Das Weiße Haus "feiert" den Jahrestag des Irak-Einmarschs

--- Am Freitag, den 19. März 2004, jährt sich der jüngste Angriff der US-geführten "Koalition" auf Irak. Das Weiße Haus hat dazu bereits zahlreiche Medien-Spin-Aktionen angekündigt, weiß die Washington Post: The White House will mark this Friday's first anniversary of the invasion of Iraq with a week-long media blitz arguing that the overthrow of Saddam Hussein was essential to combating global terrorism and making the United States safer. The message is crucial to President Bush's reelection campaign, which has tried to shift the focus of the race from troublesome issues such as the economy to his biggest strength in polls -- his handling of the aftermath of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Bush's presumed opponent, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), is responding with events this week focusing on troops and veterans in West Virginia and other battleground states. Kerry will say that Bush has shortchanged soldiers and their families in a time of war. Retired Army Gen. Wesley K. Clark, who lost his bid for the Democratic nomination, will speak for Kerry in Ohio. Jim Wilkinson, deputy national security adviser, said the administration's main message for the week is that the nation is "more secure" because of the capture of Hussein. "A dangerous regime with a history of aggression and links to terrorist organizations is no longer in power," Wilkinson said. "The principled action taken by the United States in Iraq has sent our enemies a clear signal about resolve in the war on terror." Hört sich alles überaus schal an angesichts 11-M und dem angekündigten Abzug der spanischen Truppen aus dem Irak. Dass "Krieg gegen den Terror" nicht gleich "Krieg gegen den Terror" sein muss, malt Timothy Garton Ash im Guardian übrigens ganz gut aus. In Deutschland ruft die Friedensbewegung derweil zu Demonstrationen anlässlich des Jahrestags des Irak-Kriegbeginns auf. (Links via Mailingliste Infowar.de)

Update: Inzwischen (Mittwoch) widmet sich auch die New York Times dem gleichen Thema: A year after ordering the invasion of Iraq, President Bush is moving the war to the forefront of his re-election effort with a weeklong barrage of speeches, an orchestrated set of interviews with senior Pentagon officials and a new television advertisement questioning Senator John Kerry's support of the troops. Mr. Bush's advisers said Tuesday that the president intended to press his case that the world was safer with Saddam Hussein out of power, and to use the first anniversary, on Friday, of the war's start to draw sharp contrasts with Mr. Kerry over foreign policy and leadership. The moves were part of what aides described as a new chapter in the political campaign against Mr. Kerry. But they came as the bombings in Spain stirred more criticism of Mr. Bush's Iraq policy, underlining the extent to which the campaign had become subject to the unpredictability of overseas events, and pointing up the complications Mr. Bush faces in trying to balance the demands of the presidency with a re-election effort.