Friday, March 28, 2003

The Press

Wow. Listening to the questions from the Press at press corp. briefings is quite revealing. They basically want someone in the military or the white house to say "Man, we really miscalculated the resistance." and "the enemy is stronger than we thought." I mean, they are hammering relentlessly to get some sort of "admission" that the US was somehow ill-prepared, even cocky. The reason they aren't going to get one probably has less to do with any sort of cover-up than it has to do with what the white house KNOWS will be the spin put on any comment that even suggests that they weren't 100% prepared. Just look at most of the headlines around the world. To read them, you'd think the coalition forces were retreating to Kuwait, firing up the engines on the boats and getting the hell out of Dodge because everything is going wrong! -- when the truth is, everything isn't going right, but most things pretty much are. And who in their right mind expected everything to go right?

There are two reasons for this, in my view. Probably the most important one is that the press by and large, despite their rantings to the contrary, has a definite liberal bias. And part of the liberal creed is an anti-war stance in general. They want to be able to say "hey, if you were wrong about what you thought you were getting into, that means you were wrong about ...." 1) being justified without the UN, 2) going in in the first place, 3) the desire of the Iraqi people to be liberated, 4) the existence of WMD, 5) the threat of Saddam in the first place... 6) insert whatever else you want the administration to be wrong about, right on down to dragging up the question of whether or not Bush "really" won the election. It's almost an ideologue that says, "if you're wrong about one thing, then I don't have to believe anything you say. Ever." Which, of course, is bunk.

Another reason which probably shouldn't be trivialized because it is so deeply a part of human nature is - the Underdog doing better than expected is in fact one of the most compelling underlying stories anywhere there is humanity, doubly so where there is oppressed or impoverished humanity. Who doesn't root for underdogs (except for their favorite teams) in say, the NCAA tournament, or any sports for that matter? And who is more oppressed and impoverished than --- well, most of the Middle East save the ruling classes? Gives you a little insight into SOME of what's behind the Anti-Americanism in that part of the world, especially when it is one of their neighbors that is the underdog.

But, sorry, no matter how underdogged these bad guys ever were, I always rooted for Superman over Luther, Batman over the Joker, He Man over Skeletor.... you see where I'm going. Might doesn't make right, but when right has might, it certainly is a Very Good Thing. And for those of you out there who say "Saddam is Bad, but...", "there are other ways besides war...", I ask "what other ways?" Give Peace a Chance? Give me a good argument that there is another way to get rid of Saddam Hussein without going off on tangents about sanctions killing millions of Iraqi children (which ironically argues against one non-war solution) or the School of the Americas or Noriega and cover-ups at Area 51. And don't try to use the argument that "We put him there", either. Number one, if that's true then certainly it is our moral responsibility to take him out.... and number 2) were we really supposed to somehow divine what horrors this man would eventually perpetrate?