Friday, March 24, 2006

Failure

From today's Daniel Henninger column in OpinionJournal (emphasis mine):
The tendentious editorial decision to paint the high-traffic front pages red with blood and demote the hard slog of political progress in Iraq to the unread inside has an effect. Any normal person would be depressed by constant face-time with stories of barbaric slaughter. If what amounts to a kind of contemporary brain-washing of both the American public and Washington elites causes them to falter and Iraq to "fail," no future president of either party is again likely to deploy U.S. military resources in any sustained, significant way. You can't imagine what "lose" will mean then.
There's a remarkable bit of insight. It's not news that the front pages scream "Failure!" daily, but Henninger starts off discussing how the President was his old self again on Wednesday in West Virginia.

"Holding a hand microphone, Mr. Bush walked around a stage before a few thousand people giving a largely extemporaneous talk on Iraq and his presidency. It was mesmerizing," Henninger writes. And of course, nothing good that happened made the news. If it bleeds, it leads; I went to Journalism school, I know how it works. The President doing well at getting his point across rates page A10 in the bottom right-hand corner, but the President sounding like a fool, or broad misinterpretations about his policies, or setbacks the administration faces... why, that's A1 with a screaming misleading headline.

I thought Henninger's comment about military was interesting, though. As a member of the Armed Forces, I'm prepared to go into harm's way to defend the interests of the United States, be that her citizens or keeping sea lines of communication open. Could this constant drone about misuse of military force prevent Commanders in Chief from using it in the future? I think if there was a man of lesser will in the White House, that could be the case. There is still the danger, and there always has been, of that being the case; this goes as far back as John Adams paying tribute to the Barbary States and Thomas Jefferson's initial unwillingness to do anything about captured American merchantmen.

Whatever the outcome of the Global War on Terror (in which I include Iraq), and I believe it will be positive, the President must not be hamstrung in his duty to defend America. Changing paradigms will always meet resistance, but I'm of the opinion that changing the world from a place in which terrorist acts are accepted as a fact of life and support of terrorism deemed acceptible foreign policy, to one where they are not, is a worthwhile endeavor.

But that's me.

1 Comments:

Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon bloody well said...

Eloquently put. Bush doesn't hold his wet finger to the wind but I fear that someone like McCain may do so and Henninger's warning will be in vain.

25 March, 2006 12:32  

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