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Whitehouse Notebook: Dana Milbank

Couldn't Have Said It Any Better Himself

By Dana Milbank
Tuesday, September 28, 2004; Page A25

It's a political whodunit: Since Ayad Allawi delivered his address to a joint meeting of Congress on Thursday, foreign policy devotees have been searching for the ghostwriter of the speech, which sounded curiously familiar to American ears.

The White House denies that anybody in the administration did it. Several of the usual suspects outside the administration, including former White House officials Karen Hughes, Dan Senor and David Frum, have also denied culpability.

Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi and President Bush head to the Rose Garden for a news conference. Much of what Allawi said in his speech to a joint meeting of Congress sounded strangely familiar. (Susan Biddle -- The Washington Post)

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But those searching for a ghostwriter of the Allawi speech may be overthinking things. Maybe the prime minister simply went to the White House Web site and combed through some of President Bush's speeches. Consider the similarities:

"The world is better off without Saddam Hussein." -- Allawi

"The world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power." -- Bush

"There are terrorists . . . who seek to make our country the main battleground against freedom, democracy and civilization." -- Allawi

"The killers know that Iraq is the central front in the war on terror." -- Bush

"It's a tough struggle with setbacks, but we are succeeding." -- Allawi

"It's tough at times . . . but there is steady progress." -- Bush

"I have seen some of the images that are being shown here on television. They are disturbing." -- Allawi

"The American people have seen horrible scenes on our TV screens." -- Bush

Iraq is "emerging finally from dark ages of violence." -- Allawi

"Iraq will never return to the dark ages of tyranny." -- Bush

"Your decision to go to war in Iraq was not an easy one, but it was the right one." -- Allawi

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