A few things really haven’t changed much in terms of Iraq and Iraq coverage over the last few years. The Bush administration, at best, rarely offers accurate accounts capturing the complexity of the situation, and at worst, distorts what’s happening or outright lies. Sadly, many pundits, television talking heads and the rest of the press are content to repeat the Bush line. Thus, we have Charlie Gibson bullying the Democratic presidential candidates in a nationally televised debate a while back to acknowledge that the “surge” is working, and you can hear the same delusional blather far too often. Here are some pieces to counteract that.
From Dan Froomkin, ”Another Bleak Milestone” (3/24/08) gives an overview of the realities in Iraq, while ”Spinning the Bloodshed in Basra” (3/27/08) covers more recent developments.
Glenn Greenwald explores ”The ongoing exclusion of war opponents from the Iraq debate,” and provides a valuable video segment from Charlie Rose.
Via A Tiny Revolution come three important pieces. ”Ensuring Permanence” (3/26/08) by Spencer Ackerman, explores the Bush administration’s maneuvers to sabotage the next administration and ensure a long-term occupation of Iraq. ”Five Things You Need to Know to Understand the Latest Violence in Iraq” (3/27/08) by Joshua Holland and Raed Jarrar gives valuable insight into the conflict between Mailki and the more popular Sadr: “Maliki's goal, shared by the like-minded allies among the Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish communities that dominate his administration, and with at least tacit U.S. approval, is to kill off the opposition and then hold a vote.” Finally, ”Taking Stock of the War on Terror: A Defeat Only American Power Could Have Brought About” by Mark Danner examines how much the Bush administration’s policies have hurt America and helped Al Qaeda.
Petraeus and Crocker will be speaking to Congress soon enough, and the Bush administration is making ridiculous positive claims about a new Iraq NIE they unsurprisingly refuse to declassify. It’s not hard to run into simplistic, inaccurate or downright propagandistic accounts of Iraq in the media. It’s going to be a problem for the rest of the year, it’ll be a problem next year, it’ll be a problem until we’re completely out, and it’ll be a problem for years afterwards as yet again, bloodthirsty conservative hacks will screech about how their magnificent work, this time in Iraq, was undermined by treacherous liberals and the press. The short game is important, but the long game is even more so. Shoving accurate accounts in the bastards’ faces every time they serve up bullshit can’t happen enough.
(Cross-posted at The Blue Herald)