Campaign for Liberty
March 6, 2010
|David Ignatius is a classic Washington “insider,” an embedded media source with the US commands in Iraq and Afghanistan.|
The Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote “Oh what a gift a gift to gie us, to see ourselves as others see us.” Burns could not have possibly predicted a hubris ridden twenty-first century America not much given to introspection, but there were certainly enough examples of over mighty kings and princes in his own time for him to draw upon. Burns’ enduring wisdom about people and their ways is particularly relevant in our own time–something that might give pause to all Americans as Washington’s political class blunderingly continues to seek to remake the world in its own image. A bit of Burnsian self-criticism might also help the many pundits who inhabit the media talk shows, bombarding the American public with their wisdom explaining why things are the way they are and why we citizens should be satisfied that a state of continual warfare in pursuit of a dubious new world order, is the best we can hope for.
It is particularly interesting to follow the pieces written by the many opinion shapers in the print media. Many were cheerleaders for Iraq, became doubters when the war went sour, climbed on the bandwagon of the surge, and now are accomplices in Washington’s attempt to subdue Afghanistan. The most subtle of the pundits are those like Tom Friedman and David Brooks of the New York Times who appear to be reasonable but are nevertheless agents of the consensus politics crafted by the Washington elite from both parties, hardly ever advocating what might actually be good for the American people. David Ignatius of the Washington Post is another example and particularly appealing as he exudes calmness and “let us reason together” in his articles and op-eds, unlike his more strident opinion page colleague Charles Krauthammer. Ignatius is, nevertheless, no disinterested observer. He is a classic Washington “insider,” an embedded media source with the US commands in Iraq and Afghanistan and his unique access to information is the prize he gets for saying the right things. One of his more recent offerings, “Buying the Vote: Iran is backing candidates — In Iraq” (Feb 25), is a replay of the enemy is Iran theme that has proven popular in the mainstream media, so popular indeed that a large majority of Americans now think incorrectly that Iran already has a nuclear weapon and have concluded that it is a threat that has to be dealt with by force of arms.