Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter is as reliable a gung-ho hawk as they come. He's yet to find a Bush policy for Iraq he doesn't like—manhandling detainees in secret overseas prisons, more billions for an unwinnable war, condemning critics as cut-and-run cowards.
But having supported more bloodletting, the California congressman seems squeamish about seeing results of egging on more killing from the safety of his Washington office.
Hunter, House Armed Services Committee chairman, is in a rage about CNN broadcasting terrorist video of American GIs being targeted from ambush by Iraqi insurgents. The video goes black just before sniper bullets hit soldiers.
This, he says, shows that CNN "is not on their (troops') side." In Hunter's world, U.S. media should be propaganda agents for Bush policies.
Hunter's fury is not about U.S. troops or families seeing the carnage of street warfare. He's anguished about the impact of undeniable reality on opinion about Republicans who've blindly supported the war, just as nightly TV images of the ghastly Vietnam bloodbath brought down President Lyndon Johnson, another Texan who lied about "progress" in that unwinnable cauldron of killing, when Americans finally received the unfiltered truth.
(Iraqis, who live the daily horror of killing, weren't fooled either by the Pentagon's silly bribery of Iraqi journalists to write good-news stories about their country.)
Only the simple-minded believe that President Bush's ban on photos of flag-draped caskets being unloaded from cargo planes is to spare feelings of the dead's kin. Nonsense. Photos of a steady procession of caskets would confirm failures and costs of his war policies.
President Bush and his circle of effete neoconservatives who dreamed up the Iraqi war promised pictures of joyous Iraqis showering U.S. troops with flowers during their liberation from Saddam Hussein, followed thereafter with pictures of troops headed home as democracy bloomed in Baghdad.
Instead, the reality is chaos, more insurgency bombings, record U.S. troop deaths for October, a corrupt U.S.-fathered Iraqi government, White House lies about "progress," an ultimate war cost of $1 trillion to $2 trillion and a delusional president obsessed with "completing the mission" as body counts soar and defeat seems inescapable.
As if to minimize the insurgent videotapes on CNN of snipers killing U.S. soldiers, White House press secretary Tony Snow cracked gamely that insurgents "are dying in much greater numbers and suffering much greater damage."
Sure. And in the Vietnam War, Viet Cong and North Vietnamese died in greater numbers (223,748) than Americans (58,202).
But the United States was soundly beaten.