Frontline's War: Too Timid, Too Little and Too Late
This discredit the integrity of PBS Frontline- http://counterpunch.org/mcgovern03262008.html
March 26, 2008
Too Timid, Too Little and Too Late
By RAY McGOVERN
Former CIA Analyst
Frontline's "Bush's War" on PBS Monday and Tuesday evening was a nicely put-together rehash of the top players' trickery that led to the attack on Iraq, together with the power-grabbing, back-stabbing, and limitless incompetence of the occupation.
Except for an inside-the-beltway tidbit here and there-for example, about how the pitiable secretary of state Colin Powell had to suffer so many indignities at the hands of other type-A hard chargers, Frontline added little to the discussion. Notably missing was any allusion to the unconscionable role the Fourth Estate adopted as indiscriminate cheerleader for the home team; nor was there any mention that the invasion was a serious violation of international law. But those omissions, I suppose, should have come as no surprise.
Nor was it a surprise that any viewer hoping for insight into why Cheney and Bush were so eager to attack Iraq was left with very thin gruel. It was more infotainment, bereft of substantive discussion of the whys and wherefores of what in my view is the most disastrous foreign policy move in our nation's history.
Despite recent acknowledgements from the likes of Alan Greenspan, Gen. John Abizaid, and others that oil and permanent (or, if you prefer, "enduring") military bases were among the main objectives, Frontline avoided any real discussion of such delicate factors. Someone not already aware of how our media has become a tool of the Bush administration might have been shocked at how Frontline could have missed one of President George W. Bush's most telling "signing statements." Underneath the recent Defense Authorization Act, he wrote that he did not feel bound by the law's explicit prohibition against using the funding:
"(1) To establish any military installation or base for the purpose of providing for the permanent stationing of United States Armed Forces in Iraq," or
"(2) To exercise United States control of the oil resources of Iraq."
So the Frontline show was largely pap.
At one point, however, the garrulous former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage did allude to one of the largest elephants in the living room-Israel's far-right Likudniks-and their close alliance with the so-called neo-conservatives running our policy toward the Middle East. But Armitage did so only tangentially, referring to the welcome (if totally unrealistic) promise by Ahmed Chalabi that, upon being put in power in Baghdad, he would recognize Israel. Not surprisingly, the interviewer did not pick up on that comment; indeed, I'm surprised the remark avoided the cutting room floor.
Courage No Longer a Frontline Hallmark