From: Philip Bennett, Managing Editor
To: William M Arkin

Subject: Rah Rah

Bill -

Hope you don't mind picking up another small tasking for us. It shouldn't require much of your time, and your help would be greatly appreciated.

Due to budgetary cutbacks, we are developing a series of templates for some of our 'repeating stories', particularly for cases where it just isn't worth our time to devote a resource when a few minutes on Google can accomplish the same job.

Below is the template for use with the President's Iraq speeches. It should be self-explanatory, but if you have any question, ring Nancy at x435.



[location]., [date] -- President Bush warned yesterday that the Iraq war "will require more patience, more courage and more sacrifice," as he appealed to a war-weary public for time and sought to link today's conflict to [the Revolutionary War / World War II / the Korean War].

In an address before members of the [branch of service] and their families, the president again painted a dire portrait of the consequences of [pulling out / surrendering / cutting and running] in Iraq, asserting as he has before that "terrorists and extremists" would try to strike inside the United States.

"If we were to quit Iraq before the job is done, the terrorists we are fighting would not declare victory and lay down their arms. They would follow us here, home," Bush told a crowd of about [number of attendees] gathered at a [name and type of military facility].

Bush's trip to [location] came as he faces growing pressure, including from some senior Republicans on Capitol Hill, to draw down U.S. forces in Iraq.

Bush showed little sign of backing down, and expressed considerable [passion / outrage / bafflement]. He urged the American public to be patient, saying he will not withdraw troops "prematurely based on politics."

"We must succeed for our sake. For the security of our citizens, we must support the Iraqi government and we must defeat [the insurgents / al-Qaeda / al-Qaeda in Iraq / the bad guys / the forces of chaos and evil]," said Bush, who [personal anecdote / endearing quirk / adjoining quote]..

The president, who was accompanied by senior adviser Karl Rove, began his remarks by comparing today's soldiers to those who fought in [previous war]. "You're the successors of those brave men. . . . Like those earlier patriots, you're fighting a new and [unprecedented / dangerous / defining] war."

Bush singled out two [local serviceperson type], [name] and  [name], who recently [enlisted / reenlisted] even though they [were recently wounded in Iraq / recently lost a loved one in Iraq / recently gave birth / recently were selected in the first round of the NFL draft / were illegal immigrants]. "Your service is needed. We need for people to volunteer to defend America," the president said.

The audience, which was crammed in a [confining space]  draped with [one / two / three]-story-high American flags, included troops in uniform and the children, spouses, mothers and fathers of serving [branch of service] members.

Most said they are solidly behind the president -- who spent [numeric value] minutes [shaking hands / shaking babies / meeting with families of the dead] after his remarks -- and the mission in Iraq.

"I love him, and my [son / daughter / husband / wife / mother / father] loves him. He gets the job done," said [name], of  [location], whose [relationship to loved one] is serving in Iraq.

Several family members said the president's speech helped to ease their doubts about whether the war in Iraq is worth the loss of more than [3,500 / 4,000 / 5,000] soldiers.

"I'm glad we came. I think it helped clear up some confusion and some misgivings about our reasons for being there," said [name], [age], who has a [age]-year-old [relationship to loved one] in the [branch of service]. "The president gave us some [pride / comfort / ribs], knowing what my [relationship to loved one] is doing for the country."

Others, however, remained unimpressed. "[disrespectful statement]," said [name], [age], of [location]. "[unpatriotic statement]," [he /she] added




2007, Mark Hoback