John Nichols, The Nation's Washington correspondent, who has also covered elections for The Progressive and has had his articles appear in The New York Times, criticized Vice President Dick Cheney on The Nation's blog site, for comments he made on CNN's Larry King Live back in June."
Nichols wrote, "Vice President Dick Cheney, who predicted on the eve of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, that Americans would be "greeted as liberators," has in recent weeks been peddling a new line of spin. If Cheney was not in charge of U.S. foreign policy, he could be dismissed as a ranting lunatic."
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What's the 'spin' Cheney is guilty of according to Nichols? For saying he thinks there's been major progress in Iraq and that, "I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.'"
Nichols then contrasts Dick Cheney's 'spin' to John Kerry's words before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1971: "Any attempt to address Cheney's rhetorical excesses brings to mind the words of a young veteran from another misguided and unnecessary war... 'How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?'"
Nichols goes on, "For Cheney, that's simple: Just keep telling the young men and women who are marching to their deaths that they will be greeted as liberators and that the enemy is so weak that it is in its 'last throes.' In other words, just keep spinning a slurry of fantasy and lies into U.S. policy."
I'm one of those people who believes a picture is worth a thousand words, and the one below certainly is powerful enough to make the point that there are Iraqis who are grateful for the liberation that has come to their country. And there are accounts of Iraqis who supported the War in Iraq early on. For instance, when I interviewed Steven Vincent on his book, In the Red Zone, on the show he shared of Iraqis who told him while he was embedded there, that they wanted the Americans to take Baghdad, but that they also knew Saddam Hussein had WMDs and "would kill them" (the Iraqis) in the battle, but nevertheless they wanted America to do it.
But these kinds of accounts are seldom reported by the MSM. That's why courageous journalists such as Steven Vincent have to. Steven was a freelance journalist and author who made several trips to Iraq to get the real story and report it back here at home. Tragically, Steven was murdered this week while on his most recent trip to Iraq while working on a new book on life in post-liberation Basra.
As terrible as this is for his family and friends, I think I can safely say, just from my short interaction with Steven Vincent, that he would not agree with Nichols that he died for a mistake. He believed strongly in what he was doing and the liberation that is indeed coming to the people of Iraq.
All Americans will suffer the loss of this courageous journalist who was doing his part alongside our brave men and women of the military. tOR
Endnote: We will re-air Steven Vincent's interview next week on the show.
Related: American Journalist Murdered in Iraq