All Iraq, All the Time

Walking through an airport yesterday, I saw the cover of the current Time magazine; click to enlarge:

The cover story is about China; the cover says: “With the U.S. tied down in Iraq, a new superpower has arrived. Here’s how to deal with it.”
China is, indeed, playing a more assertive role in the world these days, although it is silly to call China a “superpower” if that implies any kind of parity with the U.S. But what on earth does the ability of a billion-plus Chinese to assert themselves in the world have to do with Iraq? Absolutely nothing. But that’s the way it is in the liberal media these days: all Iraq, all the time. Time’s article includes this gratuitous reference:

With the U.S. preoccupied with the threat of Islamic terrorism and struggling to extricate itself from a failing war in Iraq, China seems ready to challenge–possibly even undermine–some of Washington’s other foreign policy goals, from halting the genocide in Darfur to toughening sanctions against Iran.

Actually, the U.S. is trying to win the war in Iraq, not “extricate itself” from a “failing” conflict. But in the eyes of the liberal media, that’s not the U.S., it’s just the Bush administration. In the mainstream media, failure is already a fact. Not only that, the Iraq-as-disaster meme infects coverage of just about everything else, even when the story at hand–like China’s economy–has little or nothing to do with that conflict.
The contrast between the MSM’s obsession with pounding our effort in Iraq into the ground and the knowledgeable, on-the-ground reporting of people like Michael Yon–see Scott’s post immediately below–could hardly be greater. I would add that if you want an intelligent, sophisticated discussion of contemporary military and geopolitical matters, forget the news magazines and listen to the podcasts of Hugh Hewitt’s eight-part interview of Thomas Barnett. Part 2 aired tonight. It is a great pleasure to listen to such high-level discussion of military and strategic matters. You won’t get this kind of quality in any other medium. And, for what it’s worth, Barnett argues for a strategic alliance between the U.S. and China.
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