When it comes to the media and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – as in many things – John Lennon put it best: I’m sick and tired of hearing things/From uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocritics/All I want is the truth/Just gimme some truth.”
To my surprise, I finally got some truth about the war in Iraq from the New York Times this week.
Given the abysmal cheerleading that has largely marked mainstream media coverage of that misbegotten adventure since its inception – and the Paper of Record has certainly been no exception — it was even more surprising that the truth came from Alissa J. Rubin, a leading member of what NBC News’ chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel recently dubbed “the Baghdad class of 2003.”
The occasion should be duly noted and even lauded.
Writing in this Sunday’s Week in Review section, Rubin began by noting, “I came to Iraq three days after Saddam Hussein fled Baghdad. It was April 12, 2003. At the time, Iraqis bristled when asked if they were Sunni, Shiite or Kurd. It made no difference, they said, they were brothers. And, in the heady aftermath of the war, for a short while it almost seemed true.”
It almost seemed true — but it wasn’t quite, not really…