Archive for Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Media in denial over progress in Iraq

June 25, 2008

Advertisement

There is a reason progress in Iraq is not receiving more attention. It isn't that Americans are "bored" or "tired" or have "moved on" or "don't care" or "have already made up their minds that the war was a colossal mistake." All of these are variations on themes articulated by certain liberals, Bush-haters, Barack Obama supporters (but I repeat myself) inside and outside the big media.

The main reason progress in Iraq is not receiving more attention is that the progress is considerable and the big media are not paying attention because they don't like the new storyline. They prefer "America defeated," not "America victorious" because defeat increases the likelihood of a Democratic electoral blowout in the fall.

A headline in last Saturday's New York Times tells you all you need to know about the reluctance of the mainstream media to report on progress in Iraq. With what sounds like information produced only after an editor was water-boarded, it reads, "Big Gains for Iraq Security, but Questions Linger."

If this headline writer were reporting victory in World War II, it might have read, "America wins; German and Japanese Psyche Seriously Affected." The 1969 moon landing might have read: "Man Lands on Moon; Will It Hurt the Lunar Environment?" Or, "Adam and Eve Marry; Gays Demand Similar Rights."

The subhead on the Times story is "More Iraqi Troops - New Sway for Maliki."

Only falling gasoline prices might make the Times feel worse, or perhaps John McCain discovering the Fountain of Youth. "What's going right?" begins the lead sentence, which quickly adds "And can it last?" This is typical Times nay-saying, which undercuts anything that might reflect positively on the Bush administration or McCain's election prospects.

The story continues with these reluctantly offered positive gems: "Violence in all of Iraq is the lowest since March 2004. The two largest cities, Baghdad and Basra, are calmer than they have been for years. The third largest, Mosul, is in the midst of a major security operation. On Thursday, Iraqi forces swept unopposed through the southern city of Amara, which has been controlled by Shiite militias." And then in a rebuke to all of those Democrats on Capitol Hill who have been saying, well, yes, the military has done a great job and violence is down, but there is no political settlement and so the Bush administration has failed, the story says, "There is a sense that Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki's government has more political traction than any of its predecessors."

That sounds to me like an important signpost on the road to - dare anyone say it - victory. Perhaps after the "Mission Accomplished" PR blunder and previous upsurges in violence, the Bush administration and McCain are hesitant to call attention to such progress. If they don't make noise, how will the public, which has a short attention span and doesn't like protracted conflict, know about it?

Another sign of progress was the announcement that the Iraqi government will award contracts to 41 foreign oil firms in an effort to increase production. It's the first time foreign energy companies have been allowed in Iraq since Saddam Hussein expelled them 36 years ago.

Only those invested in defeat will deny these significant and meaningful indicators of progress.

Because there will be no documents of surrender in the Iraq war or in the greater war on terrorism, it will be difficult to declare it over and freedom the winner. But as The New York Times story and the oil deal demonstrate, considerable progress is being made and the naysayers are being proved wrong.

Who is going to tell that story if most of the big media won't? Since journalists never acknowledge errors of judgment or wrong predictions and are never held accountable when they err, that job must fall to John McCain.

Cal Thomas is a columnist for Tribune Media Services.

Comments

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 3 months ago

"You do what is possible."Too bad BushCo didn't heed that advice.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 3 months ago

"I never said it did. My comment was in response to why we don't get involved in every country's internal problems."Yes, but the current rationale for the war in Iraq (as opposed to those invoked before we went in) could be used in dozens of countries around the world."Perhaps you have conveniently forgotten, or only get your news from Comedy Central, but Iraq had an election. Democracy makes the government legitimate."That and a generous sprinkling of BushCo fairy dust.

tolawdjk 8 years, 3 months ago

Fundamental,Following your logic we should be in Sudan and Zimbabwe shortly, right?How about storming our way into Myamar?Northern Ireland? Basque, Spain? Former Soviet Georgia? Tibet?Where next must we go to protect people from their leaders if that is the primary reason for Iraq?Neo-con compassion only goes as far as the oil pipeline.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 3 months ago

Are you seriously comparing Iraq's government with Japan's, Germany's and Korea's, Kevin?

sfjayhawk 8 years, 3 months ago

or "have already made up their minds that the war was a colossal mistake." Is there anyone left that thinks this war is not a colossal mistake?

