You know the MSM’s coverage of the Iraq war is biased when they fail to question war critics, like incoming House Ways and Means Committee chairman Charles Rangel who accuse the president of leading us to war on “flimsy evidence.” It has now become practically a mantra of the Left (repeated uncritically by the media) that the President misled us into war.
Yet, too often when these critics offer up their accusations, they fail to offer any specifics — that is, they provide no evidence the president knowingly deceived us — and misrepresent the actual reasons he outlined when, about four years ago, he made the case for liberating Iraq. He did not, as many on the left claim, focus entirely on Iraq’s WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) program. While that was a large part of his case, he also mentioned Iraq’s repeated violations of international law and, before the first troops crossed into Iraq, made the case for building democracy in that troubled land.
One of the great good things about a free society is that we can criticize our leaders. And I’m not discouraging those opposed to the president for taking issue with his policies. What is troubling, however, is that they are not faulting his record as it is — but as they wish it were. And in age when the president’s speeches and public comments from his entire term of office are easily accessible to any individual (with a computer and modem), it’s reprehensible that his adversaries continually misrepresent his record.
If Mr. Rangel believes the president’s rationale was flimsy, he should show why he believes that to be the case. If others claim the president “misled us into war,” then they need show that, as he made the case for war, he relied upon evidence that he knew to be false or otherwise inaccurate.
It’s important that we debate the president’s decision (approved by Congress) to liberate Iraq, especially as we consider how to complete the mission and how future military endeavors could advance our national security. But, let’s do so based on the record. It’s a sad commentary on the president’s critics that, in many cases, instead of making serious arguments against policies, they repeat tired mantras which they refuse to substantiate.
And it’s sadder still that the media doesn’t challenge those critics as they would were they conservative critics of a liberal Administration.
UPDATE: While at the gym, I watched Keith Olbermann on MSNBC and, thanks to the closed captioning, could read his rant. He accused the President of lying us into war, yet failed to specify a single lie the president made. Such angry rhetoric is the leftist mantra. And someone needs to call these people out on their harangues and demand their provide evidence to substantiate their attacks.