March 17, 2006

You need to be very careful about what you say.

from - RSA

Yet another self-serving, ass-covering idea seems to have taken hold in the conservative blogosphere: If the U.S. fails in Iraq, it will be due to liberal commentators and reporters who have convinced the American public that we're losing the war, a self-fulfilling prophecy. (Actually, many express this view in terms of blaming the liberal news media, but of course someone has to write the articles.) This seems implausible on the face of it. How many battles are won by newspapers rather than by military forces? But let that pass. Let's assume for the sake of argument that if the U.S. fails in Iraq, the news media and commentariat will share some responsibility for that failure.

If this is true, then it's worth exploring how this view can be applied to the Bush administration itself. Why are we in a pre-emptive war in Iraq in the first place? One reasonable answer is that it is the result of a failure of diplomacy. And what led to that failure? Given that the majority of Americans seem to have believed that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, that Saddam and bin Laden had an operational relationship, and that Iraq was significantly to blame for 9/11, the people who pushed those views (even if they were sincere but mistaken, just as the media might be viewed) must hold some responsibility for our going to war, and thus for the failure of diplomacy. If conservatives want to hold "the liberal media" responsible for talking down the war in Iraq, they should also hold Bush responsible for talking down diplomacy and talking up the war in Iraq before it even started.

I think that this is especially important in view of Bush's recent comments about Iran. If talk is so important in establishing the difference between victory and defeat, shouldn't Bush be just a bit more careful about what he says?


Posted by RSA at March 17, 2006 02:09 PM
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