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Saturday, January 06, 2007
 
Editorializing Disguised As News

From our old whipping boy, Greg Mitchell.

As a critical turning point in America’s role in the nearly four-year-old Iraq war nears, the editorial pages of the largest U.S. newspapers have been surprisingly – even, appallingly – silent on President Bush’s likely decision to send thousands of more troops to the country.

It follows a long pattern, however, of the editorial pages strongly criticizing the conduct of the war without advocating a major change in direction. Now it comes at what appears to be a crucial point, with Democrats in Congress, overcoming their own timidity on the issue, finally emerging Friday with opposition to the buildup -- setting up a possible battle royal in the days ahead.


Mitchell, of course, has been against the war for a very long time. He called for a pullout of the troops way back in May of 2004, and complained that no newspapers were editorializing for such a withdrawal. Now, of course, the old Irish saying is that when everybody says you're drunk, sit down, but Mitchell is still singing the same old tune, albeit with a few more people harmonizing with him.

An E&P survey of major papers’ editorial pages this past week, however, finds that very few have said much of anything about the well-publicized “surge” idea, pro or con. They may finally declare themselves Sunday – much too late, given that the president seems to have made up his mind and just shook up his cast of commanders to assemble a more sympathetic crew.

The liberal editorial page of The New York Times has said nothing this week, beyond noting the "bleak realities" in Iraq, even as its regular columnists Bob Herbert, Thomas Friedman, Maureen Dowd and (this Sunday) Frank Rich, across the page, are ripping the idea.


When Bob Herbert, Slow-Mo and Frank Rich agree on something, you can pretty much take it to the bank that it's a terrible idea. And when Greg Mitchell agrees....
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