Besides a complete withdrawal of American troops, what would have to occur for the media to think the war in Iraq is over?
Such seems an important question as hostilities in the embattled nation continue to decline, as do American casualties.
In fact, on Tuesday, a former Reagan administration official named Bing West wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal with the compelling headline "The War in Iraq Is Over. What Next?" (emphasis added throughout):
The war I witnessed for more than five years in Iraq is over. In July, there were five American fatalities in Iraq, the lowest since the war began in March 2003. In Mosul recently, I chatted with shopkeepers on the same corner where last January a Humvee was blown apart in front of me. In the Baghdad district of Ghazilia -- where last January snipers controlled streets awash in human waste -- I saw clean streets and soccer games. In Basra, the local British colonel was dining at a restaurant in the center of the bustling city.
For the first time in 15 trips across the country, I didn't hear one shot or a single blast from a roadside bomb. In Anbar Province, scene of the fiercest fighting during the war, the tribal sheiks insisted to Barack Obama on his recent visit that the U.S. Marines had to stay because they were the most trusted force. [...]
Americans should praise rather than slight our military's achievements. Civil war has been averted. The Iraqi army has thrown the militia out of the port of Um Qasar, thus ensuring stable oil exports. Al Qaeda fought to make Iraq its base in the Arab Middle East. Instead, it is being hunted down.
With this in mind, an honest media not vested in defeat in order to make presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama look good should be regularly addressing the following:
Yet the progress in Iraq is most threatened by a political promise in the U.S. to remove all American combat brigades, against the advice of our military commanders. Iraqi volunteers working for a nonsectarian political party in Baghdad asked me, "Is America giving up its goals?" It's an unsettling question.
With victory in sight, why would we quit? [...]
The success of our military should not be begrudged to gain transitory political advantage.
Indeed. But isn't that exactly what anti-war media members are doing if they don't regularly point out to readers and viewers just how foolish Obama's withdrawal plans are at this point in history?
In fact, shouldn't press members be cheering America's success rather than advocating someone in the corner throw in the towel just as the referee is about to declare a knockout?
Or will victory only be signaled if Obama is in the White House much like the media suddenly realized the economy was growing shortly after Clinton was inaugurated even though the recession had actually ended almost two years earlier?