The War at Home

While David at AMERICAblog laments the disservice the media is doing to our troops with their whitewashed reporting, James Wolcott dissects their (and our) misplaced post-election focus:
So thick is the euphoria and triumphalism post November 2nd that I wonder if most of our media, never mind the bovine American public, have any inkling of how ghastily Iraq is going down the drain, and taking the American military with it. We've been so bombarded with "Failure is not an option" that few are willing to assert, as van Creveld and Lind do, that failure may not be an option but it damn well may be the outcome, and quicker than anyone contemplates.

Andrew Sullivan and Thomas Friedman can petition for more troops all they please. It's too late for more troops. We don't have troops to spare as it is, but even if we did, it's too late. It's too late for everything. The blundering mistakes that were made in the first days and weeks of the occupation can't be reversed now--they're incorrectible. The window of opportunity dropped like a guillotine while Donald Rumsfeld was regaling the press corps with his pithy wisdom.
Clearly, Wolcott’s intent was to chastise the conservatives for letting the collective jubilation at their incumbent’s success, and the seemingly never-ending celebration of his questionable mandate, serve to facilitate a collective amnesia about his reckless endeavor in Iraq. I wonder, however, if we on the Left aren’t dangerously close to becoming equally as guilty.

Granted, we didn’t vote to keep the purveyor of this tragedy in office, nor did many of us support the invasion. And it’s true that we support the troops in a way that many on the Right don’t understand—that we can hate the war and still respect and care for the troops who fight in it, that we want them brought home. And it’s understandable that after our disheartening defeat, we hung our heads and licked our wounds and navel-gazed a bit, wondering how it all went so pear-shaped.

But now we must turn our attention to the war. While the Right’s elation carries them blithely along, cheering on the Marlboro Man while ignoring the complexities, the reality, of the war, we cannot fall victim to the same disregard. Our trouncing and resulting self-analysis cannot overshadow this catastrophe. We must hold this administration accountable for its colossal mistake; we must remember the men and women who are fighting and dying for this mistake (on both sides); we must not let ourselves get so distracted with the politics of the war that we ignore the consequences of the war.

Read Operation Truth and Baghdad Burning, get angry, then let’s get busy demanding accuracy from the media and accountability from the administration.

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