What Defeatist Media?

A reporter named Leila Fadel of McClatchy Newpapers paints a rather grim picture of the attitude of “many” Iraqis towards their new government. She quotes three people in her article, two who’d prefer that Saddam still be in power, and a third who envies “the people who die in one piece”. Based on that small sample, Ms. Fadel presents these conclusions to her readers…

As the fourth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq occurs Monday, many Iraqis, like [Iraqi poet Abbas Chaychan], are yearning for the time more than 1,400 days ago when Hussein’s statue stood in Baghdad’s Fardos Square….
Law and order — even under a dictator who killed thousands and tortured many others — was better than this, many said. Even those who are glad to see Hussein dead expressed a longing for more orderly times.
But wait a minute; an opinion survey of about 5,000 Iraqis conducted in February by a London-based polling firm called Opinion Research Business painted a much different picture of hearts and minds in Iraq (h/t Jonah Goldberg). Only about a quarter of 5,019 interviewees responded that they would prefer the return of Saddam Husein…
Despite the horrendous personal security problems only 26% of the country preferred life under the previous regime of Saddam Hussein, with 49% preferring life under the current political regime of Noori al-Maliki. As one may expect, it is the Sunnis who are most likely to back the previous regime (51%) with the Shias (66%) preferring the current administration.
The numbers suggest that Ms. Fadel’s interviewees aren’t speaking for a majority or even a plurality of Iraqis. It is more than fair to ask how legitimate journalism is being served when a minority, pro-dictatorial viewpoint is presented as the viewpoint of “many” Iraqis, while other attitudes more prevalent amongst the Iraqi populace are entirely ignored.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
3 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
klaus
klaus
14 years ago

Right. The media.
However, when the USSR went into Afghanistan in 1979, the two official news organs were all on board. And, during the whole period of Soviet occupation, presented only good news.
And yet, somehow, the Soviets were still forced to leave, despite a cheerleading media.
Explain that one, please?
The whole “stabbed in the back by a traitorous media” schtick has really gotten old.
If Bush had gone in with anything resembling a plan or a strategy, maybe the outcome would have been different. However, the “plan” was just to assume that everything would go exactly like the neocons wanted.
That’s not a plan. That’s wishful thinking.
So stop trying to blame those who only point out the obvious. This has been a botch-job right from the start, and no amount of media cheerleading would have helped. Just like Pravda and Izvestia couldn’t save the USSR’s ill-advised venture.

Andrew
14 years ago

Klaus,
You’ve missed the point, yet again.
Why does Leila Fadel deserve any more credibility than a Pravda or a Tass (your examples) when she decides to ignore the opinions of three quarters of the Iraqi population to put her own spin on a story?

klaus
klaus
14 years ago

She’s not. However, the media is not the problem in Iraq. That was what I object to.
But I also saw a poll that the number of people who feel safe in their neighborhood has dropped to something like 26%, from 65% in 2005.
No, the media are not the problem.

Show your support for Anchor Rising with a 25-cent-per-day subscription.