Blame The Morons,
Not The Messenger

By Paul Mulshine
An unfortunate byproduct of George W. Bush's political strategy is that his success has depended on moving the base of the Republican Party down into a demographic that should by all rights be Democratic.
That's right, I'm talking about the moron vote.
This was best illustrated by that recent incident in Fallujah in which a cameraman caught on tape the shooting of an Iraqi prisoner by a U.S. Marine. The Marine apparently presumed the Iraqi was pretending to be dead for the purpose of preparing a later ambush. Now the Marine has been removed from duty and may be court-martialed.
Who do you blame for that sort of thing? If you're intelligent, you blame the commander in chief -- you know, that slick politician who when he first ran for the presidency promised he would never get U.S. soldiers into the type of nation- building boondoggle in which such incidents become inevitable.
But if you're a moron, you blame the cameraman. That's been the response among many Bush supporters on talk radio and in chat rooms all over the Internet. One such site was the Free Republic, which used to be a bastion of intelligent conservative comment until Bush dumbed down conservatism.
"He should be charged as a traitor -- the government should make an example of him. This has GOT to STOP," wrote one such blogger, with his thumb on the shift key in classic moron fashion.
And it wasn't just the bloggers propounding this nonsense. A report on another Web site, World Net Daily, was headlined "NBC Cameraman an Antiwar Activist." The "proof" of this claim was that an anti-war Web site had linked to some photos on the cameraman's Web site. Of course, on the Internet anybody can link to anything. The rest of the article consisted mainly of quotes from bloggers denouncing the cameraman, creating a sort of moron echo-chamber effect.
None of the dimwits in question seems to have considered the facts of the case. And the fact is that the journalist in question, Kevin Sites, was working with the full approval of the U.S. military, which originated the concept of embedding reporters among troops and still supports it. Another fact is that Sites was a so-called "pool reporter." As any intelligent person should know or be able to figure out, a "pool reporter" gathers information for a pool of other journalists. In return for the privilege of being at a certain spot, that reporter is obligated to pass on the information to other journalists equally. He cannot keep such information to himself even if wants to.
And if you go to Sites' Web site (<, you will find that he has been enduring a lot of risk in a land where the saying "heads will roll" is no figure of speech. His writing shows that he understands and sympathizes with the predicament in which American troops find themselves in places like Fallujah.
"They are extremely likeable -- these young Marines -- full of bravado and easygoing about the danger that surrounds them," Sites writes of the Marines he accompanied into Fallujah, where many were picked off by snipers.
"Their superior firepower is checked by the insurgent's knowledge of the city -- their cunning in using blind alleyways and the crooks and crannies of buildings to pick off the Marines," Sites wrote.
The myth among the morons is that the liberal media are somehow biased in their coverage of Iraq. Nonsense. Actually the liberals in the media have been extraordinarily sympathetic to the Bush view of the war. Why not? It's a liberal war -- or a neoconservative war if you want to use that term. When it comes to foreign policy, there's not much difference between the two philosophies. Nation-building. Spreading democracy to people who can't handle it. Spending billions to win "hearts and minds." That sort of thing.
Has anyone in the media pointed out how much it's going to cost in American tax dollars to put Fallujah back together again now that we've used American tax dollars to disassemble it? If so, I bet that writer was a conservative, not a liberal. The true conservatives, as opposed to the "neo" variety, were skeptical about this war from the beginning.
Well, the election's over now. It's time to stop blaming the messenger and start looking at the message. And the message out of the Bush White House a year-and- a-half after the Iraq invasion continues to be "the dog ate my postwar plan." The only way these big- spending Beltway bozos won re- election was to reiterate endlessly the message that the other side was even worse. That happened to be true, but as of Nov. 3 it stopped working as an excuse.
As for Kevin Sites, he was doing an incredibly dangerous job that at one point saw him detained at gunpoint by Iraqi insurgents. He was lucky enough to escape with his head -- a circumstance that would no doubt disqualify him from future employment in the Bush administration.



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