The Iraqi government on Saturday credited Iran with helping to rein in Shiite militias and stemming the flow of weapons into Iraq, helping to improve the security situation noticeably.
With the British pulling out of Basra and the subsequent down tick in violence there, the indications that the Sunnis might have done most of the ethnic cleansing they could do and the mass exodus of Iraqis to neighboring countries it is highly unlikely that the “surge” played the major role in the lessening of violence. Of course that will not stop the Right from making those claims as shrilly and often as possible. They’d have to acknowledge that Bush’s strategy didn’t change enough over five frick’n years, admit to turning Iraq into a living hell for the middle-class professionals who became refugees rather then stay and have to admit that the commander Guy was calling the shots as the mass ethnic cleansing took place. What if the Right totally cluster f*cked America and Iraq and the media barely said a word.
My best guess is that the Times panders to Bush in this respect to “balance” an otherwise critical approach to his policies, including his efforts to dismantle Social Security, his recent veto of health coverage for poor children and, of course, his solipsistic prosecution of the debacle in Iraq – a propaganda-fueled war that has injected into the American discourse words like “gulag,” “torture,” and “electrodes” that were previously exclusive to paranoid autocracies like Red China and Stalinist Russia.
Perhaps all the Times is seeking is a little “human interest” in its treatment of the president. And who better to cover the up-close and personal George W. than a girl? The current Times ingénue assigned to this beat is Sheryl Gay Stolberg, whose latest softball was a Veterans Day feature entitled “Bush and Relatives of Fallen Lean on Each Other.”
How are those tearful private meetings making their way into the pages of the NYT. Sounds like another case of selective leaking. You know the ones that are made to either make the administration look good or their enemies look bad.
Times are tough for the Republican Party and its candidates. Earlier this month, according to Gallup, more people strongly disapproved of George W. Bush than any previous president since the advent?of polling—and, really, how could things be any different? Bush can boast of an unwinnable quagmire in Iraq, a decimated housing market, economic instability and a collapsing dollar, a dysfunctional health-care system, a still-devastated Gulf Coast, a wealth gap of a scope unseen since the Great Depression and a pervasive and disturbing image of America as a hapless, blundering giant, rather than a beacon of freedom and morality in the world.
Markos might be right, but Bush’s first four years in office piled up a substantial record of failure both foreign and domestic. What happened. He piled up a record so garishly dreadful that it glowed in the dark and while his reelection was by an incredibly thin margin he was keep in office. In 2004 Alexander Hamilton’s warnings about the mob mentality couldn’t have been more pertinent. Democrats don’t need to just win elections, they need to win some hearts and minds. As it is in the presidential race it sure seems that people are thinking of voting against Republicans rather then for Democrats. Congress still has time to convince people they will take the tough stands and push their agenda, paying back the confidence of the people that put them in office.
I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends… that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. ~ Adlai E. Stevenson