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July 15, 2008

Shock: Success of the Surge Seemingly Puts Obama on the Defensive

Two shocks: That such a thing would happen, and that the MSM would mention it all.

But notice how obliquely the success in Iraq is almost always mentioned by the MSM. How many front-page articles have you seen noting the great success of the surge? Or that victory is, yes, finally at hand? The mythical "light at the end of the tunnel" we heard about during Vietnam is really now a light, and we really are at the end of the tunnel.

How many? Zero. The WaPo had an editorial about why progress in Iraq was not being reported, but that was an editorial, not a page one story, and even that dealt with the subject obliquely.

By obliquely, I mean just that: Rather than report on the success of the surge simply in and of itself, the MSM now simply mentions the success of the surge in articles about other topics -- how does the success of the surge affect McCain? How does it affect Obama? Etc. The MSM has finally begun acknowledging we've all but won the war -- we are in the mop-up phase now -- but only as a secondary premise in a story about something else.

How about addressing such a sea-change and such an astounding victory not as it relates to some other political story -- getting a one paragraph (if that) mention -- but in a report dedicated to that story and none other?

Or, if the media insists on treating it obliquely -- how about addressing our victory in a report on the most important secondary effect: How has victory in Iraq changed our national security for the better? (Or, arguably, for the worse, but I'd like to see even the NYT editorial board make that case.)

Basically, the US was on the brink of failure and withdrawal in Iraq, and has now achieved an astounding success that will change the world (let alone Iraq) for the better and will be discussed as among the greatest counterinsurgency operations in all of human history. The media went from refusing to report on this victory at all -- remember the WaPo reporter arguing that it was "too early" to call it a trend -- to simply assuming its existence as "old news" and "background information" in a political story.

We went from not reporting it because it wasn't necessarily a trend to now not reporting it because it's such an obvious trend that it's old news and a waste of time to even mention it.

So we won a war without the media dedicating a single story to noting that fact.

We went directly from "we don't know if this will result in victory" to victory is no longer newsworthy in a couple of months.

At no time during that period did our victory actually warrant a front page story?

It's unfathomable, or at least would have been unthinkable a few years ago: America won a major war, and an excruciatingly difficult one, and the American media decided it was simply never worth reporting.

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posted by Ace at 03:26 PM

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