By MARC McDONALD
Does anyone really believe that we're going to get an honest assessment of the Iraq War in the progress report that Gen. David H. Petraeus will deliver to the nation in September?
Let's face it, the fix is already in.
There is no way on earth that Petraeus is going to declare that the military's surge has failed, no matter what the circumstances on the ground will be in September.
And there's no way the White House will allow Petraeus to give anything other than a rosy, upbeat assessment of the war.
The fact is, both the White House and the military have not once shied away from blatantly lying to the American people throughout this war. From the shameful Jessica Lynch episode to the disgusting manner in which the truth about Pat Tillman's death was handled, the military has been lying through its teeth since Day One. And as for the White House---well, its lies got us into this disastrous war in the first place.
At this point, the Iraq War is really only about saving George W. Bush's legacy. And it's clear that Bush will do whatever it takes to salvage his legacy---including pressuring the military to give an upbeat assessment on the war.
Not that Petraeus will need to be heavily pressured to do so. After all, Petraeus's report in September will be a chance for him to go before the American people and talk about how successful his own strategy has been. Does anyone really expect his report to be doom and gloom?
The only thing that's needed in order for the White House and the Pentagon to mislead the American people on the progress in the Iraq War in September is the cooperation of the media.
Will the media play along?
Does a bear shit in the woods? After all, the MSM played a key role in selling this war to the American people in the first place. There are plenty of gullible "journalists" like Judith Miller ready to peddle White House and Pentagon spin and lies.
The U.S. media has long been happy to swallow the Pentagon's propaganda in this war. But it's never been enough for the PR-conscious military, which has always lashed out at any journalist who dared write stories that strayed in any way from Pentagon press releases.
In September, Petraeus gets his chance to declare his own Iraq strategy a success and make everyone in the Pentagon and the White House happy (as well as burnish his own legacy). Does anyone believe he's going to want to rock the boat? The military has been lying to us for years---does anyone expect that we'll get the truth for a change in September?