Last year, I had an opportunity to sit in on an editorial board meeting.
It was no less liberal than I expected, with Robyn Blumner and Bill Maxwell providing the most outstanding examples of left-tilted fulmination.
This time, it's one of the Times' byline-less editorials that caught my eye. Let's say I expect that Blumner's hand was in this one (high Bushes-per-paragraph rate one of the telltale signs).
Fresh on the heels of Gen. Petraeus' testimony, the Times' editors give their opinion of the Iraq War and give us a window into their view of Iraqis.
We strongly come down on the side of those, including a majority of the American people, who believe it's time to start winding down the war and for the United States to put the responsibility for that miserable country's future where it belongs, in the hands of the Iraqi people and their leaders.Skipping past the Sir Robinesque beginning (let's bravely run away, away!) with their "strong" stand for withdrawal, the disdain for Iraq is plain. Iraq is a "miserable" country (don't bother contacting the SPT ombudsman--all they were saying, we'd hear, was that Iraq is war-torn and anyway that's Bush's fault), and saving Iraqi lives isn't worth spending American lives.
(St. Petersburg Times)
The editors appear to have no perspective on Iraq in terms of world events and the balance of power.
If there were ever any doubts, Bush's speech made it clear that he has no strategy for ending this war, much less winning it.No examples forthcoming, I note. Did Bush's speech dispel my notion that the war is won when the central Iraqi government can maintain itself and remain an ally of the United States?
The premise of our strategy is that securing the Iraqi population is the foundation for all other progress. For Iraqis to bridge sectarian divides, they need to feel safe in their homes and neighborhoods. For lasting reconciliation to take root, Iraqis must feel confident that they do not need sectarian gangs for security. The goal of the surge is to provide that security and to help prepare Iraqi forces to maintain it. As I will explain tonight, our success in meeting these objectives now allows us to begin bringing some of our troops home.Looks like a strategy, particularly combined withe counterinsurgency tactics that Petraeus was tabbed to implement. But what do I know? Shouldn't I simply trust the SPT to put me "In the Know"? Impart to us thy great wisdom, St. Petersburg Times.
Bush revealed none of their doubts in his speech to the nation.Sure he did. He just did it implicitly, by acknowledging that victory isn't a foregone conclusion and by acknowledging that the Iraqi government needed to start meeting some goals.
Realizing this vision will be difficult, but it is achievable. Our military commanders believe we can succeed. Our diplomats believe we can succeed. And for the safety of future generations of Americans, we must succeed.If the commanders and diplomats thought that success was assured, then Bush would be saying "Our military commanders know we will succeed" or the like.
He maintained that enough military progress has been made to justify continuing his policy, even though by his own standard the troop surge has failed.I wasn't aware that the benchmarks were all slated to come due in September, a mere two months after the full complement of forces arrived in Iraq to implement the new strategy.
While our strategic goal requires a long-term relationship with Iraq, we are at a new phase in the effort and must sharpen the objectives we believe are achievable in the next 12-18 months.The above came from a presentation accompanying the original announcement of the surge by Bush, preceding a list of eight goals.
He told the nation last spring the surge's goal was to give the Iraqi government more time to bring about political reconciliation. That hasn't happenedNot soon enough for the Times to call it over and done, anyway. The editorial goes right on to claim that Bush predicts a likely victory in his speech. That's simply inaccurate, from what I can glean.
Good luck being "In the Know" if you rely on the St. Petersburg Times.
D'oh, I forget to point out one of the most hilarious things about the editorial. It assures us that we need to change course in Iraq--the sooner the better. Change course to what? Apparently it doesn't matter, and requires no discussion.
"In the Know." Whatever.