Monday, November 27, 2006

More on the MSM

Bill Quick at Daily Pundit has responded to my “lumpen electorate” rant from last Saturday. He has a good point to make:

With the media doing the heavy lifting for the mujahideen, the Republicans had no chance, even if they had somehow managed to grow brains and a spine in time for the election.

This is just a tiny snippet from a much longer article about a different subject entirely, but I couldn’t let it pass. I see too much of this in the conservative, pro-American community, that the “legacy media” (or MSM) is simply too strong for the administration — any administration — to resist.

It’s an attractive copout, but the problem is, it isn’t true. And it makes it too easy for administrations to grab the copout and use it. “What could we do?” the Bushbots whine. “The all-powerful liberal media was against us.”


If there’s one thing that Americans love, it is victory. The NYT might have bitched and whined its head off, but if Bush had piled the bodies up in Sadr City and along the borders between Iran, Syria, and Iraq, and done a Serbia on the towers of Tehran and Damascus until the Mullahs and the Baathists screamed for mercy, he’d still be running approval ratings in the high eighties.

The power of the legacy media didn’t remove Bush’s spine. Bush’s lack of spine empowered the legacy media.
- - - - - - - - - -
Bill, I grant you your point. We all would have loved to have seen boot applied to fundament in Fallujah, and many other places.

But the question is: Why is Bush such a wimp? Why didn’t he just go ahead and get the job done?

Could it be that he’s afraid of the reaction of New York Times and CNN, just like every other politician?

If so, it still makes my point about the power of the MSM, as filtered through our elected leaders’ fear.

We won’t know who’s right, you or me, until a Republican president finally cleans some Muslim clocks. Then we can find out if it helps him politically.

Until then, we’re just guessing.


Fellow Peacekeeper said...

Hes got a point.

Remember the good old days?

Embedded reporters enthusiastic about progess, becoming virtual cheerleaders for their units, the 'thunder run' into Baghdad, with Baghdad Bob spouting nonsense even when US tanks could be seen rolling around in the background behind him, Shock and Awe, demonstrators felling Saddam statues?


In many ways its a shame the debacle following has obscured how brilliant and glittering the invasion was. They could have rolled past Baghdad en route to Damascus or Tehran and everyone would have cheered.

J.Holyfen said...

One word: Giuliani!

Bilgeman said...


"The power of the legacy media didn’t remove Bush’s spine. Bush’s lack of spine empowered the legacy media."

Pity that neither Bush nor Ohlmert seized the goldn opportunity offered by the Hezbollah War.

The Israelis had flanked the defenses behind the Golan Heights, and the Syrian/Iraqi border looks about 150 miles from Damascus, and "Tank Country" all the way.

Bring in the Kurds, and we could have smacked down that Assad bastard.

Solve all kinds of present problems by doing that.


Frank said...

Its all very well to blame Bush's spinelessness for the "debacle" in Iraq, and certainly more ruthlessness was called for in the pacification process, but the media is central to creating the perception that there is a debacle in the first place.

Why is Iraq a debacle? Its not. Has anyone noticed that the "mounting death toll" of US soldiers has ground to a virtual halt? Has anyone noticed that the valiant "resistance" consists of the odd bomb going off here and there or the odd kidnapping hither and yon? All well reported of course, and presented as if nothing else happened that day.

The daily media reiteration of defeatist catchwords wraps it all up into a soundbyte and implants "debacle" as a passive truism in everyone who turns on a tv or picks up a paper.

Every bomb that explodes finds the media tossing about the term "civil war" in breathless anticipation, as if civil war is pre-ordained and its just a waiting game to see which bomb blast acts as the final trigger.

I blame the media, but more than that I blame the consumerist mentality of the American people, who, bred on decades of instant gratification, who provide media defeatism such fertile ground. If this war isn't supplying instant success why, just ditch it and move on.

antithaca said...

"...but if Bush had piled the bodies up in Sadr City and along the borders between Iran, Syria, and Iraq, and done a Serbia on the towers of Tehran and Damascus until the Mullahs and the Baathists screamed for mercy, he’d still be running approval ratings in the high eighties"

...wrong. wrong. wrong. and wrong again. and again and again.

NYT/CNN **screams** up and down the streets when we keep known terrorists and unlawful combatants up too late at night in their prison cells. How do you think the NYT/CNN would react to a lopsided-WWII-era thumping handed out by our armed forces?


Fabian Pascal said...

Iraq IS a debacle because america knows and cares little about other cultures and peoples. Americans have always failed to learn and understand other cultures due to the belief of their own indoctrination that they are the best in everything. For all the altruistic pretentions, the US public cares only about itself.

