. . . Monday May 24, 2004

So Wrong it’s Sad

We’ve come to expect the same old refrain from many on the right. You’re not allowed to criticize the war and if you do, then you’re being unpatriotic and failing to support the troops. And above all else, all the bad news is the fault of the liberal media.

Now the same old nonsense is rearing its head in relation to the latest deluge of bad news from Iraq.

This argument is almost always wrong. The press essentially stood by and watched a barely-elected president with little foreign policy experience take us into an optional war. But forget that. Let’s just focus on the news of recent days.

Is anyone really childish and naive enough to believe that all the stories coming out of Baghdad are due to an over aggressive and increasingly liberal press? Come on. What we are seeing is heavy infighting between the CIA, FBI, the Pentagon and others connected to the administration. It is a leak-o-rama stretching from Baghdad to Broadway. If anything, the press is acting as a sort of massive PR department for the leakers from various organizations.

Even William Safire can see this is what’s happening: “The three factions controlling Iraq – long suspicious of one another – are now on the brink of open tribal warfare. Not the Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds – I mean the Pentagon, State Department and C.I.A.”

We can argue about why these organizations are going after one another right now or about the timing of the stories involving Chalabi and the secret prison outside of Baghdad and the efforts to implicate the CIA in the Abu Graib scandal. But to just jerk up one’s knee and pretend this is about a liberal media with an antiwar bias is just so wrong it hurts.

One pat answer does not answer every question all the time.

Concentration is important!