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View Full Version : How the Iraq war was won, media review 3 years on


maroule
18-10-2006, 16:12:15
Nothing new but some are pretty funny (in a sad sort of way)


'The Final Word Is Hooray!'
Remembering the Iraq War's Pollyanna pundits

3/15/06

Weeks after the invasion of Iraq began, Fox News Channel host Brit Hume delivered a scathing speech critiquing the media's supposedly pessimistic assessment of the Iraq War.

"The majority of the American media who were in a position to comment upon the progress of the war in the early going, and even after that, got it wrong," Hume complained in the April 2003 speech (Richmond Times Dispatch, 4/25/04). "They didn't get it just a little wrong. They got it completely wrong."

Hume was perhaps correct--but almost entirely in the opposite sense. Days or weeks into the war, commentators and reporters made premature declarations of victory, offered predictions about lasting political effects and called on the critics of the war to apologize.

Around the same time as Hume's speech, syndicated columnist Cal Thomas declared (4/16/03): "All of the printed and voiced prophecies should be saved in an archive. When these false prophets again appear, they can be reminded of the error of their previous ways and at least be offered an opportunity to recant and repent. Otherwise, they will return to us in another situation where their expertise will be acknowledged, or taken for granted, but their credibility will be lacking."

Gathered here are some of the most notable media comments from the early days of the Iraq War.


Declaring Victory

"Now that the combat phase of the war in Iraq is officially over, what begins is a debate throughout the entire U.S. government over America's unrivaled power and how best to use it."
(CBS reporter Joie Chen, 5/4/03)


"Congress returns to Washington this week to a world very different from the one members left two weeks ago. The war in Iraq is essentially over and domestic issues are regaining attention."
(NPR's Bob Edwards, 4/28/03)


"Tommy Franks and the coalition forces have demonstrated the old axiom that boldness on the battlefield produces swift and relatively bloodless victory. The three-week swing through Iraq has utterly shattered skeptics' complaints."
(Fox News Channel's Tony Snow, 4/13/03)


"The only people who think this wasn't a victory are Upper Westside liberals, and a few people here in Washington."
(Charles Krauthammer, Inside Washington, WUSA-TV, 4/19/03)


"We had controversial wars that divided the country. This war united the country and brought the military back."
(Newsweek's Howard Fineman--MSNBC, 5/7/03)


"We're all neo-cons now."
(MSNBC's Chris Matthews, 4/9/03)


"The war was the hard part. The hard part was putting together a coalition, getting 300,000 troops over there and all their equipment and winning. And it gets easier. I mean, setting up a democracy is hard, but it is not as hard as winning a war."
(Fox News Channel's Fred Barnes, 4/10/03)


"Oh, it was breathtaking. I mean I was almost starting to think that we had become inured to everything that we'd seen of this war over the past three weeks; all this sort of saturation. And finally, when we saw that it was such a just true, genuine expression. It was reminiscent, I think, of the fall of the Berlin Wall. And just sort of that pure emotional expression, not choreographed, not stage-managed, the way so many things these days seem to be. Really breathtaking."
(Washington Post reporter Ceci Connolly, appearing on Fox News Channel on 4/9/03, discussing the pulling down of a Saddam Hussein statue in Baghdad, an event later revealed to have been a U.S. military PSYOPS operation--Los Angeles Times, 7/3/04)


Mission Accomplished?

