Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

U.S. Needs New Vision to Get out of Iraq Morass

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

U.S. Needs New Vision to Get out of Iraq Morass

Article excerpt

The Bush administration recently has taken to the airwaves and has visited conservative think tanks to declare, in what it openly described as a public relations campaign, that the press just wasn't telling the good news about Iraq.

The media, that entity to which the aggrieved ascribe all manner of conspiratorial coordination, is focused on what's going wrong and is out to discredit the administration.

We've received the same criticism from some of our readers--that we are Bush-bashing and don't appreciate how glad the rest of the world should be that Saddam Hussein is gone.

For the record, in our case the opposition to U.S. policy in Iraq goes back to the first Bush administration and the first Gulf War. The culmination of our coverage during that period was aptly described in the phrase, Military Victory, Moral Defeat, the title of a book published by then-editor Tom Fox, now publisher. The phrase would apply even more today. What was an unwise policy in 1991 remained so through the Clinton presidency and the opposition to it increased on these pages through that Democratic administration and into the current Bush administration. Today, the inadequacy of that policy is compounded by arrogance, cooked intelligence and the alienation of a good number of long-time allies.

Any progress occurs against a far more worrisome background of growing social unrest, increased activity by extremist groups and terrorists and a growing sense among the Iraqi population that the American occupation must end.

Bush and friends ought to be sending thank you notes to the mainstream press, especially television. …

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