The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Sunday, June 25, 2006

Mixed messages on Iraq troop levels

Greg Sargent notes a disturbing new move by mainstream press outlets: straight-faced reporting of the fact that the Iraqi government is calling for American forces to leave.

One of the most high-profile stories of the last week was the new GOP offensive to associate any plans for troops reductions or a timetable for withdrawal with the phrase "cut and run" and the usual accusations of cowardice, wimpiness, and anti-Americanism. So you'd think the media might point out that the Republican committment to staying the course is totally at odds with the wishes of Iraqis, while the Democrats' efforts reflect the Iraqi's opinion of what is best for their own country. And you'd be completely wrong.

In the CNN story there is no mention whatsoever of the fact that the primary message of the Republican Party over the past week, delivered by party leaders and elected officials alike in every media forum imaginable, was that anyone calling for a timetable for withdrawal was embracing "retreat" and "surrender."

And get this: The story doesn't even mention at all that the GOP's official position has been squarely against troop drawdowns, let alone mention that the Republicans relentlessly smeared anyone who was for them. The only hint of this comes at the very end of the story, where it vaguely notes that the "Senate" last week rejected calls for troop withdrawals, without specifying that this has overwhelmingly been the GOP's position. Meanwhile, the only mention that Dems have been demanding troop drawdowns comes in the second-to-last sentence.

Sargent specifically mentions the Times and CNN, but you can add Newsweek to the list for the story I linked to in my previous post. There's no mention of the contradiction between what the Iraqi government wants and what the GOP intends to do.