The pro-war political machine has already started spinning General Petraeus’ much anticipated report a month before its supposed release.
And the network media and NPR have joined in, eagerly following developments like the ways that Obama and Clinton are squirming back to the muddy middle, reasserting their love for war in general, and even conceding that –hey, that darn surge might have worked after all, if it means that I can call it supporting the troops and get your vote in return.
Careful listening now reveals that the conventional wisdom of mainstream media, as evidenced by their questions, assumptions and “experts” used, acknowledges that there is now at least some sort of positive improvement in the situation on the ground in Iraq. They have been given the bone of political failure in Iraq to report on and it keeps them happy.
But where did they get these new assumptions? These knowledgeable guesses as to what the General’s report would probably say came from various Bush administration offices. Dick Cheney’s upbeat assessments on the Sunday talk circuit is the news for a couple of days, the message gets reinforced from a few other sources, and our “news” editors are relieved to go along.
They accept these assessments from an administration that has done nothing but lie to us from the very beginning of their crooked reign. The media were lied to at the beginning of this war. A few years later, the media said ”We were lied to!!!” Unfortunately, they didn’t get around to saying “Never again.” Come to think of it, that sounds just like the Democrats.
We are being fed a steady of streams of lies from Bush and his allies about Iran. But because those lies root themselves by instilling fear, very few in the public eye are willing to stand up to them as they are uttered. Only when it is too late will we face the truth.
Bush tried to draw a lesson from Vietnam this week, saying absurdly that we should have prolonged that war. But when he joined in the general condemnation of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, albeit with a lukewarm “I didn’t really mean it.” the next day, a more striking parallel came to mind. When South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem fell out of favor with the United States, he was assassinated with the acquiescence of the CIA in order to make room for a leader who would better take the reins of an unsuccessful war out of our hands.
Why does our media and our Congress continue to pretend that this administration might be telling the truth? Do we have to maintain some kind of myth about our institutions and our Presidents? Have we been deluded into thinking that we cannot admit to Government failure or criminality without some sort of loss of prestige? What sort of prestige is it to be a laughing stock?
When the Petraeus report is issued, it should be analyzed carefully. Pro-war advocates will cherry pick what they wish. The Congress and the media should be reading it cover to cover. If their track record on reading critical legislation is any indication, few Congressmembers will bother to aquaint themselves with the details of the report. If the media can resist the Bush spin establishing a new more positive perception of our current status, they could do the country a service by taking a hard and unflinching look at any real information that may be gleaned from the details.