Tuesday, July 31, 2007

News Sentinel Joins Iraq Spin Brigade

I typically focus on local issues here but today's editorial from the News Sentinel was so off-base and ridiculous I felt like I had to respond. Now frequent readers know that I often criticize the JG editorial page and they may wonder why I don't give the same oversight to the NS. The truth is brother Craig at Reverent and Free usually handled that task so I didn't have to worry about it, but now that he's on sabbatical it looks like somebody has to pick up the slack.

The NS joined the rightwing Iraq Spin Brigade today when they penned an editorial about Iraq and how the surge might be working. In this editorial they cite two authors from the Brookings Institute - Michael O'Hanlon and Ken Pollack - who recently wrote a column for The New York Times discussing this very topic. Of course the right wing media will want you to believe, as the NS writes, that O'Hanlon and Pollack have long been critics of the Iraq war and their opinion is somehow more relevant because - well, because they're not Republicans I suppose.

What you need to know, and what the NS should have known, is that these two "experts" have been supporters of this war and its strategy from day one. They have consistently been wrong every single step of the way and only after it was obvious to everyone that the war was going south did they even feign the weakest of criticisms towards the Bush administration. And let us not forget that they were also two of the principal champions of the surge in the first place.

So here we have two pundits that have been consistently wrong and have a professional vested interest in supporting the surge (if they haven't lost all their credibility already) being propped up by the NS as wise and without a conflict of interest. Nothing could be further from the truth.

At some point if you're going to consider yourself a journalist (I'm assuming those at the NS do) then you might want to actually read the news and understand the nuances of a story before publishing it. I was going to blog a list of O'Hanlon and Pollack's greatest hits but Glenn Greenwald has the goods if you're interested in knowing how wrong these two have been since day 1. Oh I can't resist so here's a couple from 2003-2004:
There is obviously violence. There was violence in some of the regions that we visited on the days we were there. But you're talking about specific, isolated acts just like you would get in an American city. I'm not trying to say that this is a country at peace, but overall, we really do run most of the country together with our Iraqi partners and the resistance forces are very small pockets who operate only at a given moment here or there.

Coalition and Iraqi security forces will ultimately defeat the rejectionist remnants of the Ba'ath Party, as well as foreign terrorists who have entered the country. These dead-enders are few in number and have little ability to inspire a broader following among the Iraqi people.



Craig said...

heh. indeedy!

Andy said...

A military victory in Iraq is an illusion that the Bush Administration continues to dangle on a stick in front of the American people.

This war has been a disaster from the start. There are and have been, way too many variables to control. With the recent build up of the Turkish forces on the Iraqi border, the never-ending sectarian violence and bloodshed, Kurdish disputes over rights to oil fields, recent Sunni boycott
of Iraqi Government, extended tours of duty for US soldiers and not to mention, the millions of dollars unaccounted for in US weapons that have mysteriously disappeared, the chances for success are next to nil.

And to think, one is still viewed by some as un-patriotic or un-American for speaking out against the Iraq War.