May 23, 2003

THE TOMPAINE BLOG WRITES:

The New York Post embedded reporter Jonathan Foreman got a lot of notice for writing in The Weekly Standard that the liberal media were hyping the bad news from Baghdad and ignoring Iraqis’ “love bombing” of U.S. troops. Joe Scarborough , Mona Charen and Glenn Reynolds all fell for his story. But as Micah Sifry points out, the same Jonathan Foreman reported a few days later in the Post that America faces an intifada by this summer in Iraq.

Of course, I pointed out the second Foreman story, too, here. In fact, I did so several days before Micah Sifry noted the story. So what’s their point? That I do a better job of following up things than they do? I admit it: they’re right.

UPDATE: Okay, to be fair, they’re new at this blogging stuff (they don’t even have permalinks yet).

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Bill Richmond emails:

What I fail to see is how these two are incompatible with each other. Some, maybe even most, Iraqis may be love-bombing our troops while another independent group may be considering more traditional bombs. The Tompaine blog commits a classic logical fallacy here, unless they can show (or Jonathan Foreman suggests) that a substantial number of the current/former love-bombers are going to join the posited intifada.

Another reader emails:

What a lot of people apparently can’t recognize (and what the folks at “Tompaine” probably don’t want to recognize) is that both things can be true; in a country of about ~25 million, it can be true that many, many Iraqis welcome the U.S. presnce (and this didn’t get much attention in the relentlessly negative press), AND that there are enough people who don’t like us that, if things don’t get fixed, they could make a mess of things, produce an intifada, etc.

The problem with the insightful folks at Tompaine, and others, is that for them fer’ners are a monolith: either thems folks hates us, or thems folks likes us. Can’t be that there’s a range of opinion over there (just like here, where the folks at Tompaine.com hate Dubya’s guts and would be glad to see an intifada against his policies, and others dissent from that, and would like to see these policies work out well).

Yes, I suspect there are different camps here. We need to be sure our side wins and the other side loses. Big.

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