November 05, 2006

MSM Hit Piece, This Time By Vanity Fair! [Updated]

The so called Main Stream Media (MSM) is reliably leftish. Those that claim that the MSM is controlled by corporations, and corporations are only about bottom line and therefor are conservative therefor the MSM cannot be primarily liberal are asking you to swallow a lie. A BIG FAT LIE! The truth of the matter is that corporations do indeed care about the bottom line, they have to answer to their stockholders. Having said that, I'll also state that if the bottom line increases by having liberal pundits aboard, fine! If one compares the editorial slant and reporting of The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times against that of say The New York Post or The Washington Times and still says there is no liberal slant, then they are not as honest as they would have you beliefe.

Such is the case of that famous conservative Liberal Dead Tree Publication called Vanity Fair (online copy of article here).

As I understand the situation, Vanity Fair interviewed a number of neo-cons and conservatives for a piece meant to reflect on their thoughts about the war, the administration etc. to be published AFTER the election. True to their liberal ideology, they placed the issue on the stands before the election. One of the interviewee's Michael Rubin just published a piece in National Review, available here, which lambasts Vanity Fair.

Too many people in Washington treat foreign policy as a game. Many Washington-types who speak about Iraq care not about the US servicemen or about the Iraqis, but rather focus on US electoral politics. I am a Republican, but whether the Republicans or Democrats are in power, Washington’s word must mean something. Leadership is about responsibility, not just politics. We cannot go around the world betraying our allies—in this case Iraqis who believed in us or allied with us—just because of short-term political expediency. This is not just about Iraq: If we abandon Iraq, we will not only prove correct all of Usama Bin Laden’s rhetoric about the US being a paper tiger, but we will also demonstrate—as James Baker and George H.W. Bush did in 1991—that listening to the White House and alliance with the United States is a fool’s decision. We can expect no allies anywhere, be they in Asia, Africa, or Latin America, if we continue to sacrifice principles to short-term realist calculations. It’s not enough to have an attention span of two years, when the rest of the world thinks in decades if not centuries.
And therein lies the problem. The left is decidely of the cut and run philosophy, the MSM strongly supports the left at this stage of the game and the end result may well be a pull out in Iraq and Afghanistan, jubilation of Al Qaeda and it's sycophants and renewed danger world wide as these folk perceive the US in particular and the West in general as "paper tigers."

Do we need a new focus in Iraq? Perhaps! Do we need to change the battle plans? Perhaps! Do we need to cut and run as the Democrats and their minions would want us to do? Hell no, because dear readers, if we do, the price will be paid in a currency no thoughtful civilized individual would care to pay.

UPDATE: Captain Ed has a scathing note to add and Michael Rubin has a bit more noting that the online Vanity Fair has taken quotes out of context. Commenter reg however doesn't see anything wrong with Democratic leaning chicanery. According to his lights, chicanery is only wrong if Republicans do it. Sad, really sad!!!!

Filed Under: Media

Posted by GM Roper at November 5, 2006 08:25 AM | TrackBack

I'd say a Kilkenny Cat approach would be best. Arm the Kurds to the teeth. Partition the country (Sunnis-Shiites-Kurds) and let the Sunnis and Shiites reduce themselves to whatever it takes for them to either come to their senses or manufacture a true Kilkenny Cat solution.

That's grossly overly-simplified, of course, but at least makes acknolwedgement of the millennia-long differences among tribal feuds/territories, cultic religious differences among a bloody and savage people, etc.

And arming the Kurds to the teeth would be simply acknowledging the fact that, besides the Israelis, they are the ONLY reasonable expectation the U.S. has of real allies in the region.

It'd sure free up plenty of forces and resources for putting down the really dangerous terrorist regimes and terrorist supporters in the region...

Posted by David at November 5, 2006 09:15 AM

Spot on, David, spot on.

Posted by Oyster at November 5, 2006 10:58 AM

Yeah, I figured that whole democracy gambit was crazy. So what we get out this war is independent Kurds in the north, sort of like we've had since Gulf 1. A bloody mess in the rest of Iraq, run by god knows what kind of crazies. And we've freed up our battered, war-weary military to fight in, say, Afghanistan where they've been badly needed since 2003. Great plan to cut and run. Just don't let any Democrats get ahold of it. They might try to take credit. Spot on, old boy. Spot on.

Just don't call it a "defeat" or a "retreat" or people may catch on.

Posted by reg at November 5, 2006 01:19 PM

Michael Ledeen in today's NRO - "I opposed the military invasion of Iraq before it took place"

"Freedom's Friend" bugs out retroactively. Could someone please help the poor orphan Failure find a home...

