02 December 2005

The Great Misleader

Krugman in today's Times (unfortunately behind Times Select Firewall) argues cogently that Bush's "major policy address" on Iraq was more of the same deliberate misleadership we've become accustomed to, and, at least up until now, the press has largely acquiesced in.

Among his chief examples are the completely misleading figures given on oil production. Of course oil production in Iraq increased from 2003 to 2004. During and just before the war in '03 there was effectively no oil production, so if it didn't increase in '04 it would really be a major drop. The truth is that oil production in Iraq, depsite rosy predictions by the neocons in Fantasyland, has never achieved in pre-war, Sanctions-in-effect levels.

He also points out that the statements about "progress" in Fallujah, Samara and Najaf are pretty blatantly just not borne out by the real facts.

I was impressed by the CBS News dialog between Bob Schieffer and Lara Logan on the day of Bush's speech. Schieffer asked her about the Airport Road, which Bush claimed was now under Iraqi control. Logan said, "That's just not true, Bob," and proceeded to describe the real situation. This is what the American people have a right to expect: a press that does its homework and fact-checks everything the Great Misleader says.

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