(Long post alert)
A few months back, Senator Chuck Hagel—a Republican senator from Nebraska--said that the Iraq War was turning into another Vietnam. Elections and many other differences aside, in a certain sense, the senator was correct. The concept of the Vietnam War—rather than the actual war itself—was shaped by the media of that time and today’s overwhelming Democrat, leftist, "anti-war" media is attempting, with some success, to shape how the American public thinks about this war. The question needs to be revisited, however: to what end?
For whatever reason, the vast majority of the American media, a good portion of the Democrats and even some so-called Republicans envision the defeat of the Republican/conservative agenda in general and the disgrace of the sitting Republican president in particular by the proverbial any means necessary. Whether the endeavor is something as serious and far-reaching as war and its purpose or a triviality, any endeavor by the “neo-cons” must be stopped. Whether the issue is objectively good or bad in actuality matters not; the only thing that matters is that the undertaking is authored by Republican/conservative. But in order to color any of these endeavors as objectively bad in the minds of a significant portion of the American public, Republican/conservative authorship isn’t quite enough. Not yet. The endeavor must be flawed or tainted somehow. The truth, logic or importance of the flaw/taint is irrelevant, however. It is merely enough that the idea has been planted.
Example: remember the so-called fake turkey incident? It is a perfect illustration of how willing the media were to collectively lie about a petty issue in order to besmirch an unqualified public relations coup by a Republican.
And it was successful to a point: there are people out there who still think that the turkey was a fake and who are petty enough to let that lie overshadow that piece of personal courage and thoughtfulness by the president. If something that small can be picked apart and lied about in this age when “knowledge is increased,” then we shouldn’t be too surprised that a president who has selected two secretaries of state who are black along with the most “diverse” cabinet ever and who has increased spending in the traditional areas of social welfare for the disadvantaged classes can be called a racist.
Example two: the Plame/Wilson affair, in which a reporter goes to jail to protect a source (a Republican) that told her that it was okay to reveal his name and in which that source and another Republican are under Grand Jury scrutiny for revealing the name of a covert CIA agent that wasn’t actually covert.
(4) The term “covert agent” means—If such things can be believed to be scandalous on a wide scale, then it shouldn’t be too difficult for the “anti-war” types to turn Iraq into Vietnam in the minds of many. But, the main “culprits” of the war—the president, the military and peace- and democracy-loving Iraqis--aren’t cooperating to complete the scenario that the "anti-war" types have envisioned; they aren’t confirming the “anti-war” version of how the world should work. For his part, President Bush isn’t bending to “reason,” for the military’s part, most of them know what their duty is and their morale is high. And, most alarming for the naysayers, the Iraqis are taking advantage of the benefits of democracy, in spite of the high stakes and the evil perpetrated by this era’s violent fascists bent on world domination.
(A) a present or retired officer or employee of an intelligence agency or a present or retired member of the Armed Forces assigned to duty with an intelligence agency—
(i) whose identity as such an officer, employee, or member is classified information, and
(ii) who is serving outside the United States or has within the last five years served outside the United States; or
(B) a United States citizen whose intelligence relationship to the United States is classified information, and—
(i) who resides and acts outside the United States as an agent of, or informant or source of operational assistance to, an intelligence agency, or
(ii) who is at the time of the disclosure acting as an agent of, or informant to, the foreign counterintelligence or foreign counterterrorism components of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; or
(C) an individual, other than a United States citizen, whose past or present intelligence relationship to the United States is classified information and who is a present or former agent of, or a present or former informant or source of operational assistance to, an intelligence agency.
These people just aren’t cooperating in the pre-authored story of their own futility.
While accidentally viewing the nerve-wracking “Hannity and Colmes” a week or so ago, I happened to catch Brent Bozell and Juan Williams discussing a study—conducted by the conservative Media Research Center--on the media coverage of the Iraq War. Alan Colmes tried to talk down the study’s credibility (because it only covers this year), but Bozell and even the very liberal Williams seemed to find it credible.
The study’s findings say that the mainstream media’s transmittal of bad news is disproportionately high as compared to the good news. (Yes, I hear the “duh” chorus out there.)