"The war winds down, politics heats up.... Picture perfect. Part Spider-Man, part Tom Cruise, part Ronald Reagan. The president seizes the moment on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific."
(PBS's Gwen Ifill, 5/2/03, on George W. Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech)


"We're proud of our president. Americans love having a guy as president, a guy who has a little swagger, who's physical, who's not a complicated guy like Clinton or even like Dukakis or Mondale, all those guys, McGovern. They want a guy who's president. Women like a guy who's president. Check it out. The women like this war. I think we like having a hero as our president. It's simple. We're not like the Brits."
(MSNBC's Chris Matthews, 5/1/03)


"He looked like an alternatively commander in chief, rock star, movie star, and one of the guys."
(CNN's Lou Dobbs, on Bush's 'Mission Accomplished' speech, 5/1/03)


Neutralizing the Opposition

"Why don't the damn Democrats give the president his day? He won today. He did well today."
(MSNBC's Chris Matthews, 4/9/03)


"What's he going to talk about a year from now, the fact that the war went too well and it's over? I mean, don't these things sort of lose their--Isn't there a fresh date on some of these debate points?"
(MSNBC's Chris Matthews, speaking about Howard Dean--4/9/03)


"If image is everything, how can the Democratic presidential hopefuls compete with a president fresh from a war victory?"
(CNN's Judy Woodruff, 5/5/03)


"It is amazing how thorough the victory in Iraq really was in the broadest context..... And the silence, I think, is that it's clear that nobody can do anything about it. There isn't anybody who can stop him. The Democrats can't oppose--cannot oppose him politically."
(Washington Post reporter Jeff Birnbaum-- Fox News Channel, 5/2/03)


Nagging the "Naysayers"

"Now that the war in Iraq is all but over, should the people in Hollywood who opposed the president admit they were wrong?"
(Fox News Channel's Alan Colmes, 4/25/03)


"I doubt that the journalists at the New York Times and NPR or at ABC or at CNN are going to ever admit just how wrong their negative pronouncements were over the past four weeks."
(MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, 4/9/03)


"I'm waiting to hear the words 'I was wrong' from some of the world's most elite journalists, politicians and Hollywood types.... I just wonder, who's going to be the first elitist to show the character to say: 'Hey, America, guess what? I was wrong'? Maybe the White House will get an apology, first, from the New York Times' Maureen Dowd. Now, Ms. Dowd mocked the morality of this war....

"Do you all remember Scott Ritter, you know, the former chief U.N. weapons inspector who played chief stooge for Saddam Hussein? Well, Mr. Ritter actually told a French radio network that -- quote, 'The United States is going to leave Baghdad with its tail between its legs, defeated.' Sorry, Scott. I think you've been chasing the wrong tail, again.

"Maybe disgraced commentators and politicians alike, like Daschle, Jimmy Carter, Dennis Kucinich, and all those others, will step forward tonight and show the content of their character by simply admitting what we know already: that their wartime predictions were arrogant, they were misguided and they were dead wrong. Maybe, just maybe, these self-anointed critics will learn from their mistakes. But I doubt it. After all, we don't call them 'elitists' for nothing."
(MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, 4/10/03)


"Over the next couple of weeks when we find the chemical weapons this guy was amassing, the fact that this war was attacked by the left and so the right was so vindicated, I think, really means that the left is going to have to hang its head for three or four more years."
(Fox News Channel's Dick Morris, 4/9/03)


"This has been a tough war for commentators on the American left. To hope for defeat meant cheering for Saddam Hussein. To hope for victory meant cheering for President Bush. The toppling of Mr. Hussein, or at least a statue of him, has made their arguments even harder to defend. Liberal writers for ideologically driven magazines like The Nation and for less overtly political ones like The New Yorker did not predict a defeat, but the terrible consequences many warned of have not happened. Now liberal commentators must address the victory at hand and confront an ascendant conservative juggernaut that asserts United States might can set the world right."
(New York Times reporter David Carr, 4/16/03)


"Well, the hot story of the week is victory.... The Tommy Franks-Don Rumsfeld battle plan, war plan, worked brilliantly, a three-week war with mercifully few American deaths or Iraqi civilian deaths.... There is a lot of work yet to do, but all the naysayers have been humiliated so far.... The final word on this is, hooray."
(Fox News Channel's Morton Kondracke, 4/12/03)

"Some journalists, in my judgment, just can't stand success, especially a few liberal columnists and newspapers and a few Arab reporters."
(CNN's Lou Dobbs, 4/14/03)

"Sean Penn is at it again. The Hollywood star takes out a full-page ad out in the New York Times bashing George Bush. Apparently he still hasn't figured out we won the war."
(MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, 5/30/03)

Lurker
18-10-2006, 17:40:06
Oops.

