Roger L. Simon

Dumbfounded in Damascus

Well, not Damascus, Baghdad really (big difference!)… but what should be surprising to everyone, given what we’ve been force fed, is this poll reported by Sen. Joseph Lieberman after his fourth trip to Iraq:

Here is an ironic finding I brought back from Iraq. While U.S. public opinion polls show serious declines in support for the war and increasing pessimism about how it will end, polls conducted by Iraqis for Iraqi universities show increasing optimism. Two-thirds say they are better off than they were under Saddam, and a resounding 82% are confident their lives in Iraq will be better a year from now than they are today. What a colossal mistake it would be for America’s bipartisan political leadership to choose this moment in history to lose its will and, in the famous phrase, to seize defeat from the jaws of the coming victory.

Now wait a minute, I’m told every night on television and every morning in the papers that the war is a fiasco. You mean it’s actually possible the Iraqi people themselves may see it differently? Well, they’re just Iraqis. What do they know? Do they read the New York Times? [At least six of them.-ed. But more important, do they read Paul Krugman? He’d set them straight. No one in Iraq wants to pay for that.]

I hope the New York Times, CBS, the LAT and the rest run this poll as prominently as they trumpet the latest debacle on Bush’s domestic war numbers. Will they do it? I doubt it. But their war coverage, of course, is what is most responsible for those domestic numbers. They owe it to the Iraqi people to set the record straight. But like those neurotics who always “want to be right,” I don’t think our media will wander into the treacherous land of self-examination. Only mass therapy would help. But who is going to give that? (via Glenn)