"Fierce," Attacking Bush vs. Clever Kerry - March 12, 2004

March 12, 2004
"Fierce," Attacking Bush vs. Clever Kerry
"With a fierce campaign of attacks led by President Bush, an orchestrated barrage of criticism by Republican elected officials and an imminent sweep of hard-hitting television advertisements, the White House is moving with unusual speed and force to try to discredit John Kerry, the president's likely Democratic challenger.As much as Mr. Bush appears to be enjoying going on the attack, he will stop soon, aides said, and leave the whacking and attacking to surrogates and his television advertisements." - Adam Nagourney, March 10.

"As he scooped up scores more delegates in four Southern primaries on Tuesday on his march to the Democratic presidential nomination, Senator John Kerry turned one of President Bush's campaign slogans against him, saying his rival had provided 'stubborn,' not steady, leadership. 'He stubbornly insists on tax cuts as he steadily loses jobs in this country,' Mr. Kerry, playing off the Bush campaign theme 'steady leadership in a time of change,' told a small audience at a center for the elderly in suburban Evanston." - Jodi Wilgoren, March 10.

"Strident" Spanish PM "Dragged His Country" Into War

"Even though Spain's involvement in the Iraq war was opposed by 90 percent of the population, Mr. Aznar stridently defends his decision to drag his country into it. He forgives the United States for the intelligence reports that said Saddam Hussein's unconventional weapons programs posed an imminent threat to the world's security, claims that have not been substantiated." - Elaine Sciolino, March 11.

Then Again, No Imminent Threat Was Claimed
"The Bush administration's case for invading Iraq was based on a supposedly imminent threat from Iraqi unconventional weapons. No imminent threat was found." - Times editorial, March 8.

Reality Check:
Bush never called Hussein an "imminent threat." From Bush's 2003 State of the Union address: "Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike?"

Still Missing the Soviet Union
"This is a nation shipwrecked by the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, when its structures and certainties were splintered and people were left, in the words of Lyudmila Surinova, who teaches embroidery, 'to swim on our own.' Job security and free vacations disappeared, along with subsidized housing, education, medical care and social services. 'Everyone was at the same level, and everyone was more or less poor,' said Viktor A. Borisov, who heads an office of constituent services for Mr. Putin's political bloc in Kostroma. 'But they knew they would get paid. They knew they would get their pensions and have a roof over their head.'" - Seth Mydans from Russia, March 9.

Gibson's Movie a "Joy Ride for Sadomasochists"

"With its laborious build-up to its orgasmic spurtings of blood and other bodily fluids, Mr. Gibson's film is constructed like nothing so much as a porn movie, replete with slo-mo climaxes and pounding music for the money shots.If 'The Passion' is a joy ride for sadomasochists, conveniently cloaked in the plain-brown wrapping of religiosity, does that make it bad for the Jews?.What concerns me much more are those with leadership positions in the secular world-including those in the media-who have given Mr. Gibson, 'The Passion' and its most incendiary hucksters a free pass for behavior that is unambiguously contrived to vilify Jews.Nor do some of these pundits seem to recognize Holocaust denial when it is staring them in the face....The vilification of Jews by Mr. Gibson, his film and some of his allies, unchallenged by his media enablers, is not happening in a vacuum. We are in the midst of an escalating election-year culture war in which those of 'faith' are demonizing so-called 'secularists' (for which read any Jews critical of Mr. Gibson and their fellow travelers, liberals)." - Frank Rich's review of "The Passion of Christ," March 7.