US News & World Report has a nice roundup of media reactions to Chimpy’s last gasp entitled Media Pounds Bush Iraq Plans.
Most media analysts greeted President Bush’s new Iraq strategy with marked skepticism, if not outright hostility. The New York Times says that with his plan, Bush is “ignoring the results of the November elections, rejecting the central thrust of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group and flouting the advice of some of his own generals.” According to a number of media analysts, the plan is either too “risky” or simply a “gamble” on Bush’s part. The new strategy, says the Washington Post, “is likely to touch off a more dangerous phase of the war, featuring months of fighting in the streets of the Iraqi capital, current and former military officials warned.” The AP derides Bush’s “huge gamble. If it fails, he will have few if any options left.” Tim Russert, on NBC, said the President “made it double or nothing. He’ll get the escalation in troops, but it really is his last chance.” Similarly, CBS’ Jim Axelrod said after the speech, “The question you have to ask is, if this doesn’t work, where does the President go from here?” The New York Times contends the plan “depends on the good intentions and competence of a Shiite-dominated Iraqi government that has not demonstrated an abundant supply of either.” The Wall Street Journal makes a similar assessment.
The AP says Bush’s rhetoric last night was “hard to square with facts,” while McClatchy reports “many of Bush’s new proposals…have been tried before and failed.” A second McClatchy analysis adds “many analysts” said “they feared Bush’s modified tactics are too little and too late.” USA Today calls the plan “not so much a change of direction as an acceleration,” adding that “except for the troop increase, none of the ideas is new.” The Baltimore Sun sums up the media’s doubts when it says Bush “has repeatedly laid out revised goals and strategies for Iraq only to see them crumble amid sectarian violence and a mounting death toll.” Reports by the Chicago Tribune and Washington Post express similar misgivings.
There’s more. Pretty brutal stuff.