Things are going pretty well in Iraq as of late. Things are by no means perfect there, but real progress is being made. The surge, which began over a year ago, has been quite successful in weeding out pockets of resistance and establishing safe and secure zones around the country.
Suicide bombings and related carnage are well down. A few years ago we had almost daily reports of death and destruction in Iraq. Today the media is largely silent. But why should not the media be as active and zealous in reporting the good news in Iraq as it has been in reporting the bad news?
The answer is, the mainstream media is largely well left of centre. It tends to be anti-American and anti-Western. It tends to cheer our enemies, downplay our achievements, and overemphasise our weaknesses and faults.
The leftist bias of the MSM has been well-documented. For example, The Media Elite by Lichter, Rothman and Lichter (1986), and Bias by Bernard Goldberg (2001) carefully examine the leftwing nature of our media elites.
And Australia is much the same. Consider just one revealing quote. “The long march of young liberal-humanist progressives through the ABC’s many portals is as much a self-perpetuating cycle as the daughters of doctors choosing a medical career or the sons of great football players striving to match the sporting deeds of their fathers.” (David Salter, a former executive producer of the ABC’s Media Watch, “A bias for independence,” The Australian, August 30, 2007, p. 14.)
Thus the silence at the moment concerning Iraq. Unfortunately for our leftist media, much of the news coming out of Iraq today is good news. That is not the sort of news our MSM wants to report on. So they have simply stopped reporting, and are waiting for more bad news which they can again adorn their front pages with and present as lead stories in the six o’clock news.
Commentator Andrew Bolt picks up this theme in his Herald Sun column today, and his remarks are worth repeating here. He begins by noting that Iraq is getting to the place of standing on its own two feet, with the gradual withdrawal of American troops soon to begin. He lays out some encouraging facts:
“Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari says Iraq is working out a new accord with the US that he hopes will have a timetable for withdrawing its combat troops. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says Iraq should be able to do without them by as early as 2010. US President George Bush will consider his own plan for troop withdrawals next month, and a fortnight ago cut tours of duty in Iraq from 15 months to 12. No wonder they’re confident. The Iraqi army, once expert only at running away, can now mount operations with minimal US support. The once corrupt police force has been reformed. More importantly, so successful has been the war on al-Qaida and other terrorist groups that just 13 US soldiers died last month, only eight in combat. It’s the lowest monthly death toll since the 2003 invasion.”
And the good news continues: “Iraqi police and soldiers lost 80 men, which is tragic but also well down. Although almost 400 Iraqi civilians were still killed, that too is less than a quarter of the toll of a year ago – and well below the average number of people Saddam Hussein had killed each month of his horrific rule. In fact, it’s below the murder rate of anarchic South Africa – and no one dares ask if liberating South Africa was worth the sacrifice. But Iraq needs more than peace to thrive. So here’s this week’s other good news: high oil prices, and better security for its oil fields, means Iraq will end the year with a $90 billion cumulative budget surplus, says the US General Accounting Office. That’s a lot of money for building a future for democratic Iraq, instead of palaces and weapons for the tyrant Saddam. On the drawing board of the elected Iraqi Government are plans for 1000 primary healthcare centres, new airports and the renovation of downtown Baghdad.”
Contrast this good news with the naysayers and America haters who predicted – and wanted – the liberation of Iraq to fail: “The sad truth is that many on the Left – thus much of the media – seemed to want Iraq to fail. They preached defeat and saw it at every turn. And so misled you. Which of the countless examples should I choose? Then ABC host Terry Lane, who wrote: ‘I want the army of my country, which is engaged in an act of gross immorality, to be defeated’? Or ABC host Phillip Adams, who said spreading democracy to the Middle East was ‘lunatic’? Or Age columnist Ken Davidson, who agreed that ‘arguably . . . Iraq can only be held together by a monster’?
Bolt concludes, “It’s the apparent wanting to believe the worst that says so much. That’s why the media silence about the news now from Iraq confirms it must be good. If Iraq were lost instead, wouldn’t the media be full of it?”
Quite so. It is scandalous the way so much of the MSM has declared war on the West, on freedom, on democracy. It absolutely froths at the mouth when there is an American failure, or a Western collapse. That is why so many alternatives to the MSM have been springing up lately. Truth is important, and when the MSM does its best to suppress or distort the truth, then we very much need these alternative outlets.