rather embarrassingly undemocratic affair in which your soldiers were forced to sign form letters about how much they love serving you in Iraq sending them to various US newspapers.

And the current probe into the spike in suicides among military serving in Iraq may arouse suspicions over the validity of this statement.

YOU SAID: We're a liberating power, as nations in Europe and Asia can attest as well. 

This was very reckless for your staff to have you read this. There s a chance that Europeans can still recall the US aid to Hitler and the Roosevelt s corporate licenses given to US concerns like Ford, IBM, Chase Manhattan that worked for the Third Reich. Some may even recall Standard Oil, run by your grandfather, as a fuel station for the Luftwaffe throughout the whole of the war.

But mentioning Asia was downright imprudent. Don't you, sir, recall the recent (Jun 27, 2003) International Tribunal finding the US guilty of war atrocities and crimes against humanity?

You should have just said We re a liberating power and left it at that because with the exposed US slaughter of 3.5 million Koreans in 3 years, some may take exception to this. 

YOU SAID: On June 30th, when the flag of a free Iraq is raised, Iraqi officials will assume full responsibility for the ministries of government. 

Thiswas not exactly a vote winner. Although deadlines are generally fine weapons of mass distraction, it s no longer wise to bring up this shady government idea because even the British have now uncovered the truth behind this latest charade. 

When people will learn that after June 30th, Iraqi independent government controls neither Iraqi military, Iraqi domestic/international commerce, nor even Iraqi media channels, and still has to answer to the US regulator cells, there may be serious talk of farcical puppet governments being set up around the world by you.

YOU SAID: Al-Sadr must answer the charges against him and disband his illegal militia. 

Never mind the legality of al-Sadr’s militia. Remember, your assault, war and occupation are not exactly legal either. Even Jimmy Carter is saying so now. After all, you went against the UN, against the US public, against NATO and against the international weapons inspectors. 

Besides it is ill-advised to draw attention to your premises for the war, which at best are dubious. Now that everyone knows that you and your cabinet had lied about Iraq having WMD, some rascals may start calling you George Dubious Bush. 

YOU SAID: A free Iraq will stand as an example to reformers across the Middle East. 

This, given the reality of the situation, may be perceived as a threat to the nations in the region and saying it will almost surely cause some international concern. You see it would have been fine to say it if the US has not permanently stationed 130 thousand of its soldiers across 14 military bases in Iraq with no intent to leave.

Also, given that you used 19 billion of the money, which you promised was for the Iraqis, to build these American bases may further compound the already evident dishonesty and some may say that your reforms are really only just about large-scale occupations of oil-rich countries. 

YOU SAID: They're really pleased we got rid of Saddam Hussein, and you can understand why 

This was good. But then you followed with something very troubling.

YOU SAID: And they were happy -- they're not happy they're occupied. I wouldn't be happy if I were occupied either. 

Now, what a blunder and just when it was going so well? 

Of all people, you cannot ever call the assault on Iraq an occupation. You shouldn’t ever do your critics work for them. 

Even a child knows that occupation does not rhyme too well with liberation and democracy . Now after having admitted to occupying Iraq, people may draw the obvious conclusion from your statement and go around saying that Bush is an occupant. And, as you know, it s only a short step from that to a dictator and a tyrant and that most certainly won t be good for the upcoming elections.

This was indeed very careless but not as devastating as what you said next. 

YOU SAID: I didn't see -- I mean, I didn't have that great sense of outrage that I felt on September the 11th. I was -- on that day, I was angry and sad. Angry that al-Qaida -- I thought at the time al-Qaida, found out shortly thereafter it was al-Qaida -- had unleashed this attack. 

Beside being very detrimental to yourself, this unfortunate slip was very inconsiderate to your staff who are now sweating bullets at the 9-11 committee interrogations.

Your entire reputation, job and perhaps even future hinges on the fact that you and your administration did NOT know about the plans for the 9-11 attack. And here you are, telling everyone that you even knew the names of the architects of the terror strike. 

Your staff is today fighting at the interrogations trying to find a scapegoat and save you the fall and you circumvent all their rehearsed drama performances and openly admit to having known about Bin Laden s plans to deal a terrorist blow to the US. 

After this obvious slip, sir, it s possible that the voters will split into two factions: one, which may never believe you again and the other, which will see you as a man bent on lying.

Pater Havlasa

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Author`s name Evgeniya Petrova