31 Jan
Posted in: Blog
By    6 Comments

Manufacturing a Cronkite Moment

There’s no dearth of bad news that is reported from Iraq. Many of the field reporters who give us up-to-the-minute updates are never at a loss to report how many Americans were wounded or killed today, or how many IEDs (improvised explosive device) were blown up, or how many Iraqi civilians were killed. We never see any stories about how many bad guys got bagged this past week, or how a new electrical power station or water treatment plant went online. We’re never bothered by those trite little stories about kids going back to school, communities being rebuilt, or the Iraqi economy slowly but surely chugging into motion. In fact, if one didn’t know any better, one would think that Iraq is misery and nothing besides. Only good guys die there, and only everything America touches ever turns to pot. Evil flourishes. It is a black hole.

In fact, that is precisely what CNN foreign correspondent Christiane Amanpour said this week. Amanpour is one of a gaggle of correspondents who have taken to referring to Iraq as a quagmire, a hopeless situation, a cauldron of bloodshed with no end.

Why is it that the men and women doing the actual fighting don’t see it that way? Could it be because these correspondents are getting caught up in the drama? Most likely, yes. Our reporters are movie stars these days. They’re entertainers who wax poetic about the sorry state of affairs, hoping to hit that magic mark that will be recorded for all time, like when Walter Cronkite supposedly single-handedly changed our strategy in Vietnam when he said that the war was unwinable after the Tet Offensive. Of course, the truth was a lot more complicated than that.

And the truth of what is taking place in Iraq is quite underreported. No one ever said it would be easy. No one ever said it would be short. So, why when it turns out to be neither, is the Left so surprised? Could it be because they’re impatient for victory? Or is it because they are impatient for failure? Only they truly know.

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  • She’s putting truth to words, not devoid from reality like Faux News Channel and its brand of super-spun right-wing talk television.

    News isn’t always fair, and it isn’t always balanced. Facts are facts. Sometime the truth sucks. Iraq is a mess and Lord Cheney and the Neocons screwed up.

    Cries for Democracy gets you an Iranian loving governmentin Iraq and Hamas in Palestine. More power to the people, but don’t fool yourself into believing it will benefit the United States.

    This war was a baseless act of agression built on lies and did nothing but trade one crap regime for a bloody terrorist breeding ground where innocent young men and women from all sides are being killed and mamed daily.

    Meghan XX OO
    (Who thinks Christiane Amanpour deserves anopther Peabody award for her fearless journalism.)

  • Um…no on all accounts, I’m afraid.

    First off, if you admit that news isn’t always balanced, then you admit it is biased. Thanks for proving me right there.

    It’s not that facts are not being reported in Iraq. It’s that all the facts are not being reported. And that’s my point from the jump. The only stories that make it onto the news shows(any news for that matter, even Fox, thankyouverymuch) are stories of s— being blown up. It’s tangible. It draws eyeballs; it’s instantaneous, it’s raw. And it’s immediately quantifiable.

    Stories of the rebuilding of schools, of the slow tedious investigation into Saddam’s mass murder sprees, and so on—these are stories that unfold over days, weeks, and months. There are not breaking developments every day in these events, therefore they are not reported on regularly.

    The resulting effect in our split-second attention-span culture is to completely forget that progress is being made.

    And I reject on its face the idea that the war is a baseless act of aggression. It’s an oft-repeated argument, but it is as tired as a 20-year old blood hound after a two-day fox hunt. Saddam Hussein was a threat to the region and it is indeed documented that he supported Palestinian suicide bombers and Al Qaeda training camps. He was a menace since the day he was born. This information is out there for all to examine. So, I ask you, who really is seeing what they want to see?

    And one more thing, while we’re at it…Why is it okay to wrestle with tyrants like Slobodan Milosevic and prop up failing governments like Jean Betrand Aristide in Haiti back in the 1990s, but anathema to American foreign policy to remove Saddam? Could it be because those were actions taken when a Democrat was in the White House, making it all okay? Sure does seem like it to me.

  • It was a baseless act, and the argument has legs, as most American believe it to be true.

    As if Republicans are fighting this war because of justice against a tyrant and the Iraqi people.

    This war killed 10 times more innocent people than Saddam did in his 40 year reign.

    If Republican cared about humanity, they wouldn’t be cutting programs domestically that people need to survive, providing tax cuts for the rich, and stand by while a Genocide occurs in Darfur.

    Stopping Milosevic = not one US death and cost-free to the US taxpayer, with a stated goal, plan, mission, to end a genocide with no agenda for Oil or Halliburton contracts. No comparison stymie.

    (Who loves when Republics try to compare a bungled, pointless war filled with torture, mismanagement, needless death, mamed soldiers to Clinton’s Bosnia mission.)

  • The U.N., the Americans, the now-inactive Coalition Provisional Authority, and the new Iraqi government do not know how many people Saddam killed. Every couple of months another grave site is uncovered. So comparing the death toll pre- and post-Saddam is a specious exercise.

    I cannot wrap my head around how the left picks and chooses its fights. They only seem to want to shy away from being the “World’s policeman” when a Republican is president. There is a severe disconnect here, and frankly, I’ve seen the hypocrisy on both sides of the fence.

    As far as Iraq is concerned, you are convinced that it is all about oil. I’m not going to debate that. In fact, I am in more agreement with you than you might think. But let’s see things for what they truly are.

    America consumes darn near 25% of all the black gold that is pumped out of the ground. We’d be guzzling it out of the tap at the local pub if it didn’t keep clogging up the pipes. I’m not debating the wisdom of the consumption of oil here, but it is a cold hard fact that oil is very important to us. And to our allies, even our fair-weather friends in Europe.

    We all talk about weening ourselves of the oil teet, but until we actually do, these are the choices we are left with. So we all might as well just deal with it, or make a change. Simple as that.

    We are not looking to add stars to the U.S. flag. If we were, believe me, the battle in Iraq would be fought very differently. What we are doing is setting the region toward stability. As the preeminent power in the world, it is our responsibility to step in when the Middle East destabilizes. And with Saddam Hussein around, the Middle East was decidedly destabilized.

    Just like some who want us to step in when Sudan destabilizes, or when Bosnia destabilizes. We cannot fight all the righteous battles that need to be fought. But we certainly cannot ignore those that threaten our national security.

  • Brownell decent points, up until you categorized Iraq’s threat to our National Security.

    Lost me there with no WMDs and Iran and South Korea being far more of a threat . Maybe Bush meant to bomb Iran, and he us a Q instead of N when fillingout the form he sent to Rummy. I’d believe that more than his other 25,000 excuses trying to justify the war.

    Go watch your idol and enjoy your cocktails.

    Meghan XX OO
    (who thinks maybe some of these Republicans aren’t as knee-jerk as I initially assumed)

  • Just a personal note, then I’ll leave you be. Frankly, I could have cared less if any WMDs were ever found. (But I do believe what there was ended up being dispersed around the region before the U.S. executed its thoroughly telegraphed invasion) And it was not a stellar idea to hinge the war on that.

    As I stated before, there is more than enough evidence to link Saddam to the terrorists of Jihadistan. That for me was enough to justify the invasion. As far as Iran is concerned – well, it’s only a small coincidence that this upstart Islamic republic is book-ended by Afghanistand and Iraq. Think about it…

    Cocktails all around! It’s the State of the Union, Baby!