No surprise, anti-war activists have set up a booth outside the Safeway in my neighborhood (Washington’s Adams-Morgan, which may be one America’s bluest ‘hoods).
If approached to sign, I shall refer them to a piece by Christopher Hitchens entitled “A War to be Proud Of.” Hitchens lists ten reasons to be proud of the accomplishments of the Iraqi war.
Here are the first five:
“(1) The overthrow of Talibanism and Baathism, and the exposure of many highly suggestive links between the two elements of this Hitler-Stalin pact. Abu Musab al Zarqawi, who moved from Afghanistan to Iraq before the coalition intervention, has even gone to the trouble of naming his organization al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.
“(2) The subsequent capitulation of Qaddafi’s Libya in point of weapons of mass destruction–a capitulation that was offered not to Kofi Annan or the E.U. but to Blair and Bush.
“(3) The consequent unmasking of the A.Q. Khan network for the illicit transfer of nuclear technology to Libya, Iran, and North Korea.
“(4) The agreement by the United Nations that its own reform is necessary and overdue, and the unmasking of a quasi-criminal network within its elite.
“(5) The craven admission by President Chirac and Chancellor Schröder, when confronted with irrefutable evidence of cheating and concealment, respecting solemn treaties, on the part of Iran, that not even this will alter their commitment to neutralism. (One had already suspected as much in the Iraqi case.)”
I may not have time to go into these with the people who run the booth by the Safeway. Perhaps I should just tell them that they don’t know what the heck they’re talking about because of the biases of the U.S. media.
In a piece on “the media quagmire,” Scott Johnson of Powerline explains that the media that brought defeat in the real Vietnam is trying to do it again in a conflict that resembles Vietnam in only one respect: the media that is covering it.
“If journalism were a profession,” writes Johnson, “Peter Braestrup’s 1977 book Big Story would be required reading in every journalism school. Braestrup’s long subtitle is a little dry: ‘How the American Press and Television Reported and Interpreted the Crisis of Tet 1968 in Vietnam and Washington.’ But his analysis was memorable. Braestrup showed that the press blew the story of the Tet offensive, portraying a major American battlefield victory as a disaster. In the introduction to the 1994 edition, Braestrup characterized the coverage as ‘an unusual media malfunction,’ one ‘on a scale that helped shaped Tet’s repercussions in Washington and the Administration’s response.'”
They are still malfunctioning.