While rockers Bruce Springsteen and David Crosby continue to run around the country spouting the preposterous assertion that America is doing evil in Iraq, the tide is quietly turning against the real bad guys: Terrorists who kill innocent civilians in the name of Allah.
A front page article in the Washington Post says that al-Qaeda in Iraq has been decimated since the beginning of this year and casualties, both civilian and military, are steadily dropping.
Despite the apparent progress, much of the media is still focused on the undeniable screw-ups that have occurred in Iraq. When the former commander in that country, General Ricardo Sanchez, lashed the Bush administration for poor planning in the campaign, the press went wild. Sanchez’s remarks were page one news.
But the General also had something else to say that the liberal press totally ignored. Speaking before the Military and Editors Association, the General hammered the media: “What is clear to me is that you are perpetuating the corrosive partisan politics that is destroying our country and killing our service members who are at war.”
Sanchez was talking about the hysterical coverage of Abu Ghraib when he was in charge. The New York Times printed an incredible 50 front-page stories about the crimes, and most of those reports were picked up by foreign newspapers.
Thus, worldwide perception of the U.S. military, in many quarters, is that it is a brutish, undisciplined crew bent on sadistic torture.
Most clear-thinking individuals know that is false. The rules of engagement for U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are so strict they actually put our troops at risk. Every combat soldier and Marine understands they will very likely be hung out to dry if they make a mistake.
General Sanchez understands that the liberal press despises President Bush and the Iraq war. Because of that, negative reportage is ordered and executed while positive developments are put on the shelf.
For example, the New York Times totally ignored Medal of Honor winner Navy Seal Michael Murphy, who was killed in Afghanistan. Lt. Murphy’s parents live on Long Island in the Times‘ primary coverage area. On the surface, it is hard to believe a hometown newspaper would not mention a brave American who lost his life fighting the Taliban. But the editorial posture of the Times, as well as many other leftist media outlets, is so toxic, that positive stories about the military are not deemed newsworthy.
Nobody knows if the USA will prevail in Iraq. It is still a mess. But hundreds of thousands of our troops are in the theatre, and we should all be rooting for them. Atrocities like Abu Ghraib must be reported, but should never be celebrated. They should never be ‘I told you so’ situations.
General Sanchez is right. Iraq has been mismanaged and the media is putting our troops at risk. We the people should be demanding the truth about both situations.