Friday, August 20, 2010

Is the removal of combat troops from Iraq the right thing to do...right now?

This from the Los Angeles Times:
Iraqis are apprehensive and bitter about the departure of the last U.S. combat brigade amid the growing violence and political divide in their country.
Iraqis danced in the streets when U.S. troops withdrew from their cities a little over a year ago. After the last American combat brigade trundled across the border into Kuwait early Thursday, reversing a journey that began more than seven years ago, there was no rejoicing.
For the full report, click here.

The problem with any discussion about Iraq is that the war there began with a dubious (at best) justification from the Bush administration, and what has followed over seven years is a segregating of opinions that have become so hardened that no reasonable conversation about Iraq can be had.

As an example, as I watched MSNBC's coverage the other night as the last combat troops left Iraqi soil, I saw an overt glee to Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow that didn't surprise me but still disappointed me. To see the two of them almost lustfully celebrating this important event was unprofessional, and it equated to the nonsensical display of patriotism seen on FOX News when the war commenced.

Yes, I know, I have a standard for journalism that is going to be deemed outdated or passe. If I'm guilty of that, I accept the verdict. I don't want journalists telling me what emotions I'm supposed to feel, and I sure don't want them showing off whatever feelings they have.

Unfortunately when you combine a false pretense for war with partisan media, the chance to discuss what America's role in Iraq ought to be gets lost.

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