These lines seemed mindful of Kerry's line on Allawi, oozing liberal contempt for the leader of Iraq's embryonic democracy. Kerry spokesman of the week Joe Lockhart brazenly called Allawi a puppet, "and you can almost see the hand underneath the shirt today moving the lips." This, to the liberal media, was not an outrageous gaffe as America tries to rebuild Iraq after Saddam's brutal dictatorship.
Pardon some counter-cynicism here. What, to our media, makes a credible Middle East leader? Could we see last week's news coverage -- and the last few decades of news coverage -- and suspect that hostility to democracy, if not the United States, makes one a more credible world leader to our media elite? Isn't it quite obvious at this point that crooked, violence-affirming Yasser Arafat has received a much better press than Prime Minister Allawi? Hasn't "moderate" Ayatollah Khatemi of Iran received a much better press? Hasn't iron-fisted Egyptian ruler Hosni Mubarak received a much better press?
The media should consider that it is they who sound like puppets -- puppets of Moqtada el-Sadr and Abu Musab Zarqawi, who want America to think that Iraq is a hopeless sinkhole and America would be wise to say uncle and withdraw. They are the ones who sound almost eager to delay Iraqi elections. They are the ones who make every suicide bombing and every savage beheading the only political facts from Iraq that matter. They are the primary audience for the terrorists' P.R. campaign of fear -- and it's working.
When November comes, the voters who saw this parade of horrors and gloom will have asked themselves: Do we want a steady hand on the ship of state, or do we want someone who will let a cowardly cabal of suicide bombers and a panel of panicked anchormen decide the direction of the world? The press might well discover the American people are not their puppets.