This is a WSJ commentary from William McGurn, a former speechwriter of President Bush. He makes some valid points regarding the prejudice of the White House press corps. Why do I think his arguments are even more applicable to the German media landscape?
Press Corps Quagmire
By WILLIAM MCGURN February 19, 2008; Page A19
(...) By the end of 2006, sectarian violence was tearing Iraq apart, the terrorists were getting away with spectacular acts of murder, and our strategy plainly was not working. For a man said to resist unpleasant truths, the president acted boldly. He replaced his defense secretary, replaced his commanders on the ground, and completely overhauled his strategy. Granted, it would have been better had it come earlier. But it was a tough thing to do, he did it -- and he did it knowing full well that the critics would jump all over him.
The president announced the surge in a nationally televised address in January 2007. A conservative columnist accused the president of offering nothing but "salesmanship and spin." A cable TV host went on a rant declaring "the plan fails militarily, the plan fails symbolically, the plan fails politically." Columnists and commentators either hedged their bets or predicted disaster ahead, with allusions to Vietnam sprinkled in for good measure.
Yet the surge went ahead. In Anbar Province, Marines were sent in to take
advantage of a popular Sunni revolt against al Qaeda -- and by April the capital city of Ramadi was being taken back from the terrorists. By September, U.S. and Iraqi forces were clearing out Baquba, a one-time al Qaeda town in Diyala Province. And though Gen. David Petraeus says that the gains can still be reversed, sectarian killings are down, civilian deaths are down, and the people of Baghdad are getting a taste of normal life. Surely the president deserves a little credit here.
Of course, if you are one of those experts who reassured us that a "well managed defeat" in Iraq was the way for America to go, you don't like hearing the president use plain words like "win" and "victory." Then again, you're not the audience George W. Bush worries about. During one of my first meetings in the Oval Office, the president told me and my fellow speechwriters that we must always be mindful of how his words would sound to the enemy -- and how they would sound to the young Marine risking his life against that enemy in some dusty town in Afghanistan or Iraq.
President Bush hasn't always been right. But he's been right on the things that matter most, and he's been willing to take the heat. I, for one, admire him for it.
Count me in.