Here’s a very insightful piece by Stephen Glover in the London Spectator. It deals with some of the emotional and ideological reasons behind some reporters’ and pundits’ eagerness to portray the dark lining of every silver cloud in Iraq. Money graf:
There were lots of reasons for opposing the war against Iraq. But even anti-war people would always admit that Saddam Hussein is a dictator who has tortured and killed many people, and impoverished his nation. They worried about legality and fretted about whether it was right to invade a country which had not made a declaration of war. I shared these anxieties. The anti-war brigade has also been sustained by anti-Americanism. Now that the allies have embarked on war, it is natural that many of the opponents in the media should want to be proven right. This helps to explain why the BBC and the anti-war press have seized on every small setback as potentially a vast misfortune. There is the war between the allies and Saddam Hussein, and there is the other, hidden war between the opponents of war in the media and those in the field who seem to be prosecuting it with remarkable success.
And yes, Glover is right to point out the success. What has struck me forcibly so far is not so much the “Simpsons”-like backseat-driving of the media (“Are we there yet?” “No.” “Are we there yet?” “No.” “Are we there yet?” “No.” “Are we there yet?” “No.” “Are we there yet?” “No.” “Are we there yet?” “No.” “Are we there yet?” “No.”) than the absolute refusal of the military brass or the administration to concede even an inch. Like you, I don’t know what’s really going on. The press could be being babyish; the military could be putting on a brave face. One day, we’ll know. But if I had to believe someone, it would probably not be the BBC.
FIGURE THIS ONE OUT: Check out this story in the Washington Post. It’s about Bush’s advisers “splitting.” I can’t tell who they’re talking about, except the vague description of “former senior Republican government officials and party leaders”; what the split is precisely about; who may be leaking; and much else. Whoever was the source for this piece is so deeply on background he or she or they are completely invisible. Scowcroft? Baker? Eagleburger?