Ramesh, ambivalence about Iraq is indeed what the polls seem to indicate. That’s not just my opinion — it’s also the view of Jay Cost whose guidance I value when it comes to reading public opinion surveys.
Yes, Americans want to get out of Iraq. But no, they don’t want the U.S. to be defeated in Iraq. How do we square this circle?
It might help to have a full and nuanced debate. But the MSM has no interest. They prefer instead to reinforce favored narratives.
The controversy over Tenet’s book is instructive. As Brit Hume has pointed out, the most consequential point that the former CIA director made is that “enhanced interrogation” is not a euphemism for torture and that it may be the most important weapon we have in this war. The MSM is not much interested. How many people who get their news from the major dailies and network TV are likely to know this, much less have read/hear a debate over its implications?
Surely, it also is of huge importance that Tenet acknowledged that the Intelligence Community did indeed believe that Saddam continued to stockpile WMD. In other words, this was not, as has been alleged over and over, a “lie” Bush told based on “cherry-picking intelligence” or revisionist analysis of raw data by Doug Feith and his shop.
But here again, the MSM is yawning and the headlines are instead about whether or not Tenet was a “scapegoat” and how he “regrets” saying “slam-dunk” for reasons that are murky at best.
The performance of most of the MSM on the most serious issues of recent years has been pitiful. But who in the MSM is going to write that story?