With a short attention span and not much education, always expecting to win without much effort (shock and awe), there is no stomach and will and stamina with persistent enemies and high costs.

The media knows it. It does not produce this attitude, it plays to it its readers and, thus, its corporate advertisers, which are ultimately the media's customers, where the profits are coming from.
Halliburton et. al. already made their huge profits without delivering much, so now it's time to go home.

The israelis are learning the reliability of relying on the US the hard way, like the vietnamese, the eastern europeans, the kurds, and the iraquis. Their failure in Lebanon and Gaza are due to the americanization of their culture and political system.

That's in large part why the US has entered the final stages of its era, and will have the same fate of all big empires, all of which died. No competition produces ignorance, arrogance, hedonism and calcification.

Fabian Pascal said...

And here's a good example:

Shaping Post-Bush Policy

Fabian Pascal said...

And another:

Why We Need to Talk to Iran

Fabian Pascal said...



Fabian Pascal said...

And not just Iraq.

Another One Bites the Dust

It was just a matter of time.

freecyprus said...

True, Bush probably feared what the media would protray him as. But what difference would that make in the last elections? Don't they already protray him as a nazi? At worst no difference, at best an improvement. The republican base would vote rebublican and the loony left loony left, he could have possibly gained some independents. The Syrian and Iranian armies would have been in shambles, the infrastructures ruined, with the Baathists and the ayatollahs discredited and the civilized world would have a respite while the "peaceful" muslims murdered each other over who now gets to rule over what would be left of Syria and Iran. Whoever would win would think twice about confronting the US and going the way of the ayatollahs and Baathists. Sure, the UN and the New York Times would whine over those yankee imperialists, but don't they do that already?
You can bet Syria and Iran spend their time thinking about how to pull off a nuclear strike on the US while maintaining plausible deniability. In the "those are not muslims because Islam is a religion of peace" non-muslim/muslims they have their delivery vehicle. If you have the military power in the combined Israeli and US armies to completely alter the Middle East landscape by wiping out the anti-US and anti-Israel armies and making more Israel-like US friendly states such as Kusrdistan, why not use it? Why does Bush think Iran wants a nuke? If the ayatollahs see their vulnerability to a US invasion, why can't Bush?

He's making the exact same mistake with Iran as he did with Iraq, he wasted over a year getting approval from the "world community" which he *surprise, surprise* never got, giving Saddam time to move his WMDs to Syria and stockpile weapons for the insurgency. Iran never had any intent to abandon nukes, the longer Bush waits, the more time they have to acquire more SAMS from Russia and make nukes. But Bush let himself get distracted by and squander military resources on this stupid nation-building exercise in Iraq which was supposed to create a democracy in Iraq and then in a spontaneous domino effect lead to democratic change in Syria and Iran. Well, it hasn't hapened. Reasses threats and strategy - withdraw from Iraq though Damascus and Tehran.

What good has come out of letting world opinion dictate US strategy? NOTHING. Go back to the tried and true method of making military strategy on military, not political, considerations. But no, apparently the solution is to give more input to Syria and Iran? Syria and Iran are funneling money fighters and arms to Hezbollah and Iraqi terrorists. Any sane military planner would conclude the appropriate response is military action. But apparently, Bush seems to think that instead asking them real nice to pretty pretty please be a force for stability in the Middle East has a chance of working?

We already have one political party good at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory as in vietnam (read numerous VC/NA memoirs that admit North Vietnam was on it's last legs contrary to what the US media reported and was merely hoping to hold on long enough to give it's Jane Fonda 5th column in the US a chance to betray US soldiers). If the electorate is stupid enough to elect the democrats so be it. But why should republicans do the surrendering for the democrats?

Does the US want to run for world Most Charismatic, or does it want to win the war? I hope it doesn't take a major military reverse to finally get the leadership to fight the war to WIN, not to placate the New york times and muslim and French opinion. Kissinger says victory in Iraq is impossible. Well, yeah, if you define victory as getting Iraqi muslims to love American infidels and Israel, then yeah, it is impossible. But why is the guy who won a Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the betrayal of the South Vietnamese presented by the media as some sort of foreign policy expert? At least the North Vietnamese negotiator with whom Kissinger was to share that Nobel Peace Price had enough decency to DECLINE the same award which Kissinger accepted.

Vol-in-Law said...

"Why is Iraq a debacle? Its not. Has anyone noticed that the "mounting death toll" of US soldiers has ground to a virtual halt?"

US military fatalities in Iraq & Afganistan:

It's not a debacle because of the fatalities though - the US public are tough-minded these days and will accept necessary losses to achieve an important goal. The (apparent) debacle is that nothing meaningful seems to be being achieved by these deaths.

