The Central Front In The War On Facts
The usual antiwar suspects have been up in arms for well over a week over the military’s planting of covert propaganda in Iraqi newspapers, caterwauling about the undermining of a fundamental tenet of Iraqi democracy. As always, their concerns are wildly misplaced. First, shouldn’t a pretend democracy have a pretend free press? Second, most of these pieces weren’t factually inaccurate, but mere “spin” – such as the article that spun an Iraqi general’s death under torture as death under not-torture. Third, propaganda is merely a weapon. America’s leaders would be foolhardy indeed to refuse a weapon in their arsenal, especially against an adverary as deadly as the truth.
While it may not be the ideal of journalism in a free society, is this planted, pro-military propaganda so different from the anti-military truthaganda published every day in the New York Times? While military propaganda shows a bias towards distortion, obfuscation, and outright lies in the service of the war effort, the baleful face of the Mainstream Media shows a clear bias towards reporting reality – and reality has always been America’s greatest enemy in Iraq.
Along with facts on the ground and the ugly truth, cold hard reality has persistently undermined America’s efforts in the war on terror. Were it not for reality, America would already have destroyed Saddam Hussein’s nuclear-powered robo-mummy factories while uniting Sunni, Shiite, and Kurd in common love of their American liberators. Malicious facts, however, have conspired to turn Iraq into a bloody war zone racked by insurgent violence and sectarian bloodshed, and the war itself into an unwinnable quagmire built on a transparent fraud. Even now, reality is working to tarnish America’s reputation by exposing its routine torture of military prisoners, in defiance of the stated policies of the Bush administration. This pattern of obstruction and interference can leave no doubt: reality isn’t merely misguided or ill-informed. It’s on the other side.