The Media and Mr. Rumsfeld
by Bonnie Chernin Rogoff
10 May 2004
It is no surprise that the mainstream media outlets focused disproportionate attention on the Congressional hearings
regarding Abu Ghraib prison while giving only brief mention to the positive economic news.
On the day Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld testified at the Congressional hearings regarding
the torture of Abu Ghraib prison detainees, the Labor Department released
the latest economic statistics indicating very good news for President Bush.
In April, 2004, 288,000 new jobs were created, and 867,000 jobs have been
created this year, with many in the manufacturing sector and the unemployment
rate dropped to 5.6 percent. There was an overall eight month gain
in job growth. That the mainstream media outlets focused disproportionate
attention on the hearings while giving only brief mention to the economic
news was no coincidence. Consumer confidence is up, which will bolster
President Bush’s approval ratings and almost assure his re-election.
That’s the last thing Democrats want, which is why their carping about the
treatment of Iraqi prisoners is so spurious.
No doubt Senate Democrats, accompanied by vindictive Republican Bush-haters
like Senator John McCain, will milk the photos of the tortured prisoners
for all they are worth. McCain’s accusatory interrogation of Mr. Rumsfeld
cemented his alliance with the Democrats. A New York Times editorial
strongly agreed with McCain’s warning to Mr. Rumsfeld: “As Americans
turned away from the Vietnam War, they may turn away from this one unless
this issue is quickly resolved with full disclosure immediately.” When
the left-leaning Times is in league with a self-proclaimed Republican moderate, it’s time for the GOP to do a spring cleaning of the Senate.
The Iraq War is not an occupation, as the New York Times calls it,
but a necessary component of the War on Terror. Democrat Senator Lieberman
understands this. He stated that America never received an apology
for the lives lost on September 11, 2001 and for the killings of American
soldiers and innocent civilian employees. Mr. Lieberman shows statesmanship
and courage in defending the Iraq War effort as a means to strengthen our
national security. The New York Times ignored Mr. Lieberman’s
comments, but then they also ignore the gratitude of millions of Iraqi citizens
now free of Saddam’s torturous regime.
The New York Times showed unwavering support of Clinton’s interventions
in Kosovo, condemning genocide, demanding the ouster of Slobodan Milosevic
and encouraging humanitarian and peacemaking efforts in the region.
In a June 4, 1999 editorial, the Washington Post approved of our involvement
in Kosovo stating that “the West will have showed that this time, in this
place, it would not stand for crimes against humanity.” The liberal
press are obviously very selective about which crimes and which humans they
We can win the Iraq War, but the antagonism and hostility perpetuated by
the left proves they are willing to sacrifice the safety of American soldiers
for political gain in the election. During one heated exchange between
Senator Dayton (D-MN) and General Myers, Senator Dayton seemed more concerned
that Americans see the pictures than keeping our troops safe. General
Myers defended his request to CBS News to delay the release of the pictures
of Iraqi prisoner abuse. As Mr. Rumsfeld and General Myers clearly
pointed out, the release of the photos could hinder the investigations and
place our servicemen and women in imminent danger. The General explained
that his efforts were done to protect American troops from further harm by
insurgents seeking revenge for the prisoner abuse.
The soldiers responsible for the brutal treatment of Iraqi prisoners should
be prosecuted and punished. However, their actions are not a reflection
on the 135,000 honorable soldiers who are risking their lives daily.
Mr. Rumsfeld’s apology and admission of responsibility should be enough.
Americans realize the safety of American soldiers is the only priority.
A just-released ABC-Washington Post poll shows that 69 percent of those polled
do not want Rumsfeld to resign. Only 20 percent believe the Defense
Secretary should step down. At 48 percent, the President’s approval
rating has remained steady despite the Iraqi prison abuse scandal. It’s time
the media catch up to the rest of America by abandoning election year partisanship
and presenting a balanced perspective on the war.
Bonnie Chernin Rogoff is the Founder of Jews for Life and reports on a variety of subjects including pro-life issues and politics.
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