The American people, no thanks to their media, still understand what's real and what's just cheesy Beltway dinner-theater. That's why the Abu Ghraib scandal is dead, even if the networks don't yet know it. It was dead before Nick Berg. It died because the Democrats and their media groupies overplayed their hand, as usual, and so turned a real scandal into just another fake scandal for senatorial windbags to huff and puff over. In the last few days, the Mirror, a raucous Fleet Street tabloid, has published pictures of British troops urinating on Iraqi prisoners, and the Boston Globe, a somnolent New England broadsheet, has published pictures of American troops sexually abusing Iraqi women. In both cases, the pictures turned out to be fake. From a cursory glance at the details in the London snaps and the provenance of the Boston ones, it should have been obvious to editors at both papers that they were almost certainly false.
Yet they published them. Because they wanted them to be true. Because it would bring them a little closer to the head they really want to roll -- George W. Bush's. If you want to see what the Islamists did to Nick Berg or Daniel Pearl or to those guys in Fallujah or even to the victims of Sept. 11, you'll have to ferret it out on the Internet. The media aren't interested in showing you images that might rouse the American people to righteous anger, only images that will shame and demoralize them.
Goh Chok Tong, the prime minister of Singapore, was in Washington the other day and summed it up very well: ''The key issue is no longer WMD or even the role of the U.N. The central issue is America's credibility and will to prevail.'' In Britain, they used to say that the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton -- i.e., it was thanks to the fierce resolve inculcated by an English education. The war on terror will be lost in the talking shops of Washington -- i.e., it will be thanks to the lack of resolve inculcated by excessive exposure to blow-dried pundits and Senate hearings. The war now has two fronts. In Iraq, the glass is half-full. In Washington, it's half-empty, and draining fast.
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
MARK STEYN GETS IT RIGHT
Posted by Right Brainworks, LLC at Tuesday, May 18, 2004