June 29, 2005

Iraq Reality

Reacting to Bush's stay the course speech, Chris Albritton's comments about the happy talk of the administration are quite harsh. Back in Baghdad again, he contrasts the reality with the fantasy passed out by the administration. Evidently the American Forces information office has issued a very upbeat assessment of how things are going for those who are living in Iraq. And Rumsfeld's sunny words are highlighted to make sure the press and the troops there get the message:

As far as Iraq is concerned, “the progress is impressive,” Rumsfeld said. “I think they're going to choose the path of lightness. The sweep of human history is for freedom. Look at what's happened in Lebanon and Kyrgyzstan and the Ukraine.”

The secretary said the American people can be optimistic about a good outcome in Iraq, but the optimism must be tempered with an understanding of reality. “We have to recognize that it's a tough, tough, tough world, and there are going to be bumps in the road between now and then,” he said.

And gee, David McCullough said that if the press had been around in 1776, the revolution would never have happened. Nice to know that the press today is so much worse in reporting than in those early days of our republic.

As Chris notes, it's hard to reconcile the happy talk of the press releases with the reality they experience every day.

News flash: Iraq is a disaster. I've been back one day, and the airport road was the worst I've ever seen it. We had to go around a fire-fight between mujahideen and Americans while Iraqi forces sat in the shade of date palms on the side of the road, their rifles resting across their laps. My driver pointed to a group of men in a white pickup next to me. “They are mujahideen,” he said. “They are watching the Americans.” Indeed, they were, and so intently that they paid no attention to me in the car next to them. We detoured around two possible car bombs that had been cordoned off while Iraqis cautiously approached.

The authorities say Iraq is doing great. So who should Chris believe, Rumsfeld or his own lying eyes?

Posted by Mary at June 29, 2005 01:30 AM | Iraq | TrackBack(1) | Technorati links |