Sunday, March 19, 2006

Why don't you ever report the good news?

Journalists hear it all the time, usually from well-meaning souls who get tired of being bombared by negativity. Of course, these are the same people who watch shows like "24" and "The Sorpranos."

No doubt there is some good news coming out of Iraq. Thing is, we HEAR it. I haven't been to Iraq, and I know about the new schools being built. I know about the Iraqis volunteering for the country's newly formed police units. All of it, welcome news.

But wars are about body counts and stability, nothing more, nothing less. Try telling that to Dick Cheney, a stranger to reality.

Cheney said he did not think optimistic statements that he has made about the war have contributed to Americans' skepticism about the war. For instance, the vice president predicted that invading U.S. troops would be greeted as liberators and then said 10 months ago that the insurgency is in its last throes, even though violence still rages. Cheney said the optimistic statements "were basically accurate, reflect reality."

He said most Americans have a negative perception of Iraq because they keep seeing daily violence in the news instead of the progress being made toward democracy.

"There is a constant sort of perception, if you will, that's created because what's newsworthy in the car bomb in Baghdad," he said. "It's not all the work that went on that day in 15 other provinces."

Reality: "It is unfortunate that we are in civil war. We are losing each day as an average 50 to 60 people throughout the country, if not more," former Iraq interim prime minister Ayad Allawi told the British Broadcasting Corp. "If this is not civil war, then God knows what civil war is."

Cheney: "What we've seen is a serious effort by them to foment a civil war," Cheney said in an interview on "Face the Nation" on CBS on the third anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. "But I don't think they've been successful."

What's that 12-stepper maxim ... you can't fix a problem until you admit you have one?

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