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Sunday, March 14, 2004

Straws in the wind 

MSNBC - Iraq One Year Later Front Page
I just noticed MSNBC has a new section "Objective: Peace - Iraq one year later". I found this to be an interesting title -- a year ago, nobody in the media was talking about peace being an objective. Anybody who said something like this was "unpatriotic".
One would think, coming up on the first anniversary, that we would have had a surfeit of heartwarming stories about how well the American boys are doing in making Iraq safe for Iraqis, how cute the Iraqis are in taking their first baby steps toward democracy by electing a mayor here or there, how little stores are starting up, how noble it is to be reopening schools ("The schools, boss, the schools!"). But, come to think of it, I haven't seen this kind of media cheerleading for some months now. No more talk about enduring freedom or Iraq liberation or all the other fine catchphrases the media jumped on a year ago.
And I haven't seen politicians and generals whining that there's all sorts of good news going on in Iraq that the media isn't covering. When they did this six or eight months ago, it sort of backfired, didn't it, when the media actually started covering how brutally the troops were treating the people, how poorly those schools had been repaired, how much the so-called ordinary Iraqis wanted the US to leave. In fact, the new official attitude seems to be that the less coverage given to Iraq, the better.
So now, here we are, talking about peace.
Too bad peace wasn't the US objective a year ago.
But the bombs keep going off and the soldiers keep dying -- a few days ago, a general said that the number of US soldier deaths is declining -- a statement like this always seems to "bring it on" in Iraq. Over the last two days another six have died.
How many deaths does it take till you know that too many people have died?

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