OMMAG said...

Interesting argument on Bush's Lack Of SPINE!
AS a Canadian and strictly as an observer I'd say that Bush has a lot of flaws.
If I was an American I'd be supporting Him 100% because in spite of his flaws he is the BEST you can do at the moment.

So what if you can't get your instant gratification in a global WoT?
The lack of spine it seems to me is in the general public and primarily due to the fruit fly like attention span of that US public. The MSM has an easy time confabulating crisis and failure out of the simple reality that nothing comes quickly and it takes perserverence to change the way things are..
While pundits of all stripes flounder around looking for a scapegoat to blame their dissatisfaction on....the worlds view of Americans becomes more disdainful.

If you want respect then fucking earn it! Quit acting like spoiled children and take least GW has tried to do that!

al fin said...

A lot of idiots don't know what the word debacle means. It means a total blowout, total defeat. That only happens when the US packs up and leaves Iraq to the Iraqis and their fanatical sectarian insurgents, terrorists, and criminals.

Vietnam was a debacle after the US left and the North Vietnamese swept down and killed over a million Southerners. Cambodia was a debacle when Pol Pot took over and killed 2 million Cambodians. Rwanda was a debacle when the UN and Clinton farted and a million Rwandans bit the machete. A debacle is what happens when the US cuts and runs.

Scott said...

Iraq is a 'debacle' only because Bush adopted the mainstream media definition of 'victory'.

Personally, I think it a splendid success. We can leave now with all of our military objectives satisfied. Of course we could have done the same in December, 2003 and spared 2000 plus American soldiers lives.

The tragedy is that we have shown ourselves unable to put Humpty Dumpty back together ( as if that was our job) and undermined the impact our toppling of the regime achieved.

Look at the Congo! 3-4 million dead and chaos since the fall of Mobuto. Does anyone blame the UN and Kofi Annan for not being able to turn a failed state into Switzerland? Hell no. They merely point out how difficult it is to get warring tribes and ethnic groups to live together under in a unitary state.

Iraq has been utterly defeated by any normal measure of that term. Its armed forces have been verifiably disarmed and neutered. Its leadership killed or arrested and it can no longer threaten us or our allies. How else do you define victory. Isn't that exactly what we called victory in 1945?

Frank said...

Vol-in law: I don't know what the current "rising death toll" of US soldiers in Iraq is. What I can tell you is that its approximately equal to the casualties of the first few minutes of the Battle of the Bulge and the first few seconds of the Battle of the Somme. If one were to amortize it to be reflective of Vietnam, the US would have to be in Iraq for around 100-200 years to even come close to the same numbers of US casualties.

Using US casualty lists to argue that the US ought to leave Iraq is about the best way I can think of to argue the opposite.

pvnam_3 said...

"mini-spam" ---> SÉPARATISM IN EUROPE

--- Many IDIOTS... do not understand this: does not exist no Invasion!

--- An Invasion is a hostile action! ...
--- What happens in Europe is.. a Management of the entrance of immigrants... for that: the persons walks in the 'Enjoy-Parasite'... that is to say, the majority of the Europeans [... the 'White Parasite']:
-1- they claim to enjoy immigrant servile labour at 'price of rain';
-2- they claim to enjoy the existence of persons to pay the retirement pension [ in spite of... they doesn't make a Society where exist Demographic Renewal!!! ]

--- Don't be Idiots!!!
--- The way to go... it isn't 'lick-the-boots' to the Majority of the Europeans!
--- The way to go... it is 'make war' against the White-Parasite... i.e., the ETHNIC SEPARATISM (division of the countries):
(... before being too late...)
-1- space (50%) of Total Competition: for Globalization-Lovers;
-2- another space (50%) of Natural Reserve: for the preservation of the Autochthonous Ethnic Identities.
---{ see: 50-separatism-50 }

NOTICE: For the 'White Parasite' (the majority of the Europeans) "the bad persons" are all those that oppose to the 'To Enjoy Parasite' ..... consequently...... they are INTOLERANT regarding the existence of Ethnic States -> for the preservation of the Autochthonous Ethnic Identities.

dt said...