Satirical 8 years, 3 months ago

Sfjayhawk:."it matters not that the reasons given us by this government for invading Iraq proved to be wholly incorrect? There should be no accountability on that point?"Again, that is not what I said. I was responding to the overused and fallacious argument that - If you fight for some freedom somewhere means you are required to fight for all freedoms everywhere. Could everyone please stop putting words into my mouth?Bush, and congress are politically accountable (voted out of office). The media for some reason gets a pass for not doing their job in the lead up to the war, and the American people can escape responsibility by claiming they believe whatever their government and the media tells them (no surprise there).Blaming the executive branch for the actions of the legislature denies their ability to think independently, and challenges the structure of our government that has lasted for hundreds of years (Co-equal branches, checks and balances). Perhaps you forget, but most Democrats also vote for the War. Also, it was a resolution to use force, see bozo's quote; the President must make available HIS determination that:"(B) (diplomacy is) not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq." He broke the UN resolutions, NO?The legislature is not made up of a bunch of complete morons (actually maybe they are). Congress (democrats included) knew what authority they were giving to the President.

Satirical 8 years, 3 months ago

Logicsound04:"I suppose next you're going to tell me that Operation Desert Storm involved unleashing an actual storm over Iraq, right?"It wasn't!?!?! This is the last time I learn history from Bazooka Joe...maybe.

chet_larock 8 years, 3 months ago

Some huge US oil companies got no-bid contracts for oil production. F*** it, we're good now. Mission accomplished.

chet_larock 8 years, 3 months ago

" Since journalists never acknowledge errors of judgment or wrong predictions and are never held accountable when they err"Hmm.

jafs 8 years, 3 months ago

Actually, the crime and poverty rates in our nation's capital are worth being concerned about, imho.The report released by the government showed some progress, but was also generally pessimistic about the situation - in particular, it didn't see the Iraqi government stabilizing enough for us to leave.That's a problem.

Satirical 8 years, 3 months ago

There goes the enlightening political discourse...Duplenty...I already addressed this issue more eloquently that you have, so please stop while you are behind.

temperance 8 years, 3 months ago

"Perhaps you have conveniently forgotten, or only get your news from Comedy Central, but Iraq had an election. Democracy makes the government legitimate."So, when the Lebanese democratically elected Hezbollah it made them legitimate? If Iraq has a legitimate government, then why is the US still there?Dumbest. War. Ever.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 3 months ago

I really couldn't care less what either Carville or Clinton had to say on it.

Satirical 8 years, 3 months ago

Bozo:"Yes, but the current rationale for the war in Iraq (as opposed to those invoked before we went in) could be used in dozens of countries around the world."That is what my post was about that you originally quoted from! You are going in a circle. Re-read that post for an answer to your question, and please for heaven's sake, don't turn into another "duplenty.""That and a generous sprinkling of BushCo fairy dust"How convenient that you only believe facts that align with your skewed views. Did you not hear on every news outlet about the purple fingers from the Iraqis voting!?! Seriously? Perhaps Bush went over there and painted their fingers purple just to deceive you.

Satirical 8 years, 3 months ago

logicsound04...Whether or not it included the word "progress" is immaterial to the fact that the headline only included part of the report (cherry-picking the part that was negative.)Thank you for being a big enough person to admit I was right. It seems to be a virtue few bloggers on LJWorld possess, who think it is more important "who" is right rather than "what" is right. I have gained new respect for you.

Satirical 8 years, 3 months ago

Temperance:"So, when the Lebanese democratically elected Hezbollah it made them legitimate? If Iraq has a legitimate government, then why is the US still there?"Correct me if I am wrong, but did I say all democratic elections were legitimate even if they are really a sham? If that were the case then Cuba has really been a democracy all this time. The elections in Iraq were not a sham, and I challenge you to find my any independently verifiable proof that says otherwise.We are still there because the legitimate government asks us to stay and we realize our interests in staying in Iraq.

fundamental 8 years, 3 months ago

The reason we invaded Iraq in the first place was because Iraq failed to meet the demands of the international community re: inspections of their weapons facilities. Without the threat of force (not to mention its subsequent use), what good is demanding anything of any despotic dictator? I think we can see where the 6-way talks have led us with North Korea, and Iran is clearly thumbing her nose at the international community in a similar way. Lost in all this is the situation in Libya. When threatened with force, Qadafi shut down his nuclear development and welcomed unfettered inspections to prove he had done so. He is now (technically) an ally in the war on terror, simply because the international community used the threat of force to back up its demands. It's pretty simple, really.

fundamental 8 years, 3 months ago

You're right, logicsound. Iraq was MUCH better off with Saddam Hussein in power. Much, much better. Nobody was getting gassed by his Baathists or anything. He was a unifier, as exemplified by his winning election after election with more than 99.5% of the vote. Oh, and his government didn't murder people for trivial disagreements or for being a different brand of Muslim. Oh wait...With all this talk of hope and change in the U.S., it's amazing how the prospect of bringing true hope for the first time in decades to this part of the world is viewed now as a "colossal mistake." Some perspective where this is concerned would be beneficial, I believe.

