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O’Sullivan defends Key’s comments

Written By: - Date published: 10:53 am, October 6th, 2007 - 7 comments
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Fran O’Sullivan of the Herald, has lept to John Key’s defence.

She points to a couple of times back in 2003 when Clark and Goff reffer to “post-conflict” and “post-war” Iraq. Apparently their comments of four and a half years ago are meant to undermine any criticism of Key’s “The war in Iraq is over” gaffe of Wednsday.

From what I can gather, the phrases “post-war” and “post-conflict” were quite common in early 2003 – in the context of Bush’s proclamation on May 1 2003 that “[M]y fellow Americans: Major combat operations in Iraq have ended.”

So context is everything. Goff and Clark made their comments:

  • Before the Aug 20 2003 attack on United Nations Headquarters in Baghdad
  • Before April 28 2004 when Images of torture at Abu Ghraib were revealed
  • Before August 27 2004 when Bush acknowledged for the first time that he made a “miscalculation of what the conditions would be” in Iraq
  • Before November 8 2004 when U.S. forces launched an all-out assault on Fallujah
  • Before May 11 2005 when Bush signed a supplemental spending bill, providing nearly $76 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan
  • Before November 18 2005 when Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) called for U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq
  • Before November 30 2005 when a National Strategy for Victory In Iraq was unveiled by the White House
  • Before Feb 2 2006 when Rumsfeld said he doubted a “long war” in Iraq [Washington Times, 2/2/06]
  • Before March 21 2006 when Bush said some U.S. troops will remain in Iraq at least until 2009
  • Before May 1 2006 when on the 3rd anniversary of Mission Accomplished, Bush said Iraq had reached “a turning point.”
  • Before August 15 2006 when it was reported that 1666 bombs exploded in Iraq in July, “the highest monthly total of the war.”
  • Before August 16 2006 when Bush claimed “We’re not leaving [Iraq] so long as I’m the president.” [CNN, 8/21/2006]
  • Before December 5 2006 when Defense Secretary nominee Robert Gates responded, “no, sir.” to the question “do you believe the US is winning the war in Iraq?” [Fox News, 12/5/2006]
  • Before Dec 19 2006 when it was revealed that The White House was “aggressively promoting” a plan to send “15,000 to 30,000 more troops” to Iraq “over the unanimous disagreement of the Joint Chiefs of Staff” [Washington Post, 12/19/2006]
  • Before Jan 10 2007 when Bush announced “I’ve committed more than 20,000 additional American troops to Iraq.”
  • Before April 12 2007 when the Iraqi parliament was bombed
  • Before April 19 2007 when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid declared Iraq war “is lost.” [AP, 4/19/07]
  • Before April 26 2007 when Gen. Petraeus warned, the war in Iraq is “‘exceedingly complex and very tough’ . and said the U.S. effort might become more difficult before before it gets easier.” [MSNBC, 4/26/07]
  • Before May 1 2007 when Bush vetoes a Congressional plan for withdrawal from Iraq
  • Before September 27 2007 when Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates asked Congress to approve an additional $42.3 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, bringing the Bush administration’s 2008 war funding request to nearly $190 billion – the largest single-year total for the wars so far

John Key made his comment that “the war in Iraq is over” on Wednesday. Three days ago.

7 comments on “O’Sullivan defends Key’s comments ”

  1. Sam Dixon 1

    wow – that’s a angry little article.

    took them quite a while to develop this line of defence eh?

  2. r0b 2

    Thanks for providing this perspective. As you say, context is everything. Another National talking point nipped in the bud. Nice work!

  3. ak 3

    “The war is over” is right up there with “Mission Accomplished” and Brash’s plank-walk. Anyone compiling a “Great moments in Key-note speeches” tape?

  4. John 4

    Is this the same O’Sullivan who declared that the country was tried of Helen Clark on the same day that her own paper’s poll showed Helen Clark as the prefered PM?

    She can’t really be taken seriously can she?

  5. Tane 5

    Yep, and it’s also the same Fran O’Sullivan who suggested people could opt to die rather than be a burden on younger generations if services were ‘appropriately rationed’.

    She just gets worse.

  6. ziuzou 6

    Nice work in rebutting Fran O’Sullivan. Bush blamed the crew of the USS Lincoln for putting up the banner. He forgot to mention that it was a stage managed affair by a PR company employed by the Bush Administration. Who will Key blame for his mistake?

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