It's nice to see big newspapers like Knight-Ridder actually giving context — in the second paragraph of a story, no less!

Bush spells out strategy for war in Iraq Calling the operation in Iraq “difficult and dangerous,” Bush said “the lessons of September 11” require Americans to stand firm against an enemy that ignores the rules of conventional warfare. Although Bush has acknowledged that there's no known link between Iraq and the Sept. 11 attacks, he implied a connection with repeated references to Sept. 11 and Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist network.

That's much more straightforwad than the NYT version:

Using language that infuriates his opponents who say there is no link between the Iraq war and Al Qaeda, he specifically cast the battle in Iraq as part of the bigger conflict that began with the Sept. 11 attacks, which he mentioned explicitly five times and alluded to at others, and invoked the specter of Osama bin Laden.

So far as I could tell, the speech was pretty much empty of actual new content. Here, at least, the NYT seems to agree without pussyfooting around:

The speech offered no new policies or course corrections, and for the most part was a restatement of the ideas and language that he has been employing for two and a half years to explain the war and assert that it is an integral part of a broader struggle to protect the United States from terrorism.

It was, in essence, a repeat of a speech he delivered 13 months ago, when he assured the nation during an appearance at the Army War College that while the job of achieving stability in Iraq would be hard, he had a plan – and the United States had the will – to see it through.

Certainly the “because” section wasn't much:

We accept these burdens because we know what is at stake.

We fight today because Iraq now carries the hope of freedom in a vital region of the world, and the rise of democracy will be the ultimate triumph over radicalism and terror.

And we fight today because terrorists want to attack our country and kill our citizens, and Iraq is where they are making their stand.

And that CIA report suggesting Iraq was breeding and training terrorists more quickly than the US is defeating them? Never mind.

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