Satirical 8 years, 3 months ago

Logicsound04 wrote:"After all, the 2 reports that the headline was based upon-one by the Pentagon-were a mix of good and bad news. It seems reasonable to have a headline that includes the whole story, no?"Isn't this the exact same argument I made yesterday claiming that the article titled "Reports pessimistic about Iraq progress," is biased and didn't give the whole story; and didn't most of the liberals (including logicsound04) defend that article and title as not being biased. What a surpise that so many on the left are hypocrites.

Satirical 8 years, 3 months ago

Bozo.."How does that prevent us from leaving a situation that we can't doing anything but exacerbate"I never said it did. My comment was in response to why we don't get involved in every country's internal problems. Please read carefully or you might turn into "duplenty"Plus, we can do more than exacerbate, we can give them security and hope for a better future as a sovereign nation and a free democratic people."We stay because a government which has almost no legitimacy hasn't told us to leave- a government that knows it will almost surely collapse if US troops leave"Perhaps you have conveniently forgotten, or only get your news from Comedy Central, but Iraq had an election. Democracy makes the government legitimate. Whether or not they will collapse because of threats from foreign fighters, and an armed belligerent minority does affect the Iraqi government's legitimacy.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 3 months ago

"Washington D.C. has a higher homicide rate than Baghdad. "This has got to be one of the stupidest things ever posted on this forum.

Robert bickers 8 years, 3 months ago

Washington D.C. has a higher homicide rate than Baghdad. Obviously the US needs to pull out of D.C.!Seriously, there is a lot of good new coming out of Iraq that never gets covered. Murtha and his cronies spin like mad, making proclamations to get attention from a press that never follows up when he and his cohorts make horrifically foul statements (see the Haditha case). The Democrats would rather be right than succeed in Iraq. If that's not the case, they sure aren't showing anything different.Check out Michael Yon's site at http://www.michaelyon-online.com/. He's the ONLY independent reporter in Iraq and is truly unbiased. He's a skeptic, but an optimist - willing to take the administration to task for it's manifold blunders but also willing to tell the stories of the soldiers and civilians fighting to make Iraq a decent place to live. Wingnuts and Moonbats could both learn from Yon's POV.

sfjayhawk 8 years, 3 months ago

Satirical - so let me get this straight, it matters not that the reasons given us by this government for invading Iraq proved to be wholly incorrect? There should be no accountability on that point? Its just "well now that we are here, regardless of the reason, we might as well stay"? All Bush fluffers try and shift all the blame to congress - forgetting that what congress 'approved' was a plan designed and pushed for by the exec branch. Also, congress was controlled by the republicans at that point I believe.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 8 years, 3 months ago

Operation Golden Flow. No joke. Also, there was Operation White Purge. Because the USMC had grown a little larger than they are authorized to, they began poring through service records of individuals looking for anyone who had two offenses of the same type, provided the offense wasn't of the most pedestrian type. For those that met the criteria, poof, they were processed for discharge.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 8 years, 3 months ago

Mr_Nancy_Boy_To_You (Tom Shewmon) says:"I hate you Cal Thomas!!"Hate is the emotion de jour all day, every day from folks like you. Who peed in your corn flakes (today)? Oh, and yell at those hellion kids to get off your grass and turn that noise down.

jafs 8 years, 3 months ago

If we really cared about the people who live in Iraq, I would think we'd help them develop their own economy rather than bringing our oil companies in.

Satirical 8 years, 3 months ago

RestoreReason...I think logicsound's point was that the name of the war doesn't necessarily indicate it's purpose. While I agree with that, I also already stated that liberating Iraq and its people from a despotic and tyrannical Saddam Hussein was one of our goals.

Satirical 8 years, 3 months ago

logicsound04...Did you catch my joke: "I would have thought his (Peter's) IQ was 90"?

Satirical 8 years, 3 months ago

Logicsound04:"However, realistically, our entry into Iraq DID draw resources away from Afghanistan."I am not convinced that is accurate. Do you have facts that show there was a troop withdrawal after the invasion in Iraq? Realistically we could only use so many troops to search for 1 man. We don't search for people like China searches for land mines (children holding hands walking across fields).Plus, it was unlikely we were going to find him anyway since he probably escaped into another country where we were not given permission to pursue him. So, even if a troop withdrawal did occur, I am not sure it had any effect.I think if we can take on both Germany and Japan simultaneously and defeat them both, we can potentially successfully engage in two military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.Lastly, I got your joke logicsound, and I thought it was funny. Although I would have thought his IQ was 90.

sfjayhawk 8 years, 3 months ago

I thought the mission was accomplished in 2003? How could things be other than perfect in occupied Iraq if our mission has been accomplished for 5 years? Only 200 attacks/week, things are wonderful! In 100 years, they will be down to only 20 attacks/week, provided we continue to keep all the evil doers on the payroll.

