There is a reason progress in Iraq
is not receiving more attention. It isn't that Americans are "bored" or
"tired" or have "moved on" or "don't care" or "have already made up
their minds that the war was a colossal mistake." All of these are
variations on themes articulated by certain liberals, Bush-haters,
Barack Obama supporters (but I repeat myself) inside and outside the
The main reason progress in Iraq is not receiving more attention is
that the progress is considerable and the big media are not paying
attention because they don't like the new storyline. They prefer "America defeated," not "America victorious" because defeat increases the likelihood of a Democratic electoral blowout in the fall.
A headline in last Saturday's New York Times tells you all you need to
know about the reluctance of the mainstream media to report on progress
in Iraq. With what sounds like information produced only after an
editor was waterboarded, it reads, "Big Gains for Iraq Security, but
If this headline writer were reporting victory in World War II, it
might have read, "America wins; German and Japanese Psyche Seriously
Affected." The 1969 moon landing might have read: "Man Lands on Moon;
Will It Hurt the Lunar Environment?" Or, "Adam and Eve Marry; Gays
Demand Similar Rights."
The subhead on the Times story is "More Iraqi Troops - New Sway for Maliki."
Only falling gasoline prices might make the Times feel worse, or perhaps John McCain
discovering the Fountain of Youth. "What's going right?" begins the
lead sentence, which quickly adds "And can it last?" This is typical
Times nay-saying, which undercuts anything that might reflect
positively on the Bush administration or Mr. McCain's election
The story continues with these reluctantly offered positive gems:
"Violence in all of Iraq is the lowest since March 2004. The two
largest cities, Baghdad and Basra, are calmer than they have been for
years. The third largest, Mosul, is in the midst of a major security
operation. On Thursday, Iraqi forces swept unopposed through the
southern city of Amara, which has been controlled by Shi'ite militias."
And then in a rebuke to all of those Democrats on Capitol Hill who have
been saying, well, yes, the military has done a great job and violence
is down, but there is no political settlement and so the Bush
administration has failed, the story says, "There is a sense that Prime
Minister Nouri Kamal al-Maliki's government has more political traction
than any of its predecessors."
That sounds to me like an important signpost on the road to - dare
anyone say it - victory. Perhaps after the "Mission Accomplished" PR
blunder and previous upsurges in violence, the Bush administration and
Mr. McCain are hesitant to call attention to such progress. If they
don't make noise, how will the public, which has a short attention span
and doesn't like protracted conflict, know about it?
Another sign of progress was the announcement that the Iraqi
government will award contracts to 41 foreign oil firms in an effort to
increase production. It's the first time foreign energy companies have
been allowed in Iraq since Saddam Hussein expelled them 36 years ago.
Only those invested in defeat will deny these significant and meaningful indicators of progress.
Because there will be no documents of surrender in the Iraq war or
in the greater war on terrorism, it will be difficult to declare it
over and freedom the winner. But as the New York Times story and the
oil deal demonstrate, considerable progress is being made and the
naysayers are being proved wrong.
Who is going to tell that story if most of the big media won't?
Since journalists never acknowledge errors of judgment or wrong
predictions and are never held accountable when they err, that job must
fall to John McCain.