I have to admit, I find this spectacle of rats deserting sinking rats to be about the only episode in this tawdry tale to date that I can enjoy.

Posted by reg at November 5, 2006 01:26 PM

From Vanity Fair: Kenneth Adelman, a lifelong neocon activist and Pentagon insider who served on the Defense Policy Board until 2005, wrote a famous op-ed article in The Washington Post in February 2002, arguing: "I believe demolishing Hussein's military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk." Now he says, "I just presumed that what I considered to be the most competent national-security team since Truman was indeed going to be competent. They turned out to be among the most incompetent teams in the post-war era. Not only did each of them, individually, have enormous flaws, but together they were deadly, dysfunctional."
(end clip)

Interesting... But what's really important is that we just keep these opinions under our hat until after the elections.

Posted by reg at November 5, 2006 02:13 PM

reg, Ledeen thought Iran a better choice for invasion. That puts a little different spin on his remarks, don't you think?

Posted by Assistant Village Idiot at November 5, 2006 02:37 PM

Reg, thanks for providing comedic relief for GM's Corner. Putz!

Posted by GM at November 5, 2006 02:38 PM

"That puts a little different spin on his remarks, don't you think?"

Yeah, he's nutty as a fruitcake. At least as great a strategist as our Secretary of Defense, Michael Brown.

GMR - "Putz!" That's a great rejoinder. Really.

Posted by reg at November 5, 2006 02:56 PM

Reg: Like most, Left and Right, you seem to have no knowledge of the history of Iraq, along with not even a surface knowedge of the clash of cultures and heritages in the country created out of whole cloth by the British (priomarily) and French in the Sykes-Picot Agreement put in force 11 November 1920. The ONLY way, in the last couple of millennia, that the area we call Iraq has been under the rule of one polity is when it has been ruled by a bloodyhanded tyrant. Why? Because the various tribes and peoples groups found there on the whole hate each others' guts and are always ready to find any excuse to spill each others' blood.

Jamming heriditary enemies together and calling it a country is only possible if the ruler(s) is(are) willing to create a desert and call it peace.

Sending in a Paul Bremmer to exacerbate old enmities was just adding cyanide icing to the poisonous cake.

Are the Iraqi people better off today, after liberation from the bloodyhanded, iron rule of Sadamm? Yes and no. By any objective Western criteria, they are much, much better off, even with the terrorist attacks that are concentrated in two of the provinces. By the standards of the Sunni and Shiite tribes, the issue is not so clear, because IF we stay our current course and prevail they are bereft of enmities they have cherished for many, many generations.

Yes, if you want what you may call "victory" it is entirely possible, but only if we were to completely untie the hands of the military and let them freely do what a good military does well: kill people and break things. In much larger numbers and to a much greater degree than our military is allowed by its (proper) political masters today.

I submit that the only real model for complete and final military victory in Iraq along the lines Neo-(con)Jacobian democracy builders envisioned would be to religiously follow the example of Kipling's Grave of the Hundred Heads.

Absent the stomach to make war to the knife, sensible people would look at the people and culture groups and partition the tarbaby, use what military we decided to keep there STRICTLY to enforce the security of the oil fields--make them a strictly-enforced "no-go," shoot-on-sight zone--(and provide for an equitable division of the spoils among the different people groups/tribes/religious-cultural divisions) and let those who wish to kill each other off get about the business of doing so.

Hard cheese? Well, IMO, it's about time for hard cheese. We offer them cake and they won't partake, so...

(BTW, two provinces alone are serious trouble spots. I'd not be averse to a plan that simply partitioned THOSE provinces off and allowed the peoples to "school" themselves into bloody submission to common sense... or self-enforce the "kilkenny Cat" solution.)

But, of course, neither the Neo-(con)Jacobians nor the faux liberals (not-so-closeted tyrannical reactionaries) have anyone in their ranks with

a.) the intelligence
b.) the guts
c.) the political pull

to get away with standing up and decrying the emperor's lack of clothing.

I'll admit that the genuinely Liberal view of the Neo-(con)Jacobians that sought to "win the democracy" in Iraq is indeed a noble viewpoint. But it is no more rational than the pastiche (Iraq) the British and French worked out in 1920 to appease the Hashemites for stealing the rule of Mecca and Medina (effectively the entire Arabian penninsula) and handing it to the Saudi thieves. (Yeh, "Lawrence of Arabia" is likely frying in hell right now for his sins... and we are paying the butcher's bill he ran up.)

