Hanson was only responding to one article, but his complaint about the unrelenting gloom and negativity we see in the media about Iraq is spot on. Sadly, however, it is not confined to just Iraq.
What are we to make of all this, when a former national-security adviser writes that the war that began when Middle Eastern terrorists struck at the heart of the continental United States in New York and Washington — something that neither the Nazis, Japanese militarists, nor Soviets ever accomplished — was merely a “challenge largely of regional origin”? Some “region” — downtown Manhattan and the nerve center of the American military.
Aside from the unintended irony that the classical historian Arnold Toynbee himself was not always “adroit,” but wrong in most of his determinist conclusions, and that such criticism comes from a high official of an administration that witnessed on its watch the Iranian-hostage debacle, the disastrous rescue mission, the tragicomic odyssey of the terminally ill shah, the first and last Western Olympic boycott, oil hikes even higher in real dollars than the present spikes, Communist infiltration into Central America, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Cambodian holocaust, a gloomy acceptance that perpetual parity with the Soviet Union was the hope of the day, the realism that cemented our ties with corrupt autocracies in the Middle East (Orwellian sales of F-15 warplanes to the Saudis minus their extras), and the hard-to-achieve simultaneous high unemployment, high inflation, and high interest rates,
Mr. Brzezinski is at least a valuable barometer of the current pessimism over events such as September 11. Such gloom seems to be the fashion of the day.
Iraq is now routinely dismissed as a quagmire or “lost.” Osama bin laden is assumed to be still active, while we are beginning the fifth year of the war that is “longer than World War II.” Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo purportedly are proof of our brutality and have lost us hearts and minds, while gas prices spiral out of control.
The U.S. military is supposedly “overextended” if not “wrecked” by Iraq, while the war in Afghanistan “drags on.” Meanwhile, it is “only a matter of time” until we are hit with another terrorist strike of the magnitude of September 11. To cap it off, the United States is now “disliked” abroad, by those who abhor our “unilateralism” and “preemptive” war.
All that is a fair summation of the current glumness. But how accurate are such charges? If one were to assess them from the view of the Islamic fundamentalists, they would hardly resemble reality.
I cannot even begin to imagine what President Bush feels about the continued unrelentingly negative media coverage of his every word, action and presumed thoughts. Is there anywhere that Bush can go to get some positive (hell, I'll settle for merely neutral) coverage of any of his policies? Let's take a look: (my comments are in italics):
1. New York Times - "In a Scripted TV Scene, Soldiers Reassure Bush"
How pathetic is that? The soldiers have to reassure the President?
2. Reuters - "Al Qaeda in Iraq says Zawahri letter is fake - Web"
(Guess who the media prefers to believe? Certainly the Left believes Al Qaeda more than they do the POTUS)
3. Associated Press - "Iraq Insurgents Attack Sunni Party Office"
(Did you know that there is an historic vote on an historic consititution going on in Iraq?)
4. Associated Press - "Bush Teleconference With Soldiers Staged"
(The implication of course is that without the staging they would have nothing nice to say; or that they are too stupid to say what they think; or that the President wasn't taking any chances.")
5. Knight-Ridder - "Sectarian resentment extends to Iraq's army"
(My god, it's all so hopeless, isn't it?)
1. San Francisco Chronicle - "Calls for Miers to withdraw get louder. Moves to mollify critics aren't working"
(Withdraw! Withdraw! Show how pathetic you are! Of course, no matter who you appoint will be excoriated by us, but we're so happy that the Republicans are doing it for us for a change!)
2. New York Times - "Bush Criticized Over Emphasis on Religion of Nominee"
(Bush is criticized for emphasizing anything about the candidate - that she's a woman; that she's accomplished; that she's a friend; that she's competent; that she's conservative; that she's a lawyer; etc. etc.)
3. Washington Post - "For Miers, Proximity Meant Power"
(Did any of the Media ever say that about Hilary and her "rise to power"? Who the hell would have heard of her if her husband hadn't been a Governor or the President? I'd say Miers didn't have to sleep her way into power, at least)
1. Washington Post - "Scandals Take Toll On Bush's 2nd Term"
(Unrelenting negativity takes toll on Bush's 2nd term would be more accurate)
3. New York Times - "Jitters at the White House over Leak Inquiry"
(Oooooh! "Jitters"! Let's imply they're nervous because they're guilty guilty guilty of EVERYTHING!)
4. Knight-Ridder - "Administration scrambles to prepare U.S. against possible pandemic"
("Scrambles" implies that they should have already been completely prepared, right? So as usual they are incompetent)
5. Associated Press - "Poll: Bush Presidency Judged Unsuccessful "
(Has anyone noticed that Bush has THREE MORE YEARS left in his Presidency? Why not wait for the poll to be taken when it is complete? Also, regarding his popularity polls --has anyone realized that BUSH IS NOT RUNNING FOR A THIRD TERM? Therefore he doesn't have to be the most popular kid on the block.)
All of the above makes it quite easy to appreciate the relevance of this study; and the underlying cause explored in this this one.
The Chicken Littles of the MSM are running around screaming that the sky is falling, but from here it is only partly cloudy with a really good chance of sunshine.
So, I will patiently 1) wait to see the results of the Iraqi vote on their constitution; 2) listen to the Senate confirmation hearings on Miers and decide for myself; 3) look forward to seeing who is actually indicted in the Plame affair; and 4) await history's verdict on the Bush Presidency.