"Running on the efficiency and effectiveness of the failed state in Baghdad would be an extremely risky strategy if in fact the US corporate media were telling the American people the truth (or even just anything) about what is actually going on in Iraq and Iraqi politics." --Juan Cole, Feb. 29, 2008
Friday's ATC piece on John McCain begins with Melissa Block noting that "McCain said the liberation of Iraq would provide in his words 'another chapter in the glorious history of the United States.' "
Not a bad start. In fact you might expect a news show to use that little gem of a quote as a set up to show what a miserably ignorant, stupid, deluded, arrogant, violence-prone, and absolutely mistaken assertion that was by a man who now wants to run the country...(definitely a threat level of severe). But, alas, this is embedded public radio, and we are about to get treated to McCain's own spokesperson in residence at NPR, surgin' Scott Horsley.
Here's just a sample of the McMenu that Horsley offers up:
- "Republican Senator Lindsay Graham of South Carolina says of all the politicians who visited Iraq in those first months of the war, McCain was neither a hand-wringing opponent nor an uncritical cheerleader."
- "McCain's opinion was not popular at the time...but military analyst Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution says history has vindicated the former Navy pilot turned politician."
- "McCain told cadets at the Virginia Military Institute last spring, politicians could either bow to public frustration and accept defeat, or pay the political price to succeed in Iraq."
Horsley also trots out Andy Kohut of the Pew Research Center. Kohut drifts from talking about his area of expertise, polls - "there's a growing sense that things are improving in Iraq and about half the public now believes that US troops should remain" - to praising the fraud of McCain's campaign - "McCain can say, 'Look, my judgement about going to war may be different than yours, but the policies that I advocated about the way to pursue the war have been working and he can make the case...for being right to some extent." Consider the Juan Cole quote that opened this post and notice the circuitous nature of Kohut's argument: the public perception has changed and this means policies are "working" and are "right." Like NPR's coverage, McCain's "working" policy doesn't have to have any reference to what's actually happening in Iraq, but only how it's selling back home.