Did you forget Bush's "mission accomplished" performance on the abraham lincoln?
The colossal arrogance, lack of vision and outright stupidity of that moment had nothing whatever to do with any "lumpen electorate"or mainstream media.
That was pure bush. pure neocon delusion.
sorry, these are guys who were taken aback at a sectarian savagery that has characterized the region since the mohammadans first started sawing off heads.
our frat boys never did their homework.
They thought the jihadis would be scared off by flashes and loud bangs.
And when it became obvious they were wrong, they sought to bribe them (our enemies)with money and arms.
It's worth noting here that musharraf is still going to receive his 36 f-16s in spite of n waziristan, and abbas received m16s, a million rounds and, soon enough, more arms in addition to american military training.
none of which has anything to do with the electorate or the msm.
again, once that mission accomplished banner was hung, bush and the boys were done.
which is why we are now witnessing bush's daddy (no less a dunderhead) trying to extricate his incompetent and greedy son from another mess he's gotten himself into.
which I merely mention in passing.
I would suggest that bush doesn't want to fight a war with these clowns, he wants to do business with them.
He's a globalist, one world pimp who's already abandoned his own citizens in favor of illegal alien foreign nationals.
of what use is war to the likes of him?
and within that context, what might that bode for the future of the israelis?
at what point will the young pampered prince decide the israelis are hurting his business opportunities in the region?
soon enough I think.
none of which has diddleysquat to do with the electorate or the msm I might add.
it's all g w bush and friends.

Impchucker said...

The original post was brilliant, in my view, though the lack of spine goes way back. After winning resoundingly in Afghanistan, and disproving the MSM's "quagmire" meme there, we dithered for a year seeking France and Germany's approval to attack Iraq, allowing Saddam Hussein to spirit his WMDs to Syria, creating the "no WMDs" thread that runs through much Democratic/MSM criticism of the Iraq War, and dissipating the will to fight created by 9/11. Then, when we again won quickly, we bogged down. I thought the next move-- no later than a year after the invasion of Iraq-- should have been the invasion of Syria. All the while, we should have been actively aiding resistance movements in Iran, perhaps targeting the mullahs for assassination, and certainly bombing nuclear reactors under construction.

The President's problem is that he didn't follow the neoconservative playbook I just sketched. He ran a couple of plays from it while spending unfortunate amounts of time pursuing diplomatic roads to nowhere. Maybe he feared the MSM; I suspect from his record as Governor of Texas, however, that he thought that there was some truth on both the Dick Cheney and Colin Powell sides of the argument, and tried to split the difference.

Bilgeman said...


"Why is Iraq a debacle? Its not. Has anyone noticed that the "mounting death toll" of US soldiers has ground to a virtual halt? Has anyone noticed that the valiant "resistance" consists of the odd bomb going off here and there or the odd kidnapping hither and yon?"

I HAVE been paying attention to and I must be the only two in the Western world who noticed.

Far from a debacle, the Iraq action has been a splendid success in accomplishing its' primary and paramount mission.

Saddam Hussein's Iraqis are not killing Americans.

The people who live in Iraq are largely killing OTHER people who live in Iraq.

And that's too would be nice if they snarked at each other from the NYTimes and WaPo and WSJ editorial pages the way we do...and we "crept the mission" to give them that chance...but hey, that's THEIR bad, not OURS.

American Homeland safe from Jihadi terrorists armed from Saddam's arsenal? far.

Saddam Hussein a deposed tyrant getting fitted for a manila necktie?

Yep...mission accomplished.

A peaceful and democratic Iraq?

Nope...apparently enough of them don't want to BE Iraqis.

But I'll settle for the default.


Bilgeman said...

fabian pascal:

" Americans have always failed to learn and understand other cultures due to the belief of their own indoctrination that they are the best in everything."

You're quite right.

I've lived and traveled abroad since childhood, since 1969, to be precise, and I've learned nothing whatsoever about ANY of the cultures I've lived, worked, and traveled in.

Thanks ever so much for reprising the "Americans as Cultural Barbarians" meme.

Which was used quite extensively by Herr Goebbels' Ministry of Propaganda after the Wehrmacht's string of victories started marching ever closer to the Reich, and the U-Boats started sailing off and never being heard from again.

We always need to be reminded how ignorant we are, so that we can pipe down and let the United Nations tell us what to do and when to do it.


ziontruth said...

"The power of the legacy media didn’t remove Bush’s spine. Bush’s lack of spine empowered the legacy media."

Full agreement here. And as for proof of that hypothesis:

1. Backing off from his wording, "This war... this crusade..." (Whether or not he meant that last word literally or metaphorically is irrelevant here.)
2. Changing the name, "Operating Infinite Justice" to "Operation Enduring Freedom".


1. Frame of time: the first few weeks after September 11, 2001.
2. Reasons for his actions: the outcry of "public opinion" against "turning it into a religious war, into a war against Islam" for the former; protests from Muslims that only Allah could dispense infinite justice for the latter.

Remember, back then right after 9/11, Bush had near-unanimous support at home, even by the media. Those two actions were, therefore, totally free and uncoerced. He chose them. He chose wrongly. And he missed the bid to be our generation's Churchill.