Oerdin
18-10-2006, 18:06:24
For all their demands that other people say "I was wrong" how come this sorry group of pundits hasn't come forward to say they were wrong?

C.G.B. Spender
18-10-2006, 18:32:13
I can't remember

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm
18-10-2006, 19:30:42
Originally posted by Oerdin
For all their demands that other people say "I was wrong" how come this sorry group of pundits hasn't come forward to say they were wrong?

In the dictionary, if you look up partisan media commentator, it says "Hypocrite" True story!

Dyl Ulenspiegel
18-10-2006, 21:56:52
"I doubt that the journalists at the New York Times and NPR or at ABC or at CNN are going to ever admit just how wrong their negative pronouncements were over the past four weeks."
(MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, 4/9/03)

That's one of the really hilarious parts. The NYT and CNN etc were all cheering propaganda tools for the Iraq war, just not loud enough for the taste of the real fanatics.

Oerdin
19-10-2006, 00:52:13
Very true. Extremists like Scarborough and O'Reilly have a standardized shtick where they claim anyone to the left of them is a communist and that all the "main stream media" are all neo-communists out to deceive America.

It's total garbage but there are a great many idiots who believe it. Just look at FFZ.

MOBIUS
19-10-2006, 12:36:06
Originally posted by Oerdin
It's total garbage but there are a great many idiots who believe it. Just look at FFZ.

Why stop at FFZ, all the usual suspects on Poly still believe despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Rather like a religious person who refuses to accept that their god(s) does not exist...

King_Ghidra
19-10-2006, 12:49:30
it's not quite like that. religion is a matter of belief. iraq is a matter of utterly depressing fact.

maroule
19-10-2006, 13:19:01
I'd tend to agree with Moebius
when your opinions are not influenced by facts, but by intangible beliefs where contrary facts are incorporated/digested to further prove your points (i.e. the worsening situation in Iraq proves how important it is to fight terrorism), you're in the realm of faith

maroule
19-10-2006, 13:22:39
Originally posted by MOBIUS
Rather like a religious person who refuses to accept that their god(s) does not exist...

actually, the beauty of religions is that you can never prove that...
Religions die when people stop to believe, but none has ever had its God proven non existent... can't beat that!

MOBIUS
19-10-2006, 13:34:12
Originally posted by maroule
I'd tend to agree with Moebius
when your opinions are not influenced by facts, but by intangible beliefs where contrary facts are incorporated/digested to further prove your points (i.e. the worsening situation in Iraq proves how important it is to fight terrorism), you're in the realm of faith

Exactly my point.

Especially when you consider the 'crusading' nature of the the invasion of Iraq, or the attempts to 'convert' a nation to democracy.

C.G.B. Spender
22-10-2006, 08:58:21
President George W Bush has said the surge in Iraq may be equivalent to the US experience in the Vietnam War.

Mr Bush acknowledged that the escalation of violence "could be" comparable to the 1968 Tet Offensive against US troops, which helped turn public opinion against the Vietnam War.

I think he's wrong. Vietnam did not have any WMDs like Iraq did have

Dyl Ulenspiegel
22-10-2006, 12:21:15
Dubya is suffering from a severe case of Kissinger.

Oerdin
22-10-2006, 12:57:44
He's, always, been suffering from a severe case of head-ass inversion.

Dyl Ulenspiegel
22-10-2006, 13:20:18
Well, he will always be remembered as the total failure having come to symbolise the decline of the american empire. Historically it's difficult to find a similar figure.. maybe Carlos II of Spain....

Cruddy
22-10-2006, 22:11:21
Originally posted by C.G.B. Spender
I think he's wrong. Vietnam did not have any WMDs like Iraq did have

* points and laughs