Sign Up for
Google Alerts!

content headlines
sent out every day
email us to sign up





Latest Column:
Stopping the Meltdown
What Beltway Republicans Need To Do

opinon in
Reagan country



Jon Fleischman’s
The premier source for
California political news


Michael Ramirez
editorial cartoon


Do your part to do right by our troops.
They did the right thing for you.
Donate Today




tOR Talk Radio
Contributor Sites
Laura Ingraham

Hugh Hewitt
Eric Hogue
Sharon Hughes
Frank Pastore
[Radio Home]



Carol Platt Liebau - Columnist

Carol Platt Liebau is editorial director and a senior member of tOR and CRO editorial boards. She is an attorney, political analyst and commentator based in San Marino, CA, and has appeared on the Fox News Channel, MSNBC, CNN, Orange County News Channel, Cox Cable and a variety of radio programs throughout the United States. A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, Carol Platt Liebau also served as the first female managing editor of the Harvard Law Review. Her web log can be found at [go to Liebau index]

Just Ignorant, or Downright Destructive?
Those Who Downplay Iraq’s Election Hinder Freedom’s Triumph
[Carol Platt Liebau] 1/31/05

Terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi understood the stakes in yesterday’s Iraq election. Just last week, he ranted, "We have declared a fierce war on this evil principle of democracy and those who follow this wrong ideology. Anyone who tries to help set up this system is part of it ...”

In a larger-than-expected turnout, punctuated by dances and songs of joy, the Iraqi people defied the threats and went out to experience the glory of voting – exercising the God-given freedom so rudely defiled during the era of Saddam Hussein. They, too, understood the stakes in the election.

Not so for John Kerry and The Los Angeles Times. Kerry – granting a post-defeat interview on “Meet the Press” – tried his best to minimize the election’s significance. Questioned about the impact of the Iraqi elections, he answered sourly, “No one in the United States should try to overhype this election . . .. [I]t’s hard to say that something is legitimate when a whole portion of the country can't vote and doesn't vote.”

How shameful. John Kerry downplayed an enormous success for the cause of Middle Eastern democracy because that success might otherwise redound to the credit of his adversary. So intent is Kerry in forwarding his own petty political agenda that the larger implications of his statements – including his aspersions on the election’s legitimacy – are either lost on him or deemed supremely unimportant.

It’s worth noting that in 2002, when Kerry was last re-elected to the Senate, the turnout in his state was between 48 and 49 percent, according to a study conducted by Dr. Michael McDonald of George Mason University. In contrast, early estimates are that 72% of eligible Iraqis turned out to vote; contrary to Kerry’s allegation, they could vote and they did. So whose election, exactly, is illegitimate, Senator?

A similar, though more subtle, agenda was evident in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times. With Iraqi elections long scheduled, the Times’ editors chose to highlight on the cover of the weekend magazine a piece titled “Who’s Dying in Our War?” Certainly, the subject is a legitimate one, but any fair-minded observer would have to concede that its placement in yesterday’s edition certainly gives the impression of trying to undermine any sense of accomplishment springing from the success of the Iraqi elections.

Nor does the story itself do anything to eliminate such suspicions. It quotes virulent Bush critic Col. David Hackworth (whose attacks on the President were apparently so vitriolic that they were excised from the now-infamous “60 Minutes”/Rathergate piece), but on the other side, the piece not a single quote from a Bush Administration official about its military staffing policy, the topic of the article. It certainly falls short of being “fair and balanced.”

Taken together, all of this raises unsettling questions. The Left, obsessed as it is with Vietnam, knows that America could never have been defeated by the military might of the Viet Cong. Instead, the Vietnam War was lost in the living rooms of America –through means including false testimony, like John Kerry’s, about alleged atrocities routinely conducted by soldiers and condoned by the U.S. Government. Newspapers, likewise, did their part by playing up bad news and ignoring good news – a little like touting a story on Army Reserve and National Guard casualties on a day when the Iraqi people have taken a historic step toward freedom.

It’s become a cliché that those who don’t learn from the past are condemned to repeat it. Once again, we find John Kerry ignoring the truth about a conflict in a foreign land in service of his own personal advancement. And once again, the media seems all too determined to fixate on the negative without providing proper context. Taken together, such behavior seems startlingly familiar.

Of course, Kerry and The L.A. Times aren’t alone – they’re in good company with Ted Kennedy (who called for American withdrawal from Iraq just days before the election) and Barbara Boxer (who wastes no opportunity to bemoan our presence there). They have many allies on the Left, who likewise appear all too eager to rejoice at any setback for America, heedless of the cost to the Iraqi people or America’s vital strategic objectives.

All of it begs a question: Do they not know how destructive they are, or do they just not care? tOR

Columnist Carol Platt Liebau is a political analyst, commentator and editorial director based in San Marino, CA. Ms. Liebau also served as the first female managing editor of the Harvard Law Review. Her web log can be found at

copyright 2005


Blue Collar -  120x90
120x90 Jan 06 Brand
Free Trial Static 02
ActionGear 120*60
Free Trial Static 01
Applicable copyrights indicated. All other material copyright 2003-2005