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Ralph Peters is a regular columnist with the New York Post. Register here for access to the Post's Online Edition.



PETERS Bush In Iraq, Media In Misery 
by Ralph Peters [author, novelist] 6/15/06

June has been a miserable month for our left-wing media.

First, the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi forced the alleged "massacre" at Haditha off Page One, frustrating media attempts to manufacture a sequel to Abu Ghraib. Then, President Bush made a midnight ride to Baghdad to put one very important pair of boots on the ground. He didn't hug the airport, either, but crossed the city to the Green Zone for a face-to-face with Iraq's new prime minister. It was a brave and inspiring act. And a worthy one.

Strategically wise, good for Iraqi and American morale - and, yes, politically savvy - the president's trip blew apart the media's effort to recover from their loss of Zarqawi.
Ralph Peters - Contributor
Ralph Peters is a retired Army officer and the author of 19 books, as well as of hundreds of essays and articles, written both under his own name and as Owen Parry. He is a frequent columnist for the New York Post and other publications. [go to Peters Index]

It also shut down their bid to refocus our attention on the suicides of three poor, deprived terrorists at Guantanamo - thugs we're expected to mourn as victims of our inhumanity. Hate-America journalists just can't get a break these days.

But they're still trying. One cable-news anchor yesterday asked if Bush's visit to Iraq was a "publicity stunt." Her own network's correspondent shot that down, on-air. True reporters know a missile can kill a president as easily as a private.

The Gitmo suicide-trifecta was the real publicity stunt. This accurate statement should never have been retracted: It was an act of asymmetrical warfare. And every save-the-terrorists jerk behind a mike knows it in his or her shriveled bleeding heart.

The strategic momentum has shifted. Fighting a terrorist movement takes time, sometimes a frustrating amount of it. But Bush's trip drove home some undeniable facts:

  • The American president can go to Baghdad. And our enemies can't stop him. And the White House didn't black out news of this visit until the prez was wheels-up for home; word broke while he was still in the Green Zone. One big Bronx cheer for the bad guys - for whom Bush's visit was a humiliation.
  • Iraq has an elected, functioning government of a quality that deserved a presidential visit. Image matters in the Arab world, and the symbolism of our president going to Baghdad to confer with Iraq's prime minister instantly raised that new government's stature.
  • Americans aren't quitters. As Bush pointed out to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, when Americans give their word, we stick to it - at least under this president. The terrorists and their media sympathizers haven't been able to budge us. And we won't come back 'til it's over, over there.
  • Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is dead and won't easily be replaced. The months ahead will still see plenty of violence, but Iraq's already better off.
  • The hundreds of raids and arrests of terrorists in the wake of Zarqawi's death have received scant media coverage (those three sweet, virtuous Gitmo terrorists were more important, you see), but this is huge news.
  • Once you crack a terror system open, one success leads to another. For a long time, the terrorists held the tactical initiative; now we've grabbed it. It's a credit to fine intelligence work, good soldiering - and to the Iraqis struggling to save their country.
  • One presidential visit to Baghdad is worth a thousand pathetic declarations of defeat from Nancy Pelosi, Howard Dean or Ted Kennedy - none of whom has shown the least respect for the democratically elected and courageous leaders of reborn Iraq.

Bush's visit forced the media to briefly stop whining about the phony issues of Haditha and Gitmo and to acknowledge that Iraq has a free, functioning government. But for ambitious journalists, inventing or exaggerating American misdeeds will always be more rewarding than telling the truth: Zarqawi's death was written off, while Haditha was written up.

Still, glints of truth force their way through. And the truth is: We've got a president with guts; our efforts in Iraq are paying off, and their new government is far more important to Iraqis than Gitmo or Haditha.

Yesterday, President Bush dominated the news. And the news was good. Tomorrow, the America-haters in the press will try again to convince you that nothing our president, our soldiers or free Iraqis do can make a difference.

You know better. CRO

Ralph Peters' latest book is New Glory: Expanding America's Global Supremacy. His next book, "Never Quit the Fight," is due out July 10.

This piece first appeared in the New York Post
copyright 2006 - NY Post

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