Frontline: Bush's War



9 p.m. Monday-Tuesday, March 24-25
WNET New York

The Civil War isn't called Lincoln's War and World War II isn't Franklin D. Roosevelt's War. So what gives "Frontline" and producer Michael Kirk the right to call the invasion of Iraq "Bush's War"?

The answer is soon obvious in this exhaustive two-part, four-hour special, parts of which have previously been seen on "Frontline." Practically from the moment the World Trade Center was struck, the Bush administration sought a pretext to invade Iraq. Facts that argued against an invasion were discredited or ignored and new "facts" were invented.

In dozens of interviews and with meticulous fact-gathering, "Frontline" makes a convincing case for two important aspects of the war. First, it was primarily orchestrated by Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Bush was only "the decider" insofar as he signed off on their plans, often paying no heed to Secretary of State Colin Powell and others.

Second, practically every plan, idea, assumption and strategy advanced by Cheney and Rumsfeld was incorrect, once Saddam Hussein's regime was toppled. The level of incompetence uncovered by "Frontline" is stunning.

Who's going to watch this four-hour report? Probably, not many. Those who do, however, will come away with a clear understanding of what went wrong and why. And also why the invasion can fairly be called "Bush's War."