Thursday, March 30, 2006

Personal Irresponsibility - Blame the Media

Don't like how the war in Iraq is going? Well, there's a simple solution to that! Don't blame the Administration who brought us there. Blame the media for not reporting what you so desperately want to be true!

Snarky and sarcastic, I know. Apologies all around for that. But really, how desperate is the Republican base to absolve Bush of any responsibility in the war that he started? In the war that he was ready to deliberately provoke and mislead in order to start?

"The U.S. was thinking of flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in U.N. colours," the memo says, attributing the idea to Mr. Bush. "If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach."

It also described the president as saying, "The U.S. might be able to bring out a defector who could give a public presentation about Saddam's W.M.D," referring to weapons of mass destruction.
This is a man who, despite his assertions to the contrary, was desperate to have this war, for some reason. He ejected the weapons inspectors that he had pushed the U.N. to let into Iraq, and he was willing to get an Iraqi to publicly testify about weapons he already knew didn't exist. This is a man who, almost three years ago, stood proudly under a banner proclaiming "Mission Accomplished." Meanwhile, troops are still dying, Iraq is mired in a civil war (which is still a civil war, by any other name), and there's no clear exit strategy.

You all know all of this. If you're a liberal, it outrages you. If you're a conservative, you've likely bought into the lie that we went into Iraq to "free the Iraqi people," and not because of the pressing threat that the WMDs posed to the United States. If you're reading this, you've likely got an opinion one way or the other.

Here's my point, though. If you think the war was a shortsighted, ill-advised farce that has undermined our country both domestically and internationally, you probably want Bush to live up to his credo of personal responsibility. That position makes sense. What doesn't make sense is when Bush's followers have to attack everybody but the President for the handling of the mistakes for which he is and should be ultimately responsible.

If we can't trust the media to bring us the truth from Iraq, then who can we trust, if we're to adhere to the conservative talking points about the liberal media trying to undermine the war effort? Do we listen to the Administration, which certainly has a vested interest in selling the war as anything but a failure of epic proportions? Do we listen to right-wing bloggers who've never set foot in Iraq and never will? Do we trust members of Congress, like Howard Kaloogian, who use blatant misinformation to try to pull the wool over our eyes about the nature of the situation in Iraq?

Pardon me, but none of those options seem very personally responsible.