Monday, August 29, 2005

The Media's Vietnam Template

Scott Johnson from Power Line has a powerful column in this week's Weekly Standard:

Many have noted the media's efforts to portray the the current war in Iraq as a replay of Vietnam. These efforts date back to R.W. Apple's invocation of Vietnam on day 24 of the campaign in Afghanistan:
Like an unwelcome specter from an unhappy past, the ominous word "quagmire" has begun to haunt conversations among government officials and students of foreign policy, both here and abroad. Could Afghanistan become another Vietnam?

This drum of defeatism has not stopped beating. This past week, for example, Knight Ridder reporter Tom Lasseter portrayed the situation in Iraq's Anbar province as a repeat of Vietnam. Lasseter 's article is a troubling piece with relevant quotes from officers in the thick of the action.

But the Vietnam invoked by most journalists is the media's Vietnam: the Vietnam which Braestrup exposed as a false media construct. (David Brooks's column yesterday
is a notable exception.) The elite media organs covered in Braestrup's book didn't get it right the first time around; it would be nice if they took a timeout for some introspection regarding past errors before superimposing the Vietnam template (as Austin Bay calls it) on the current conflict.

If only one could put Lasseter in touch with the Power Line reader who served in Vietnam and last week wrote in from his current post in Iraq. He finds only one similarity: "[T]he deplorable way the mainstream media with their left-leaning bias have reported the two wars."

There is another similarity, although the Left won't like it. During Vietnam, the media; academics, intellectuals, many public figures, entertainers, and the antiwar protesters of the time consistently and stubbornly refused to see Communism for what it really was. They steadfastly ignored the millions of deaths in the Soviet Union and elsewhere and instead focused their attention on the United States as the center of all evil in the world.

Today we have the very same people consistently and adamantly refusing to acknowledge Islam and the Jihadis for what they are. Again, they prefer to ignore the barbaric ideology that promotes enslavement and death. With tedious and infinitely repetitive talking points, they again subscribe to the comforting notion that the US is the cause of the mayhem and butchery and ignore the real butchers. The deluded women's movement is more interested in forcing science to acknowledge that women are identical to men in every way possible, than they are in helping the women in the Middle East get out from under the oppression of Islam.

In other words, the MSM's Vietnam "template" is actually nothing more than that primitive and immature psychological defense mechanism known as DENIAL.

In two major wars, the Left has consistently perceived America as the threat to the world, and ignored to the point of complete hysterical blindness the real oppressors of human freedom and dignity. During Vietnam they deluded themselves into thinking that Communism was okay(some even believed it to be superior to a free society) as long as you didn't provoke it. And now they prefer the same delusion about Iraq and the homicide bombers of the religion of peace.

They were wrong then, and they are wrong now.

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