How much credit? The AP gets into the business of editorial writing and answers, "not much"
Ah, the AP. Read how they report Bush's radio speech today, in which he claims that the war in Iraq has inspired democratic reformers from Beirut to Tehran.
Yesterday I asked the question: how much credit does Bush get for the anti-Syria protests in Lebanon? Today, the AP answers: "not much."
To begin their article, the AP quotes a few lines from Bush's speech. Then, without further ado, the writer of the piece, Jennifer Loven, skips to this:
With his primary rationale for the war — Saddam's alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction — discredited, Bush has turned to the argument that the war in Iraq was justified because it freed the Iraqi people from a brutal dictator and now gives the Middle East a model for democracy.
Those who read blogs know that freeing the Iraqi people was always a rationale for the war, not one "turned to" because the "real" rationale was discredited. I would have hoped that newspaper readers--not to mention AP writers--would know that, too.
The article goes on with another quote from Bush about recent progress in Iraq. Then we hear some more from Ms. Loven about how bad it all is nevertheless:
Against that progress, insurgents have carried on a relentless campaign of suicide bombings, kidnappings and beheadings while rampant crime, power outages, unemployment over 50 percent and a fuel crisis in one of the world's prime oil-exporting countries continues. Even as the Iraqi legislators convened, they did not set a new date to meet reconvene, elect a speaker or nominate a president and vice president. Some have questioned Bush's repeated claims that recent democratic developments in several global hotspots are due to both the Iraq war and his second-term drive to push for reforms in friend and foe.
Hmmm, "some have questioned." Is it possible that Jennifer reads Benjamin in Michael Totten's comments section? Will wonders never cease?
She goes on:
Still, the President has pointed to democratic gains...
So still, still, in the face of all of this, Bush has the gall and the stupidity to point to those gains. Would that, instead, he had Jennifer's ability to see the true picture.
EVENING UPDATE: Hindrocket at Powerline concurs. It seems that Ms. Loven wrote some AP articles in the lead-up to last fall's Presidential election that were more or less indistinguishable from DNC press releases. I guess she's nothing if not consistent.