Satirical 8 years, 3 months ago

logicsound04...I was amazed at first too, until I tought a monkey to do it, then I realized it is possible. You are really an inspiration too everyone with disabilities!

cato_the_elder 8 years, 3 months ago

While the venomous Cal-haters can be expected to vilify him as usual, this is a spot-on piece that is not only very timely and accurate, but also quite cogently articulates the facts that he reports.

Satirical 8 years, 3 months ago

tolawdjk:This slippery slope tactic is old, obvious, and false - If you fight for some freedom somewhere means you are required to fight for all freedoms everywhere.We initially went into Iraq because Congress approved the use of force by overwhelming majority and the citizens agreed. We believed (whether or not this was actually true) Saddam Hussein was a significant and immediate threat to our national security and felt they needed to be dealt with. This criteria does not apply to every nation that has a dictator or violates human rights. Also, most of those nation can be contained and/or issues resolved diplomatically.We are already in Iraq, we are not in these other countries. The Iraqi government allows us to stay in the country to help defend the people and rebuild their nation.

Satirical 8 years, 3 months ago

RestoreReason...I agree with you most of the time, but I think logicsound is correct in his last post (on the conclusions to all his arguments, not necessarily the language employed).

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 3 months ago

"We initially went into Iraq because Congress approved the use of force by overwhelming majority and the citizens agreed."I could be wrong, but didn't that resolution say that force should be a measure of last resort? We now know that there was no imminent danger posed by Iraq, and it took major cherry-picking and likely outright fabrication of intelligence to make it appear that there was any imminent danger. "We are already in Iraq, we are not in these other countries."How does that prevent us from leaving a situation that we can't doing anything but exacerbate."The Iraqi government allows us to stay in the country to help defend the people and rebuild their nation."This is just too circular. We stay because a government which has almost no legitimacy hasn't told us to leave-- a government that knows it will almost surely collapse if US troops leave.

repaste 8 years, 3 months ago

Get a life restore. Some things are obvious.

Satirical 8 years, 3 months ago

logicsound04..."None of the reasons for invasion, hidden or publicized were about saving the Iraqi people."I have to disagree with you; there was a long list of reasons and giving freedom to the Iraqi people was one of them. So, while the other reasons are debatably false, this reason is still one valid reason for the invasion and is also a justifiable reason for remaining in Iraq. Although, I have to admit I question whether we should have went into Iraq in the first place, the fact remains that we are there.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 3 months ago

Sorry, Kevin, but I disagree. I think BushCo violated these terms of the resolution in going to war.http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/10/20021002-2.html"In connection with the exercise of the authority granted in subsection (a) to use force the President shall, prior to such exercise or as soon there after as may be feasible, but no later than 48 hours after exercising such authority, make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq or (B) is not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq, and(2) acting pursuant to this resolution is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorists attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001."

chet_larock 8 years, 3 months ago

"If we really cared about the people who live in Iraq"..Did we ever?

Brent Garner 8 years, 3 months ago

Since this thread has degenerated into an argument about whether or not the US should have or whether or not Bush had authority to invade Iraq, I thought I'd add my two cents worth.First, consider. How did Gulf War I end? Was it with a ceasefire or a peace treaty? At the end of Gulf War I we, representing the coalition and the Iraq government agreed to a ceasefire, not a peace treaty. Under that ceasefire, the Iraqi government was to do certain things. Failure to do those things would give the US and other coalition nations the right to resume combat operations against Iraq at any time and place of their choosing. Second, did Iraq comply with the agreed terms of the ceasefire? Resoundingly no. From shooting at coalition aircraft to failure to disclose their weapons programs the Iraqi government failed to abide by almost any condition of the ceasefire.From these two points come the following.When a ceasefire is enforce, the existing state of war continues but in suspension. See Korea. Further authorization is not required as the original authorization still stands unless subsequently revoked. The authorization for Gulf War I was never revoked by Congress.Even though Clinton did not act on these violations, the authority and conditions of the ceasefire still existed. Therefore, Bush did not need additional authorization from anyone to initiate combat operations against Iraq. That he did so was more to satisfy domestic politic will than anything else.Sorry if this rubs folks the wrong way. But it is how these things work.

Corey Williams 8 years, 3 months ago

So now that we're "winning" in Iraq, isn't it about time to present the bill for services rendered?

uncleandyt 8 years, 3 months ago

The good news? is - Casket sales are up. Parking spaces are more available. Most Iraqi's don't have to worry about feeding as many family members as they did six years ago. Without basic utilities, water,gas, and electricity cannot be wasted. Blackwater got a robust new contract. The U.S. Embassy will be splendid.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.