you're hearing is the sound of politicians and their
media amen corner
complaining about the "negative" coverage coming out of Iraq.
To hear them tell it, everything is just hunky-dory over there
– it's the "biased" reporters, and not the concept of conquering
and subjugating a country in the holy name of "democracy,"
that's the problem. Congressman Jim Marshall (D-Georgia),
just back from a trip to our newly-won province, commiserated with
Brit Hume on Fox News:
came away with the impression that things are going well.
Certainly a good bit better than seems to me, the overall
American seems to think. And the important thing is for Americans
to understand that the news media tends to dwell on the negative.
It happens in your own hometown, the typical TV show, the
typical newspaper article focuses on murders and rapes. And
that's what you're seeing right now. What you don't see is
War Party, in desperation, is turning to bromides – accentuate
the positive! You catch more flies with
honey than vinegar! If you can't say
something nice, say nothing at all! – as a last resort.
The party line is now: You don't see the good things,
like "building schools," as Rep. Marshall would have it. Yeah,
they're building schools – in Iraq! – with $87 billion of your money,
while your kid goes to a broken-down state-run dump of a school
with metal detectors at the door, sub-literate
and the look and feel of a prison.
USA Today asks: "Is the cup half
full or half empty in Iraq?" Time's Brian Bennett
gets in the headlines is the American soldier getting shot,
not the American soldiers rebuilding a school or digging a
they're shooting at us as we build schools and dig wells –
is there some subtle message in this? Maybe I'm missing something,
but it seems to me that the ironic juxtaposition of these
wildly disparate headlines would provoke increased skepticism
rather than support for the war.
there are problems, says Bennett:
he also sees a city where restaurants are reopening daily,
where women feel increasingly safe going out to shop, where
more police means intersections aren't as clogged as they
were this summer. 'My neighbors are nice,' he says. 'My street
is a pretty quiet place.'"
they're really working miracles over there! I wonder when
they're going to get to our block. Back here in the
United States, the recession
is closing restaurants, no one feels
safe going out to shop, and slogging through clogged intersections
lifestyle. Bennett's street is a pretty quiet place: well,
bully for him. If he wants some excitement, he should try
California, the murder capital of the West Coast.
News' Greg Kelly happily chirps:
time around, it seems considerably on the road to normalcy.
It's still dangerous. You still hear gunfire, but a lot less
of it. There's less hostility and the streets are cleaner."
the streets are cleaner? How easy it is to impress
the Americans. Never mind that gunfire going off in the background,
just as long as the street outside his house approaches Western
standards of hygiene. According to this hack, who should be
writing press releases for the Pentagon instead of passing
off the same as "news," Western journalists given a guided
tour of Iraq's Potemkin
villages are supposed to dutifully report back home all
the wonderful "progress" being made you know, the schools,
the wells, the massacres
of entire wedding parties.
and the casualties, mount, the
message we are getting from the War Party is that anyone who
discusses these things wants America to lose. Andrew
Sullivan puts it bluntly:
not illegitimate to cite a Democratic Congressman's view that
the relentlessly negative media spin on Iraq is making our
job over there far harder than it might otherwise be. That's
the truth. The only hope the Baathists have is that we will
give up and do a Somalia. Moreover, disunity at home gives
the Saddamites and other terrorists hope and prolongs the
you report "bad" news, you're a Baathist at heart. Journalism,
in this view, is just another form of terrorism. Media outlets
that don't toe the party line are enemy combatants.
As the realization sinks in at home that American troops are
stationed atop an active volcano, the War Party is doing its
best to manage if not control the flow of information.
quagmire narrative gaining ground, however, the Pentagon's
PR agents masquerading as reporters and pundits – are
launching a vigorous counter-offensive. To the ideologues
of the War Party, such inconvenient facts as the almost daily
casualties suffered by the Americans and other coalition troops
are unimportant, to be brushed aside as rooting for the enemy.
lives of thousands of reservists are disrupted and endangered,
but why should Andrew Sullivan care? He's
walking along the beach in Provincetown, holding hands with
his boyfriend, wistfully contemplating the sunset while
thinking up new ways to justify the unfolding disaster.
life just grand?
IN THE MARGIN
may be in poor taste to say "I told you so!" – but it cannot
be said enough to those who won't recant their support of
this rotten, failing, morally indefensible war. Didn't we
tell them that each and every rationale for war was
a brazen lie, most especially the alleged Iraqi "link" to
Al Qaeda? The visit of 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta with an
Iraqi intelligence agent in Prague never happened.
The mysterious terrorist
training camp in Iraq supposedly utilized by Al Qaeda
somehow never turned up. Out of all those documents
that the London Telegraph "found"
in the rubble, all those tall tales of secret messages passed
back and forth between the Iraqi dictator and agents of Osama
bin Forgotten, all those thousands of words written by Laurie Mylroie and other fantasists
"proving" Iraqi complicity with Al Qaeda – nothing!
Vanished, along with those infamous weapons of mass destruction,
in the fog of war.
but the President and his advisors never said that:
they never explicitly came right out and accused Saddam of
masterminding 9/11. That's
the best defense the War Party can come up with. But the
evidence that the President did indeed make an explicit claim
is to be found in the text
of a letter, dated March 18, 2003, from George W. Bush
to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President
Pro Tempore of the Senate:
Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
with section 3(b) of the Authorization for Use of Military
Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243),
and based on information available to me, including that in
the enclosed document, I determine that:
reliance by the United States on further diplomatic and other
peaceful means alone will neither (A) adequately protect the
national security of the United States against the continuing
threat posed by Iraq nor (B) likely lead to enforcement of
all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding
acting pursuant to the Constitution and Public Law 107-243
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
terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001."
more explicit claim linking Iraq to 9/11 would be hard to
compose. Clearly, the President was saying Iraq planned, authorized,
and committed the 9/11 terrorist attacks, or aided those who
did – and Congress, in granting him the authority to act,
concurred. It was all a lie, every jot and tittle of it, and
now the liars are backpedaling as fast as they can, hoping
new crisis will take the spotlight off their fabrications.
It's a strategy that may well work.
The death of Edward
Said is bound to provoke all sorts of commentary, from
respectful eulogies to facile deconstructions, and, already,
even outright celebration – this latter coming from the website
of Lucianne Goldberg. Goldberg experienced
her 15 minutes of fame during the Monica Lewinsky scandal,
when she got her hot little hands on the
infamous tapes, and propelled her son, Jonah, to prominence
as (now former) online editor of National Review. Lucianne.com
is the neocons' version of Freerepublic.com, where the comments reflect
a mindset that has to be read to be
note that this is a website that explicitly forbids the posting of
articles from Antiwar.com, classifying us along with the
KKK and the Aryan Nations as a "hate group" (!). Well, they
ought to know all about hate: the hissing of these vipers
won't die down for days.
Please Support Antiwar.com
520 S. Murphy Avenue, #202
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
or Contribute Via our Secure
Credit Card Donation Form
Your contributions are