IN OTHER WORDS : Bush’s speech

President Bush told the nation that the war in Iraq was difficult but winnable. Only the first is true. Despite buoyant cheerleading by administration officials, the military situation is at best unimproved. The Iraqi Army shows no signs of being able to control the country without American help. There are not enough American soldiers to carry out the job they have been sent to do. We did not expect Bush would apologise for the misinformation that helped lead us into this war. But we had hoped he would resist the temptation to raise the bloody flag of 9/11 over and over again to justify a war in a country that had nothing whatsoever to do with the terrorist attacks. The elected government is the only hope, but its current performance is far from promising. Pressure from the US for the government to do better has increased since the State Department took control of Iraq policy from the Pentagon. But there is much more to do, and the president needed to show the Americans that he is not giving the Iraqi politicians a blank check to fritter away their opportunities. No one wants a disaster in Iraq. The president, who is going to be in office for another three and a half years, cannot continue self-justification and the need to colour Iraq with the memory of 9/11. The nation does not want it and cannot afford it. —The New York Times