It’s not as if there was no “good news” to report. NBC’s cameras found a bullish stock market and a hiring boom in Baghdad’s business district, ABC showcased the coalition’s successful effort to bring peace to a Baghdad thoroughfare once branded “Death Street,” and CBS documented how the one-time battleground of Sadr City is now quiet and citizens are beginning to benefit from improved public services. Stories describing U.S. and Iraqi achievements provided essential context to the discouraging drumbeat of daily news, but were unfortunately just a small sliver of TV’s Iraq news.(Emphasis mine.)
Here’s one of the charts from the study.
Pretty unambiguous results, no?
In spite of the imbalance in the coverage, however, the professional media’s Vietnam War narrative cannot possibly be complete without the throwing up of presidential hands in surrender….oh, excuse me, “honorable” withdrawal from Iraq. Unless he admits that the war is wrong and pulls the troops out as soon as possible and retires (in 2009) in disgrace the Vietnam analogy cannot be complete. And unless the American public repudiates the Republicans en masse, the victory (against the Right) isn't achieved.
And that is what many, if not most of the "anti-war" types want--for the Republicans most ambitious and risky effort to fall to ruin. But the proponents of seeing the war through will not accommodate the naysayers; the president will not willingly give up. So he has to be forced to do so. Are the “anti-war” types willing to take drastic measures to complete the story in their favor? That remains to be seen. Right now, the means consist of demoralization of the American public and, if possible, the US military. If both segments can be demoralized to the level that the pro-war legislators will be thrown out in sufficient numbers in the 2006 elections, the Vietnam scenario could very easily come to pass.
Even though last week’s constitutional election in Iraq saw an even larger percentage of Shia, Kurds and, most importantly, Sunni participation than in the country’s parliamentary election in January, it seems as though the naysayers want to dismiss those results. This past Sunday, on ABC’s “This Week,” DNC Chairman Howard Dean played into the hoped-for scenario.
Dean: Secondly, on "Washington Week" this week Martha Raddatz from ABC said she had recorded on tape I believe that she saw a gentleman come in, fill out seven ballots, yes, yes, yes and stick them all in the box. If that's what we're fighting for in Iraq, we don't belong there.So one alleged incident of corruption means that three years of blood, sweat, tears and money have gone for naught? Or is this wishful thinking on the part of Mr. Dean and those whom he represents?
Stephanopoulos: So we should pull out?
Dean: I said if that's what we're fighting for. If this election was corrupted it's time to figure out how to get out. What I think there is an intermediary position, we need to get through the next couple of elections, this one, we need to find out if this was an honest election or not apparently it wasn't certainly completely honest.
Stephanopoulos: Early indications are they believe there was no widespread fraud.
Dean: All I know is an ABC correspondent saw it and talked about it on television. That's what I know. Let's find out more. When you have 99% of the people voting yes, that's always some indication that things may not quite be exactly as they seem.
Being able to say “I told you so,” being able to point to the futility of American military might, being able to thrust their fingers at the “evil ones” and their leader—the Republicans, the pro-war crowd, the military and President Bush, respectively—means more to this group than does the ultimate well-being of their fellow human beings and the eventual defeat of those who would see us dead or converted to Islam at gunpoint.
They couldn’t care less about the consequences for the people of Iraq any more than their ideological parents cared about the fate of the Vietnamese, nor do they care about the honor and free will of the American men and women who are going to bat for the Iraqis. (Some are even planning a vigil to
celebrate mourn the death of the 2000th GI in Iraq.) Power is the goal and it must be reached no matter the cost.
However, the prophecy of the “anti-warriors”—the Vietnam debacle--isn’t fulfilling itself fast enough. I’m sure that they are wondering whether something more drastic would speed things along. Would great mass death do the trick? Perhaps something in the tens of thousands at minimum--something that would unequivocally indicate the failure of the Iraqis to peacefully (relatively) transform their country. No doubt, a single-incident large body count would get the Fat Lady to humming a few bars of the “I told you so” aria.
