Thursday, March 17, 2005
The Sun-Times picked up another eye-roller from the AP, this one a ham-handed effort to designate winners and losers in the two years since the beginning of the Iraq war. Some of these observations are just inane; others are jaw-droppingly awful and dishonest. I'll let you decide for yourself, but here are some lowlights:
Winner: Bush, re-elected despite rising troop deaths, a mounting insurgency and no evidence of weapons of mass destruction. Heavy doses of post-Sept. 11 fear overrode voter concerns about his administration's missteps in Iraq.
Loser: Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate whose stances on Iraq led Republicans to brand him a flip-flopper. He found it no easy task to oppose Bush's military campaign while supporting the troops.
Got that? Bush won even though his claims were ALL WRONG and he scared people into voting for him, while Kerry lost because Republicans "branded" him a flip-flopper. Not, of course, because he IS a flip-flopper, but because those nasty Republicans called him one. And poor John wanted to support the troops but it was "no easy task" for a man who was, well, against the troops.
Perhaps the reality is that, unlike the MSM, the majority of the American public does not view the Iraq situation as an unmitigated disaster. It's just possible that Americans recognize that despite not finding nuclear warheads in Saddam's closet, there is much to be gained (and has already been gained) by deposing a brutal thug like Hussein, but assisting Iraq in creating a democratic government and by juxtaposing a free and democratic middle eastern state among oppressive patriarchies like Iran. Then again, I'm willing to give the American a great deal more credit than your average biased news bureau.
The AP et. al. will also have to do a better job (or any job at all) of explaining why the world would be a safer and better place with Hussein still in power, WMD or not. And beside, anyone who has read the text of the war resolution knows that, while featured prominently, WMD were not the sole rationale for going to war in the first place. Anyone who says different has not read it or is revising history. As Mark Steyn said:
This is all very odd. In Kirkuk the other day, they found another mass grave, this time with the bodies of 200 children who had been buried alive. Yawn. Doesn't count. Wake me if they find a toxic warhead among the teeny skulls.
The MSM have done a wonderful job deflecting attention away from the big elephants in the room.
Winner: Former chief U.N. arms inspector Hans Blix, whose insistence that Iraq lacked weapons of mass destruction turned out to be correct.
Loser: U.S. intelligence agencies, their credibility shattered by the failure to find those banned weapons. Former CIA Director George Tenet's ''slam dunk'' didn't even hit the rim.
That's probably a fair assessment of U.S. intelligence and of Tenet in particular, but to be fair, this is the same intelligence that was used by the Clinton administration and various Clinton allies to sound the warning about Saddam.
The praise larded on Blix is laughable. Please cite any pre-war statement by Blix that said unequivocally that Saddam had no WMD. For starters, you can go here for a host of comments from Blix. Do these sound like the words of a man who "insisted" that Iraq lacked WMD?:
"The longer that one does not find any weapons in spite of people coming forward and being rewarded for giving information, etc., the more I think it is important that we begin to ask ourselves 'If there were no weapons, why was it that Iraq conducted itself as it did for so many years?'" Blix said. "They cheated, they retreated, they changed figures, they denied access, etc. Why was that if they didn't have anything really to conceal? I have speculations — one could be pride," he said.
And Hussein would still be cheating and retreating as long as ineffectual UN inspectors were allowed to continue their tortoise-like inspections program.
Winner: ''We got him,'' U.S. administrator L. Paul Bremer's triumphant remark after Saddam's capture.
Loser: ''Bring 'em on,'' Bush's much criticized taunt to those attacking U.S. troops.
Much criticized by fatuous AP stringers, anyway. Meanwhile, in the real world, "bring 'em on" seems to be a winning strategy.
And there's more!:
Winner: Iraqi media, once an organ of Saddam's Baath party. A plethora of freewheeling newspapers, radio and television stations emerged in his absence.
Loser: U.S. media, for failing to fully investigate Bush administration claims about Iraqi WMD.
Yes, well leave it to the AP to decide that, after Rathergate and a plethora of other missteps and outright liberal bias, the worst thing the U.S. media have done is to be too soft on Bush. Amazing. But not surprising.posted by the wolf | 3:19 PM