Rewriting the Talking Points
Vol: 18 Issue: 22 Saturday, March 22, 2003
Saddam Hussein has stolen six US Marines away from their families. That is a debt he can never repay, but maybe he made a partial payment when forty thousand pounds of high explosives were delivered to his bunker on the outskirts of Baghdad. Intelligence officials are not sure if he paid with his own death, or made a partial payment with his eldest son, Uday. Make no mistake. This is a debt Saddam owes. This is not a war America wanted, it is a war forced on America by its principles and by our inability to allow evil to exist unchallenged.
One of the Marines killed in the conflict was Marine Staff Sgt. Kendall Waters-Bey, 29, of Baltimore, Maryland. As he held a picture of his son, Waters-Bey’s father, Michael, said: “I want President Bush to get a good look at this, really good look here. This is the only son I had, only son.” THIS is what war is like.
Those who think that because we support the war effort means we are warmongers are fools. We weep for our losses, but it HAS to be done. God bless the troops, and comfort the families.
But as wars go, American losses have been surprisingly light with only two Marines killed in combat, four in a helicopter crash in the desert, and one American who died in a British helicopter crash over the Gulf.
While I say ‘only’ it is with the understanding that the death even one American soldier or Marine means the whole world to someone.
And that loss diminishes us all.
The war is doing some damage to the anti-Bush forces at home and abroad as well. The propagandists are keeping busy rewriting their talking points.
The war is about oil, for example. The United States is sponsoring a resolution at the Security Council that will give UN General Secretary Kofi Annan control of Iraq’s oil wealth. So if this is a war about oil, the US just surrendered to the UN. Scratch that talking point.
The war is a grudge match between Bush the Younger and Saddam — not hearing that one very much anymore, either.
“Saddam Hussein was offered a choice; give up your weapons of mass destruction, or lose power. He chose unwisely, and now he will lose both,” said Secretary of State Rumsfeld yesterday.
CNN seemed disappointed until the first phase of ‘shock and awe’ was launched yesterday. The US was unwilling to unleash the full fury of our air power until they were certain that Iraq wasn’t going to surrender following the strike that most probably incapacitated or killed Saddam Hussein.
His fate is still uncertain, but all the intelligence markers indicate we got him on the first night. Military intelligence says it is ‘virtually certain’ that Saddam was loaded onto a stretcher and whisked away in an ambulance shortly after the first strike. It is also believed that Uday was killed.
Saddam and both his sons are confirmed to have been inside the building when forty thousand pounds of high explosives slammed into the target with pinpoint precision.
The war will upset the global economy — scratch through that one, too.
All three market gauges rose for the week, with the Dow average up 8.36 percent, its best weekly gain since October 1982. The Dow rose for an eighth day, its longest streak of gains since December 1998. The Dow has gained 13 percent since the rally began last week.
You wouldn’t know it from CNN’s war coverage. They were too busy speculating about all the civilian casualties we were creating and how that would sour US relations with the Arab street to mention it.
The Washington press corps seemed furious that Bush wasn’t watching war coverage on TV. Whether or not he was watching television took up most of Ari Fleischer’s White House press briefing. During the first Gulf War, President Bush said he got most of his information from CNN.
The current President Bush is getting his information from his intelligence services. That may have upset the press corps, but I found it quite comforting.
Iraqis are surrendering in droves, dancing in the streets and cheering the Marines as liberators. Nobody is talking about it. It’s virtually impossible to find accounts of that in the global press or in the print media.
But TV reporters embedded with the military are beaming pictures back home of Iraqis lining their route, cheering their arrival and dancing with joy at their liberation.
Coverage from anti-Bush world is all about civilian casualties that nobody can find, children being wounded by bombs that were being dropped while they were outside playing or shopping with the parents (David Chater — Sky News) (at four in the morning??) and the humanitarian disaster the bombing is creating. No evidence of that, either.
So far, the bombs have only hit military targets. There are no civilians in military facilities that Saddam didn’t put there. Another talking point bites the dust.
The most amazing thing isn’t so much the way the war is being conducted as the way it is being reported. CNN’s coverage is flustered and confused as its anchors search the wire services for somthing negative to report. The best they could come up with was the ‘anti-war’ protests still ongoing around the world.
But even CNN had difficulty explaining why these alleged anti-war pacifists are so violent — hundreds of persons have been injured protesting the war. More than a dozen people have been killed, meaning more people have died protesting the war than the coalition troops fighting it.
The New York Times is reporting that the media is responsible for the war with Iraq because the media failed to ‘aggressively confront’ the Bush administration. (I’m not making this up)
Quoting author Eric Alterman (“What Liberal Media?”) to advance their agenda, the Times reported, “Support for this war is in part a reflection that the media has allowed the Bush administration to get away with misleading the American people.”
The Times did not see fit to explain just exactly how the Bush administration was misleading them, however. Instead, it reported, “But opponents of the war assert that if the news media had done a better job of highlighting flaws in the administration’s case, President Bush might have been forced to give weapons inspectors more time to work in Iraq.”
More time for the inspectors? US forces have captured WMD production facilities in the ‘Scud Box’ in western Iraq on the second day of the war. The UN inspectors didn’t find them in three months.
UNMOVIC was able to uncover exactly one proscribed missile system — the al-Samoud. But Kuwait came under attack — 9 times — by SCUD missiles that Iraq was prohibited from possessing, were not listed on Iraq’s December 7 weapons declaration and that Iraq swore it didn’t have. More time for inspectors?
And another talking point bites the dust.