Friday, March 09, 2007

There Is No Solution to a Lying Press

When does press bias cross the line into outright lying?

In the Nation & World news section of today’s Detroit News, a top of the page headline purporting to quote General David Petraeus speaking about Iraq makes him scream ‘There is no … solution.’ This headline was written in abject service of the Democrat-liberal media axis’s message that there is absolutely, positively no combination of ideas, resources, time or effort that could possibly lead to a success in Iraq.

But, as the highly-paid Detroit News copy editor simply had to know, (perhaps overpaid, as evidenced by his headline just below, “Bush tries new tact with foes” --ouchie!), the ellipses not only shortened and simplified Gen. Petraeus’s quotation, but put something into the General’s mouth that he never said. (In fact, the online edition of the article skips the ellipses, and simply invents the Petraeus quote, ‘There is no solution.’)

Can you appreciate how someone poorly informed about the situation in Iraq, (a huge number of Americans), and trusting that headline to tell the gist of the story, comes away believing that the President’s new commander in Iraq no sooner got his boots on the ground before he threw up his hands in despair and pronounced the utter futility of the mission?

But the headline is lying. That is not what General Petraeus said.

Alexander Zavis’s Los Angeles Times story below this deceitful headline reported the following:

“The new U.S. commander in Iraq acknowledged Thursday that U.S.-led forces could not protect all Iraqis from ‘thugs with no soul’ bent on reigniting sectarian warfare.

"’Any student of history recognizes that there is no military solution to a problem like that in Iraq,’" Army Gen. David H. Petraeus said at his first news conference since assuming command last month.

“Political negotiations were vital and would require reaching out to ‘some of those who have felt the new Iraq did not have a place for them,’ Petraeus said. ‘Military action is necessary to help improve security but it is not sufficient.’”

Rather than echoing the Democratic party’s counsel’s of despair, Petraeus was merely re-iterating what has always been the coalition strategy in Iraq: to use military force to ensure stability, while at the same time fostering political democracy and freedom so the Iraqis can rebuild their own nation.

Zavis said as much when he wrote, “Petraeus' point was one U.S. officials have been making for several years as they pressed for Iraqis to assume control of their country after the U.S. overthrow of Saddam Hussein.”

It was never the mission in Iraq to reduce the level of conflict and sectarian strife to nothing, as if that were even possible. Yet resorting to ridiculous benchmarks is one more way the Left can redefine an uphill, but clearly progressing, slog to final victory as an utter failure and a total loss.

The stepped up suicide attacks by insurgents in response to the increased military crackdown in Baghdad was predicted by the President weeks ago when he announced the new plan, and is completely unsurprising. The insurgents are well aware that the only hope they have of fighting back against US forces is to destroy the political will of America, and they have been consistent in their use of this weapon. As Victor David Hanson wrote last week, “[t]he terrorists learned from our own domestic calculus that each month of televised IEDs was worth one or two U.S. senators suddenly dropping their support for the war.” (“Anatomy of Iraq: How did we get to this baffling scenario?”).

Likewise, suicide attacks aimed at Shias have been powerfully effective at convincing misinformed Americans, (especially with the twisted versions of events we're being spoon-fed by the media), that sectarian violence is a problem without a solution--so we may as well just turn our backs and tackle something easier, like stopping the polar ice caps from melting.

Petraeus’s point that political, not military, solutions are the only road to success in Iraq merely restates what has always been our strategy there from the beginning. But the Left’s re-telling of the story of the Iraq war is so focused on proving it was a mistake from the beginning and the greatest foreign policy failure of all time, they stubbornly exclude the historical facts of three successful elections in Iraq--the glaring evidence that political solutions were always meant to take over where the military strategy had reached its limit.

And Petraeus’s comments come amid signs that sectarian violence has dropped dramatically pursuant to the increased troop presence, and many families have felt secure enough to begin returning to the homes from which the violence had driven them.

Consider this eyewitness account of things on March 2nd from the outstanding Iraqi blog, Iraq the Model:

While many Iraqi families are returning to the homes they once were forced to leave, there are also Baghdadis who are reopening their stores, ending the months they spent out of business because of violence and intimidation. Some streets that were virtually deserted a few months ago are slowly showing signs of returning to life.

The reopening stores even include some liquor shops! There are two stores on one street that I used to shop that closed early last year when their owners received death threats from the insurgents and the militias. Yesterday I walked through that street and, to my amazement, I found both stores open and back in business.

Of course the reopening of two liquor stores is no big deal by itself when we are talking about a city where thousands of businesses are still shuttered. I regard this as a further positive sign of a change in Baghdad’s daily life. It means that those shopkeepers are leaving their fear behind, and openly ignoring the threats of militias and insurgents who once ruled the streets and intimidated the people with threats and violence.

The results of Operation “Imposing Law” are not magical. We didn’t expect them to be magical. The commanders didn’t claim they’d be when the Operation began. Still these latest developments are certainly promising. And let’s not forget that what has been achieved so far was achieved while many thousands of the new troops assigned to Baghdad are yet to arrive.

There are times when the perfidious manipulation by the press makes me want to give up. And it only makes it worse when the Democrat-media axis offer mutual protection of one another’s phony poses as the Protectors of Truth, even while they manufacture lie after lie about the war in Iraq, and the people who are still trying to win it.


Yankee Doodle said...

It's funny -- the past few days, I have been checking out blogs from what we might describe as America's Left. They hate the press, too, for sticking up too much for Bush.

Anonymous said...

That headline was either poorly or deceptively written - I saw it too.
The Detroit News should be a better paper than that!