Making Sense By Michael Reagan
Nobody likes to watch sausage being made but we love it when it's finished. We cook it, we embrace it, and we eat it. And we forget the revolting process that produced it.
Watching developments in the war on terrorism and the current Iraq situation as reported by the media is a lot like watching sausage being made. Thanks to the media we see everything that's going on, at least as it is seen through the media's essentially anti-war prism. It gives us 20/20 hindsight that informs us that everybody could do a better job of handing things than the Bush administration and the military are handling them.
All the experts trotted out by the media tell us how much better a job they could do if they were running things -- that they would be able to provide sausage without ever having to go through the ugly business of making it. But they never explain exactly how, resorting to their rear view mirrors to point out where the President went wrong and if they'd been in charge they would have done it right.
Wars are not pretty things to watch. They are waged in confusion, drenched in blood, and often won or lost by the want of a nail on one side or another. They are the equivalent of sausage making. Only when they are over and we have won, do we appreciate the result.
None of us want to see our loved ones sent off to distant places possibly to suffer or die. We don't want our economy to be dislocated or our attention distracted by disturbing scenes of warfare, especially when we have reached a point far enough away from 9/11 that we have forgotten why we're fighting.
The media, largely anti-Bush and anti-war, are taking a huge delight in describing every grisly part of the sausage making process -- they can't wait to tell the American people how this administration policy went wrong or which general made this or that mistake. And it's all done from hindsight, after the fact when everything is suddenly clear.
For months now, the media and the Democrats have been insisting that the Iraq situation is a muddle and that the President has no real plans to deal with it and get us out of there. Over and over the networks and big media continued to demand that he explain his policy to the nation.
But when President Bush spoke to the nation Monday night, and explained his policy, where were the networks? Where were NBC, CBS or ABC? Running sitcoms and the other drivel they peddle as entertainment.
In that speech the President laid out his plan, told us what he wants to do, and explained his goals -- how we'll reach the end of the sausage making.
Here was the explanation they couldn't wait to hear, but when they got it they weren't there to hear it, nor were their millions of listeners. And when they finally got around to reporting on the speech, they had nothing but criticisms to offer.
Their excuse? The White House never asked for network time. That's probably because they knew they wouldn't have gotten it. This was a major news event, one they had been asking for. If they were genuine news outlets one would have thought they didn't need to be asked.
But they have no problem in finding the time to allow their so-called experts to heap criticism and abuse on the President -- a wartime president they don't like in the midst of a war they don't like.
So they set out to show us the ugly results of this war while they protect us from seeing the President explain what he is trying to do, and spelling out how he plans to do it. They also want to protect us from seeing the horror of the beheading of Nick Berg but they can't wait to show us, day after day, pictures of the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by a tiny handful of decadent soldiers.
They want us to see the sausage being made -- but they won't show us what it will be like after it's made.
Like the Democrats, the media want to make sure that President Bush will not be re-elected in November and they are willing to undermine the war effort if that's what it takes. They have launched a full court press against George Bush, and they have driven down his poll ratings and created a sense of unease and war weariness among the American people. They are trying to do what they did in Vietnam -- help the other side win.
Mike Reagan, the eldest son of President Ronald Reagan, is heard on more than 200 talk radio stations nationally as part of the Radio America Network. Comments to firstname.lastname@example.org Mike.
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