By Alan Nathan
FrontPageMagazine.com | February 9, 2007
Plenty know by now that in 2004 the progressive Pew Foundation published an extensive poll exposing the five-to-one ratio of liberals to conservatives in the news-reporting media. Strangely, media outlets must believe that we have forgotten this because they continue marching forward just like the vain and gullible monarch penned by Hans Christian Andersen. The Washington Examiner’s editorial page editor Mark Tapscott recently found that the Associated Press had misstated facts surrounding a February 5th Senate vote. The chamber was determining which of the Iraqi War resolutions relevant to Bush’s troop surge could be debated. After the Republicans stopped the Democrats from shrinking the debate, the AP reported it as the direct antithesis. Their headline was, “Republicans block Senate debate on Iraq,” written by David Espo. His opening salvo was: Republicans blocked a full-fledged Senate debate over Iraq on Monday, but Democrats vowed to find a way to force President Bush to change course in a war that has claimed the lives of more than 3,000 U.S. troops. But Tapscott argued:The only problem with this is that it gets the facts exactly wrong. The cloture motion defeated on the 49-47 vote prevented Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, from limiting the Senate debate to only the Iraq resolution favored by his party.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, led the opposition that defeated the cloture motion and thus succeeded in keeping open the possibility that Reid and the rest of the Senate would have the opportunity of debating the Democrats favored resolution AND a GOP alternative.
So why are AP and Espo writing that the GOP is blocking debate on Iraq? (Tapscott’s Copy Desk, February 5, 2007)Unfortunately, the examples are relentless. The Washington Post had earlier reported on our policy of “capture and kill” when coming across Iranian intelligence officers operating in Iraq. The White House defended the tactic by explaining that Iranians are aiding and abetting both the insurgents and the Shi’ite sectarian fighters in an effort to kill American and Iraqi forces endeavoring to secure the country. Calamitously, the paper was unable to mask their inveteracy for undercutting anything that would tip the scales in our favor. In their January 27th edition under the headline “Lethal-Force Order Justified, Bush Says,” they characterized presidential staff forecasts as if they were dissent: But the policy has attracted some influential skeptics inside the Bush administration and the intelligence community who are concerned that Iran could respond with escalation. The director of the CIA, Gen. Michael V. Hayden, counseled the president to consider that Iran could undertake its own program to kill or kidnap U.S. personnel in Iraq or neighboring Afghanistan. So this supposedly warmongering White House actually has people telling the president that we better not fire upon an attacking enemy because that enemy might attack again? By that measure, the Iranians are allowed to blow up our people with impunity. Here’s a tip for all the slow learners: You never make things worse by defending yourself from getting killed! How many wet-bars are there at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue anyway? The answer is, not enough for this part of the report to be taken seriously. It’s true that not all escalations lead to victory, but every victory was still preceded by some kind of escalation. No one ever triumphed by retreating. Whether it’s the Iranian agents, insurgents, or sectarian fighters, the enemy’s likely inclination to ramp up their violence in response to our elevated counter-attack is a natural byproduct of their resistance. However, when did the enemy’s resistance become the self-fulfilling justification for our surrender – or redeployment as it’s euphemistically called? By that gauge, we’re only permitted to wage battle with those not fighting back – how is that anything but untenable?
Consequently, the story’s impression sounds disconnected from its own basis. Yes, some of the president’s advisors are “concerned that Iran could respond with escalation.” But that forecast did not double as a recommendation against killing those who are killing us. Warning of the enemy’s reprisal so as to better prepare for the encounter is not a call for standing down.
You oppose a plan because it might not work; not because the enemy will predictably increase their assaults following your own heightened offense. Only the most sheltered and least educated fail to grasp this. You know them as the mainstream media.
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