Thursday, July 05, 2007

Signs That It's Working

NPR has fully embraced the Bush Surge strategy in Iraq. The they artfully set it up. First, we were treated on Independence Day to Bush quacking on about victory in Iraq. Instead of treating this invitation only military audience speech with the ridicule it deserves, NPR's David Welna gave it a respectful send up, going so far as to note that "Mr. Bush warned that advice from military commanders in Iraq — rather than politics — should dictate any troop withdrawals." (It's worth noting that NPR gave no coverage to Bush's Likudnut speech citing Israel as the model for Iraq).

And where are we going to get this "advice from military commanders?" That comes this morning from military mouthpiece, Guy Raz. Raz has been reading counterinsurgency "expert" Kilcullen (who honed his skills with that freedom-loving institution, the Indonesian military). NPR has had Kilcullen on before.

What do we learn from Raz and host Montagne? Here's a sample:
  • Raz: "...the strategy is basically about driving literally a physical wedge between the general population and the extremists....he describes it is as clear hold and retain."
  • Montagne: "And are there signs that this strategy is working?"
  • Raz: "Well there are. There are signs that it’s working. The main problem with it is the lifeblood of the strategy requires two main elements - commodities that commanders don’t really have, which is time and troop strength....Ultimately, of course, with pressure coming down from Congress and the American public, military commanders in Iraq know that they may, they simply may not have those commodities."

There it is, the NPR line: The "surge" is working brilliantly and only needs time and troop strength to deliver the US a stunning victory, but the pesky Congress and the fickle American public just refuse to stick it out and are going to be responsible for a humiliating defeat. Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

I hate these people.

Anonymous said...

Hellloooo? Did you read the text of your own posting? Allow me to cut and paste it again:

Montagne: "And are there signs that this strategy is working?"
Raz: "Well there are. There are signs that it’s working.

Raz said there are SIGNS that the strategy is working, not that it is "working brilliantly" as you erroneously paraphrase.

Clearly your bias has blinded you to all sense of objectivity. If you are going to claim the high ground and criticize NPR for bias, make sure you keep your own opinions in check.

Anonymous said...

No, the whole thrust of the NPR story was to set up the frame that the surge would have "worked" had it not been for the impatience of the American public--led by the Democrats.

Porter Melmoth said...

anonymous, if you scan the archives of this blog, you will notice that objectivity is one of the hallmarks of Mytwords' approach to NPR. He is a careful, consciensious listener. The thing is, the more one listens to NPR (carefully) the more it's apparent that their reports are loaded with innuendos, assumptions, and subtleties. Their words cannot be taken at face value much of the time, especially with their penchant for speculative reporting. They (NPR) read into things all the time, and usually allow only experts they approve of to 'interpret' problematic situations. From this blog, I've learned to be pretty wary of NPR's claims at objectivity. Their credibility in many realms is often quite tenuous, and there's plenty of evidence to back this up. Check out the many links provided in most of the entries in this archive, and decide for yourself.

Mytwords said...

Hi Anonymous,

I accept that the "working brilliantly" is my interpretation. And I make no bones about being a leftist. BUT it is a reasonable conclusion given that in the quotes of the interchange I posted Raz follows up the "signs of it working" with the claim that the main problem with the "surge" is that the Congress and the American people won't give it more time and more troops. (That is not my interpretation that is what Montagne and Raz report.) Listen yourself.

Anonymous said...

So, unlike the Viet Nam, war, where the chatter has been "we could have won if they (the lefists) had let us", AFTER we got kicked out, we're hearing this crap BEFORE we get evicted. Kind of priming the talking points pump, re-writing history before it happens. NPR has been more and more agressive in its re-writing of history. I hope some of the older reporters who have left (Bob Edwards, Sarah Shayes) will some day speak up a little louder.