Thursday, January 06, 2005

Good News!

Thomas Sowell has a column about the media's reporting from Iraq. So far as it goes, he is right about the media's ghoulish anticipation of our 1,000th casualtie there. But most of it is the standard recitation of complaints about the failure to cover heroes (he fails to note Pat Tillman) from the war and the failure to report the "good news." I would be interested to know if this war has produced a Sgt. York or a Audie Murphy.
But the good news that Sowell recites is the usual: "Those who are busy 'honoring' the deaths of American troops in Iraq seldom have much to say about what those troops accomplished. The restoration of electricity, the re-opening of hospitals and schools, and all the other things being done to try to restore a war-devastated country get little attention, and everything that has gone wrong makes the front pages and TV news for weeks on end."
Actually, I am almost certain that I have seen mainstream media reports about such facts, but I can't say for sure since they are tangential to the real story in Iraq. I don't remember the president going before the American people 2002 and saying that we must invade Iraq inorder to update the country's crumbling infrastructure.
Part of what Sowell is engaging in is preselling the blame for defeat in Iraq. "This is the approach that gave the media their biggest triumph and ego boost - the discrediting of the war in Vietnam. More than 50,000 Americans died trying to save that country from Communist attacks. Their achievements included victories on the battlefield that were negated politically by the way the American press reported the war. In recent years, Vietnam's Communist leaders themselves have admitted that they lost that war on the ground but hung on because the American anti-war movement gave them hope that they could win it politically." Anytime I see conservatives/Republicans bringing up the media in Vietnam this way, I assume their confidence in the Bush administration's ability to prevail in Iraq is shaken, so the are finding somebody to hang the blame on: The Media, Michael Moore, the French, the Democrats, somebody.

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