Vol: 70 Issue: 31 Tuesday, July 31, 2007
By all accounts, it appears that the United States just might win the war in Iraq with al-Qaeda, despite the best efforts of the Left to hurry up and declare surrender before such a political catastrophe for them can occur.
Two notable critics of the Iraq war, Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack, both of the Brookings Institution think-tank, took an eight-day tour of Iraq. Upon returning, they called the surrender debate back home “surreal.”
“Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily victory but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.”
According to these two administration critics, “the first thing you notice when you land in Baghdad is the morale of our troops. . . Today, morale is high. The soldiers and marines told us they feel that they now have a superb commander in Gen. David Petraeus; they are confident in his strategy, they see real results, and they feel now they have the numbers needed to make a real difference.”
O’Hanlon and Pollack’s report, published, of all places, in the New York Times, is completely at odds with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s assessment that “the current mission is lost” and that the Iraq war is “the worst foreign policy mistake in US history.”
Both the Brookings report and the Congressional record expose the Left’s preference for surrender, or, put another way, a ‘limited loss’ against al-Qaeda. The Left wants to lose just enough to discredit the Republicans and sweep the ’08 Elections, but not lose beyond Iraq.
A few weeks ago, Reid and his partisans tried to attach an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill that would have mandated sending terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay to the United States.
The amendment was eventually pulled and replaced with a Republican amendment that did the exact opposite, prohibiting sending terrorists to the United States.
THAT amendment passed overwhelmingly, and, revealingly, every Democrat sponsor of the original amendment to shut down Gitmo ended up voting for the alternative.
Its one thing to politicize the necessities of war as unconstitutional and unconscionable when it wins political points, but it is another thing altogether if it means importing terrorists within our borders.
The Left wants to lose, but it wants to survive the loss.
The Brookings report contains some really good news from Iraq, despite efforts from the left to either suppress or discredit its contents. Especially since the original op-ed piece by the study’s authors was published in the New York Times.
Michael O’Hanlon is a Princeton-educated Ph.D and recognized expert on a wide range of foreign policy issues — including Iraq policies — for the Brookings Institute. He has also been a leading critic of the Bush administration’s handling of Iraq so far.
But O’Hanlon’s criticisms were rooted in policy, not politics. O’Hanlon criticized what didn’t work, because his interest was in what works and what doesn’t, rather than for failures to use as a political weapon.
That is why his assessment of the situation is so important. Because O’Hanlon’s past criticisms were about policy, not politics, and his current assessments are based on personal observation, not political affiliation. In short, it is about as close as one can actually get to the unvarnished truth in the mainstream press.
So it is no surprise that this good news about Iraq was filtered according to audience demographic. NBC News didn’t even mention it on its Monday news broadcast.
Instead, NBC News led its broadcast with a story teased as:
“disturbing new details about corruption at the very top of the Iraqi government. A new draft U.S. report, obtained by NBC News, says corruption has hurt delivery of services, threatens vital public support for the government there and there are new indications that Iraq’s new rulers have virtual immunity from prosecution.”
NBC is broadcasting to its audience, reporting only what the far Left wants to hear. That’s how NBC News gets its ratings. By attracting a loyal audience. How does a news organization attract a loyal audience? Tell them what they want to hear.
ABC and CBS reported on the Brookings story, but highlighted a conflicting story from Oxfam calling Iraq a “humanitarian crisis”. They are broadcasting what the center Left wants to hear; “The surge might be working, yes, but don’t forget it is all the administration’s fault Iraq is such a mess in the first place.”
Fox News did a victory dance over the Brookings Institute’s assessment, focusing all its attention on the good news. Fox News is broadcasting to the center Right and far Right and is telling its audience what it wants to hear.
(It is worth noting, incidentally, that Fox News has, by far, the largest audience in America.)
But there are two things I want you to get out of today’s report. The first thing is that what passes for ‘news’ is little more than openly partisan political propaganda. And we’re ok with that.
The networks broadcast to a specific group of views whose bias mirrors their own, and attract viewer loyalty by feeding that bias, selectively reporting or withholding information as necessary.
It isn’t journalism. It is partisan political propaganda disguised as journalism. Call it, the “new journalism” — because it is universal.
You can run down the list in your own mind; PBS – liberal, Fox -centrist/Right, CNN-centrist/Left, NBC – Far Left, etc., but what you won’t find is one that doesn’t lean one way or the other. The public is accustomed to propaganda, even welcomes it, provided it tells them what they want to hear.
Most of what we see and hear is controlled by a handful of executives within a tiny clique of mega-news corporations. That used to sound like paranoid conspiracy theory, but today that is not only fact, but a matter of public record.
Disney owns ABC, Viacom owns CBS, General Electric owns NBC, TIME-Warner owns CNN, and Fox seems to own everything else. Their audiences are compartmentalized and their ratings rely on viewer loyalty.
The Bible warns of a coming strong delusion in the last days and the rise of a master propagandist whose most powerful asset is his power of deception. The Bible says he will find a willing audience among those who “received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:10)
That’s the first thing I want you to get. There is no such thing as ‘truth’ in this generation. Just what we want to believe is true.
The second thing I want you to see is the incredible hypocrisy and cynicism that passes for political dialogue when it comes to the Iraq war.
The Left has invested all its efforts in its declaration of defeat and its effort to surrender, ignoring all warnings that defeatism emboldens the enemy, then pointing to an emboldened enemy as ‘evidence’ that we are defeated.
It is a winning political strategy, and a brilliant one, provided one discounts the costs in American lives necessary to win political victory by achieving a military defeat.
It is exactly the kind of cynical politically opportunistic machine that would embrace the Bible’s Master Propagandist with all their heart and soul, provided he told them what they wanted to hear.
The population is ready for that kind of government. The only thing holding it back is the Restrainer.
The NASB renders 2nd Thessalonians 2:6-8 this way: “And you know what restrains him [the antichrist] now, so that in his time he will be revealed. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. THEN that lawless one will be revealed . . .”
There can be only one “Restrainer” and that is the Holy Spirit. And He cannot be ‘taken out of the way’ while He still physically indwells the Church. There is no other logical way to interpret that verse other than His restraining influence, which is completely invested in the indwelt Church, is withdrawn.
Think of it. One day, you are a Spirit-filled Christian, the next, God decides its time for the Tribulation and takes the Holy Spirit ‘out of the way’. Suddenly, and without warning, you are no longer indwelt by the Holy Spirit and facing the worst time of spiritual trial in human history alone.
You are among the first Christians since Pentecost to have the indwelling Spirit of God revoked from them and the first Christians in history to witness a Promise of Scripture broken. Is that logical? Or even possible?
Jesus promised: “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever.” (John 14:16)
The Restrainer cannot be removed and His temples be left behind. Forever means forever.
So, adding it all up, we find that the propaganda machine is built and ready. The population is conditioned and prepared.
But the one for whom it was all constructed cannot step to the stage until after the Restrainer is ‘taken out of the way’ – and the Church along with Him.
So even the bad news is good.
“Wherefore, comfort one another with these words.” (1st Thessalonians 4:18)