Monday, July 30, 2007

Too good to be news, pt. 2 - I will try not to belabor the point that the news out of Iraq continues to be more and more positive, thus providing additional proof that the military surge is indeed working. Ironically, today's good news comes by way of the NYT, the same newspaper that found it difficult to comprehend that more Americans might actually feel that the war is justified (as discussed elsewhere). Of course the Times' editorial staff made sure that it was placed in the op-ed section - as if to underscore the fact that it was merely an asynoptic, if not wholly biased view of the situation on the ground. Nevertheless, a pair of Brooking Institution stalwarts, Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack made the case that, "[w]e are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms."

After the furnace-like heat, the first thing you notice when you land in Baghdad is the morale of our troops. In previous trips to Iraq we often found American troops angry and frustrated — many sensed they had the wrong strategy, were using the wrong tactics and were risking their lives in pursuit of an approach that could not work.

Today, morale is high. The soldiers and marines told us they feel that they now have a superb commander in Gen. David Petraeus; they are confident in his strategy, they see real results, and they feel now they have the numbers needed to make a real difference.

Everywhere, Army and Marine units were focused on securing the Iraqi population, working with Iraqi security units, creating new political and economic arrangements at the local level and providing basic services — electricity, fuel, clean water and sanitation — to the people. Yet in each place, operations had been appropriately tailored to the specific needs of the community. As a result, civilian fatality rates are down roughly a third since the surge began — though they remain very high, underscoring how much more still needs to be done. (Emphasis added.)

Needless to say, this hardly sat well with the Left. The op-ed, coming from Brookings, was a swift kick to a liberal beehive, and all of the killer bees swarmed to rebuff this assault on their sensibilities. Everyone from Salon's Glenn Greenwald to The Atlantic's Matthew Yglesias to TPM Cafe's Election Central (here and here) to Lawyers, Guns and Money rose up in full fury to attack the idea that Iraq could be anything other than a miserable quagmire. For their part, David Martin and The CBS Evening News did as much they could to downplay the success of the surge (although it is unlikely that more than a few sentient viewers saw the newscast, ratings being what they are presently.)

All of this provides us further insight on the underpinnings of the media's mindset, and by extension that of the Left more generally. Indeed, to their way of thinking, Iraq must be a Vietnam-like hell. The economy absolutely has to be in the toilet (and whatever prosperity is to be found goes disproportionately to the wealthy.) Republicans and conservatives have to be bigoted, reactionary, corrupt and/or hypocritical and George W. Bush must be a fascistic McChimpy Hitler.

If none of the above is true - which is to say if there is a reasonable alternative to to liberalism's ideological template - then progressive ideas would never receive a hearing from an informed public, as they are so patently at cross purposes with freedom, democracy and prosperity. As it is, any triumph of which liberals can boast is itself either derivative of or solely in relation to conservatism; on its own, liberalism is a shadow philosophy. It does not stand to scrutiny of any sort, and it certainly cannot countenance any opinion that differs from its worldview.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am following ,often as possible, and I like your style of writing.
Keep up the insight
God Bless America