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Gibson: "Democrats vested in losing in Iraq"

Reported by Chrish - March 21, 2007 -

Phrased as a Cavuto, John Gibson passed the dirty work to willing accomplice Rich Lowry on The Big Story today 3/20/07. After weeks of not talking about Iraq (except for the three sentences delivered by the news reader du jour at the bottom of the hour) FOX finally felt there was sufficiently good news to do an entire segment. Or was it that they had concocted an angle from which to bash Democrats?
With video.

Gibson began the segment by stating that according to the US military, the troop "surge" is "already working. Only a fraction of the force is in place, but the level of violence is plummeting." He quoted a military officer who said violence in Baghdad towards civilians had plummeted by about one third. David Petreaus was a bit more circumspect:

He said there were "encouraging signs", although he added that he did not want to get "overly optimistic at all on the basis of several weeks of a reduced sectarian murder rate". "

But Gibson got to what really matters on FOX: "how will Bush's success in Iraq affect Democrats predictions of failure and the impossibility of success?" Right-winger Rich Lowry was in the studio to discuss the dilemma Democrats supposedly find themselves in.

Banners under the segment read Iraq: Moving Forward and
Is troops surge in Iraq already working? and
Iraq surge working: why success upsets Democrats and
Does success in Iraq hurt Democratic Doom-sayers?

Gibson did say that we don't yet know, but early indocators are that the "surge" may work, and with his graceless "Let me put this graphic up" intro produced

Dem's Iraq Anxiety
What if the surge works?

Lowry contributed to the bashing, saying "they're massively over-invested in failure and defeatism," and said that the real bizarre dynamic here is that the "surge" has started, there are signs of progress, and the Democrats are even more opposed to the war than they were back when we had a strategy that was manifestly failing. (Hmm. I don't recall hearing much of that in the past four years.) He attributes this to internal workings of the Democratic Party and presidential politics, where all the candidates are being "dragged to the left" because of the anti-war base and they really risk embarrasing themselves if this thing ends up working.

Asked by Gibson if Democrats are invested in losing in Iraq, Lowry replied that that's the position they've put themselves in. If he were a Democrat, he'd want to back off that position, but he hasn't seen any evidence of anyone backing off. In fact the House leadership is struggling, he says, to put together a mandate that would set a withdrawal date of March 2008.

Lowry asserted that Al Queda in Iraq has a very specific goal: for US forces to leave Baghdad "because we are the big impediment to a huge sectarian war in Baghdad." In reality, a PIPA poll from last September found that 74% of Shiites and 91% of Sunnis in Iraq want us to leave within a year. The numbers are higher in Baghdad, where the huge sectarian war has been going on for quite a while now.

So, he said, we are seeing a weird symmetry where the Democrats are advocating stategically exactly what our enemy wants.

Speaking of General Petraeus' cautiously optimistic assessment that there is some progress, Lowry said it's a glass-half-empty-half-full scenario. If you're the person who puts together the NYTimes front page, you'll concentrate on the half-empty. But an objective look at it says there are signs of progress, but there's still a lot to do. (Comment: frames FOX as objective and NYTimes as leftist, when the most recent articles in the NYTimes on the subject are a straight report - with more information in it than you'd get from FOX in a month - and an OpEd by right-winger Thomas Friedman.)

Nowhere do we hear any mention of any Republicans who want the US out of Iraq, or the great majority of Americans who want the US out of Iraq and who did not support the escalation, er, "surge." The right-wing partisans at FOX have done everything they can for the Bush administration, promoting every little positive development and falling mostly silent when things have gone badly, which has unfortunately been most of the time due to their leaders' extreme arrogance and incompetence.