Maybe Zarqawi’s death was downplayed in the press because it interferes with the left’s preferred narrative, that Iraq is an unmitigated disaster. “I predict to you that two weeks from now, you’re going to be showing people being ripped off of buses and beheaded still,” Democratic Sen. Joe Biden told CNN on the day Zarqawi died.
Biden’s hardly going out on a limb with his prediction. Of course the media will smoothly switch gears from the good news about Zarqawi and the new Iraqi government and instead focus on negative stories out of Iraq. That’s because so many reporters seem to think -- even hope -- that Iraq is Vietnam all over again. They even think they have their My Lai massacre to make the correlation complete: The alleged murder of civilians in Haditha, where a dozen Marines may (or may not) have opened fire indiscriminately back in November.
Already, without a trial, Democratic congressman John Murtha is ready to convict the Marines. “There was no firefight, there was no IED [improvised explosive device] that killed these innocent people. Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood,” Murtha told reporters on May 17.
Well, that settles that.
Or, maybe not. Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, one of the accused, says his Marines followed the rules of engagement. His attorney says Wuterich is “really upset that people believe that he and his Marines are even capable of intentionally killing innocent civilians.” In any event, a full military investigation is underway. We ought to wait for the results before we declare that anyone did anything wrong.
Back in World War II, reporters rode along with our soldiers and frequently wrote in the first person. “[The mountains] are easy to defend and bitter to take. But we are taking them,” Ernie Pyle wrote from Tunisia in 1943. It may be too much to ask for today’s journalists, who see themselves as citizens of the world, to align themselves with our troops and call themselves “we.”
But those of us on the home front deserve to hear the good news, too -- not just stories about IED blasts, but the success stories as well. Good news needs to become newsworthy again.
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