I said in my initial comment on this post that I was presenting an over-simplified response. Well, THIS response is overly simplified as well. The history and conflicting cultures of the region are much more complex than this, and we'll need to USE a very, very VERY big hammer to make an united Iraq work as a democracy.

And it would work. If we weren't queasy about the number of people we'd have to kill to do it.

Absent that, why not go back and say we made a mistake attempting to glue together the mistake Britain made in 1920? What? Only a dishonest person (say for example, Jean Fraud sKerry) will refuse to admit a mistake.

Posted by David at November 5, 2006 03:54 PM

reg, au contraire, not a great rejoinder, merely an accurate one!

Posted by GM at November 5, 2006 04:06 PM

Don't lecture me on Iraq's history, wanker. Tell it to George W. Bush, who's cluelessness has turned catastrophe. If you didn't comprehend the irony in my comments, tough. I'm not the one who cheered for a war but don't have the guts to follow through. Ask your buddies on this thread who and how many we have to kill to win ? And where your political leadership is that will follow through once they've set the ball rolling ? The accusations against the Media, liberals, etc. etc. over losing in Iraq are acts of supreme cowardice. Your beef ultimately is with some combination of the Bush war council, who went blind into Baghdad and declared an easy victory at the outset, and the American people who are sick of the dishonesty and incompetence.

Posted by reg at November 5, 2006 04:50 PM

When I ask "who do we have to kill and how many" in Iraq, it's a serious question. If you're in the middle of a civil war between crazy sectarian islamists, the security forces you're training are infiltrated by both sides and hopelessly ineffectual, there's no coherent political center to the country and you think "we're making progress" or "Iraq is liberated", all because of a war of choice that was dishonestly promoted as necessary to protect our own country from any further attack, the insanity quotion is pretty high.

I'm sure David and Victor David Hansen are willing to take whatever measures are necessary. Kipling and all that. But on the basis of the politics that were laid down to justify our young people dying for...whatever...the top echelon of "strategists" who brought us to this point have earned all of the contempt that's increasingly being rained on them.

Posted by reg at November 5, 2006 05:07 PM

First "putz", now "au contraire".

I'm impressed. Your French is as fluent as your Yiddish.

Posted by reg at November 5, 2006 05:10 PM

G.M. your update and the links within it could use a little more highlighting, as it reflects a core problem with media bias and intentional distortion, yet the people who defend the media as objective are quite silent on this matter.

Posted by Woody at November 6, 2006 01:37 PM

Of course, just for starters, Michael Ledeen is a liar. He claims now to have opposed the invasion of Iraq in favor of Iran (!) although he's on record excoriating Brent Scowcroft for opposing the invasion in 2002: (Aug 6, National Review Online) "So it's good news when Scowcroft comes out against the desperately-needed and long overdue war against Saddam Hussein and the rest of the terror masters. As usual, Scowcroft has it backwards: He's still pushing Saudi Arabia's Prince Abdullah's line that you've just got to deal with the Palestinian question. Blessedly, President Bush knows by now that the Palestinian question can only be addressed effectively once the war against Saddam and his ilk has been won."

He can slice and dice and nuance it to death (he had earlier proposed a plan to drop Chalabi and his INC exiles into Kurdistan and foment an overthrow - boy that would surely have worked! - which he now claims was his alternative to an invasion) but he's obviously a goddam liar in light of his scathing attack on Scowcroft for criticizing Bush Jr.s genius strategy. IMHO not one among these men could possibly be trusted as truthful.

And Ken Adelman, the one I actually quoted from the VF piece , hasn't recanted a thing or complained, to my knowledge. His remarks were the most scathing and, for what it's worth - which is nothing on this board obviously, he's also generally struck me as the least self-serving and devious among this truly motley crew when I've seen him interviewed or debate.

Have a nice day and don't forget to vote.

Posted by reg at November 6, 2006 07:36 PM

One more thing about this "out of context" cry baby nonsense. These guys are criticizing a press release publiciziing an upcoming article. Bizarre....a bunch of creepy little whiners who shouldn't have let their egos get stroked when a reporter for a fairly liberal magazine calls them for interviews. Let's wait for the article before crying foul. As for the press release this weekend, frankly most voters don't pay any attention to this insider stuff. People don't need Richard Perle to tell them how screwed up Iraq is or how incompetent are the Team BushCo. Of course the quotes in a press release are cherry-picked - "P.R." and all that - and of course these guys were motivated by a desire for some publicity that might move their reputations in the direction of self-administered redemption and distance from a terribly failed policy. My advice to these wankers is to Grow The F... Up !

Posted by reg at November 6, 2006 07:46 PM

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