Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Which war are they covering?

NY Post columnist Ralph Peters provides his view on Iraq from Iraq, making me wonder why what he says he sees is so different from what other media are reporting.

To hear them tell it, Iraq is (and has been) on the brink of civil war. But despite repeated attempts by terrorist to ignite that tinderbox, every time it seems to sputter out.

The lastest of these is the bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra, which instigated a spasm of sectarian violence.

But instead of spooling up and out of control and consuming the country, it's been brought under control by the reason and discipline of the Iraqi leadership and the refusal of the bulk of the population to allow it to destroy their country.

Peters provides a view that I find a little on the rosy side, frankly.

But he's right in taking the long view -- yes, violence will continue for a time, but the Iraqi people will ultimately decide their fate and have already declined to give in to the provocations of the terrorists.

The problem for most of the media is that EVERY conflagaration is the ultimate one, heralding ultimate and unavoidable defeat. Commenator Daniel Henninger notes in the Wall Street Journal how quickly they to to "10" on everything. (He was actually talking about how the press covers the White House, but the principle holds.)

Blogger Glenn Reynolds picks up on Henninger's thread, calling it "Spinal Tap" journalism -- everything "goes to 11."

The cowards and defeatists will continue to yell "fire" in the moviehouse. But fewer and fewer will listen over time.

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