I don’t think that most of the "anti-war" crowd would assist in something so heinous, but one wonders how many of them have to hide a smile every time a group of GIs and Iraqis meet their Maker at the hands of one of Michael Moore’s “freedom-fighters.” Think of it. There are people--there are American people who would actually do the happy dance over the dead bodies of the good guys. There are people who would laugh in the face of such horror because in would signal the defeat of President Bush and the Republican agenda, because the defeat of the rightwing is what matters more than freedom for the Iraqis or victory and honor for America’s military. It matters more than anything else.
But let’s say that the "anti-war" elements get their way. Let’s say that the House and the Senate go Democrat next year and that they vote to pull the troops out of Iraq two months after the 2006 midterm elections. What will be the results? The president will be nearly paralyzed for the last two years of his second term and we’d probably get a Democrat president in 2008.
But what comes after that and after that and after that? What about the things that matter more than the possession of political power?
Americans will have proved the terrorists Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi correct—that we have no stomach for war and can be easily cowed into submission.
What will be the results in the Middle East? Civil war in Iraq and exponentially more dead Arabs all over the region—the vast majority of the dead being the Shia…and, eventually, the Islamists will deal with the Jews. It’s always about the Jews.
Terrorist Ayman Al-Zawahiri spelled it out in his letter to Zarqawi; they most definitely have a "survival" plan.
So we must think for a long time about our next steps and how we want to attain it, and it is my humble opinion that the Jihad in Iraq requires several incremental goals:So, Democrats, leftists, and "anti-war" advocates, we know what the Islamists have planned for all of us—right and left, black, white and other, Christians, Hindus, Atheists, not a few Muslims, and, most especially, Jews. We know because they conceived it, planned it and spelled it out for us, long prior to the Iraq War. (In the letter Zawahiri is merely reiterating the bin Laden edicts and filling in the details for the contingencies that exist right now.)
The first stage: Expel the Americans from Iraq.
The second stage: Establish an Islamic authority or amirate, then develop it and support it until it achieves the level of a caliphate- over as much territory as you can to spread its power in Iraq, i.e., in Sunni areas, is in order to fill the void stemming from the departure of the Americans, immediately upon their exit and before un-Islamic forces attempt to fill this void, whether those whom the Americans will leave behind them, or those among the un-Islamic forces who will try to jump at taking power.
There is no doubt that this amirate will enter into a fierce struggle with the foreign infidel forces, and those supporting them among the local forces, to put it in a state of constant preoccupation with defending itself, to make it impossible for it to establish a stable state which could proclaim a caliphate, and to keep the Jihadist groups in a constant state of war, until these forces find a chance to annihilate them.
The third stage: Extend the jihad wave to the secular countries neighboring Iraq.
The fourth stage: It may coincide with what came before: the clash with Israel, because Israel was established only to challenge any new Islamic entity.
However, Democrats, leftists, and "anti-war" advocates here are some things that it would be nice for you to answer.
• After you have trashed the efforts of the Iraq War so thoroughly and caused our troops to withdraw in disgrace and have made the sacrifice of the dead meaningless; after you “throw the bums out” and ascend to your rightful place in the power centers of this nation, what will you do to keep us safe and prosperous? I mean, since the plans of the neo-cons are all wrong and, possibly, evil, what will you do that is different but will achieve the same objective?
• When you’re back in power, Democrats, leftists, and "anti-war" advocates, what are you going to do to increase the probabilities of our survival?
• Are the objectives you have in mind better than the ones we are shooting for at present? If so, what are they? added: What quality/qualities make your objective(s) better?
Thinking American citizens want to live, want their children to live, want their way of life to survive. The overarching issue that needs to be resolved in the minds of such citizens is whether the present onslaught against all things Republican and conservative stems from honest disagreement on how to live/survive or from the desire to grab back power.
If all you hope for comes to pass, Democrats, leftists, and "anti-war" advocates—if the Vietnamization of the Iraq War is successfully carried out in the sphere of American public opinion and you are voted back into power on the heels of the disgrace of the Republican agenda--what happens next? What will you do to keep us safe?
I wonder how many of you have thought that far in advance.
UPDATE 10-26-05, 9:39 PM PST: Some slight editing has been done.
UPDATE 9:42 PM PST: Whew, and just in time, too. Welcome LGF readers!