Along the Tracks

Thursday, April 03, 2003

Battered and broken

Not the Iraqi Republican Guard divisions - although that is also true - but rather the New York Times’ editorial board, which is forced into confessing three battlefield successes on today’s Op-Ed page. With the “quagmire” solidifying like quick-dry cement, all the Times can do is look back at the “long stalled” drive by the Army and Marines as some sort of a cautionary tale - look out, we could become “long stalled” for a week again!

Then there’s the jubilant welcome of American troops into Najaf - a holy site to Shia Muslims; the Times has to admit that, if we can knock out the paramilitary Ba’athists, “this campaign might begin to look more like the long-promised ‘liberation’ of the Iraqi people.” I still don’t get the scare quotes around “liberation,” but the snotty “long-promised” is just par for the course with the Times. I guess because people are afraid to celebrate until after Saddam’s henchmen are no longer shelling their children, somehow the “liberation” is tainted. Whatever.

Finally, there is the dramatic rescue of Pfc. Jessica Lynch. Even here, the Times manages to fill in the shiny silver lining with an ominous dark cloud: “Private Lynch had joined the Army largely because there were few other opportunities in her impoverished West Virginia community ....” I’m going to step out on a limb and say Pfc. Lynch joined the Army “largely” because she is a patriotic, brave and honorable young American who wished to serve her country, like many young women and men all across the “impoverished” heartland - and the apparently not so “impoverished” coasts. The Times is trying to say Pfc. Lynch joined the Army because she had no choice - a slander against one of our heroes and against our men and women of the armed forces as a whole.

Is the Times so blind to American values that it cannot see them displayed in our finest?

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