Sorry, but I'm compelled to talk about the media war critics again. I won't quit fairly criticizing them until they quit unfairly and dishonestly criticizing the American war effort.
As soon as the war started, many of the usual suspects pretended to adopt a cease-fire in their attacks on the Bush administration and the coalition invasion of Iraq on the premise that once at war they would support the troops. But no sooner than they implemented their pseudo-moratorium did they start right back up again -- at the administration's first sign of vulnerability in the prosecution of the war.
They shifted their criticism from opposing the war itself to second guessing our conduct of the war. Their complaints? Well, the war didn't end in the first week, all Iraqi citizens didn't automatically defect to our side immediately, and certain unnamed sources in the Pentagon along with a handful of retired generals said we had too few forces on the ground.
It's hard not to get a sense that these media naysayers delight in finding fault with the coalition's progress in the war. I'm not just talking about Peter Arnett, who plainly sympathized with the enemy on enemy TV in enemy territory. While NBC executives finally fired him over it, don't overlook their initial statement supporting him, explaining that he did the interview as a professional courtesy to Iraqi TV -- as if that's exculpatory -- and that his comments "were analytical in nature and were not intended to be anything more." I don't know about you, but I didn't need to wait for public opinion poll results to know how I stood on Arnett's despicable, inexcusable, egomaniacal tirade.
Have you seen the venom flowing from the New York Times editorial page, which can barely contain its animus toward the administration? How about Times reporter Maureen Dowd, whose antipathy for President Bush and Secretary Rumsfeld is so palpable she doesn't even bother to sound professional about it? (FYI, she earned her war-analysis credentials when she questioned, in her Oct. 28, 2001 column, whether we were getting bogged down in a quagmire in Afghanistan.) With sneering contempt and insolence, she charges that "Rummy's" war plan is incoherent.