Monday, November 16, 2015

CALL CONSERVATIVES ON THEIR DECEIT? WHAT, AND SPOIL A JUICY CONFLICT NARRATIVE?

In the wake of the Paris attacks, as Steve Benen notes, the right-wing reaction to the French bombing of ISIS targets in Syria has been (naturally) to attack President Obama:
... Erick Erickson, a prominent voice in Republican media, responded with a message that was fairly common on the American right.
“Dear President Obama, today France is leading from the front to contain what you couldn’t contain leading from behind.”
... National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar insisted this morning ... that the president has a “deep seated aversion to using military force,” adding, “If not after Paris, when?”

What’s puzzling about this is the degree to which the criticisms ignore current events. According to statistics from the Pentagon, since President Obama launched a military offensive against ISIS targets 15 months ago -- his “deep seated aversion to using military force” notwithstanding -- the United States military has carried out 6,353 airstrikes. Every other country on the planet combined has carried out 1,772.

... If we narrow the focus to Syria specifically, as of late last week, France had carried out four airstrikes. The United States, acting on orders from President Obama, had carried out 2,658.

The American right isn’t questioning the efficacy of American airstrikes; conservatives are questioning the American airstrikes’ existence.
But it isn't just the American right pretending that the president is singing "Kumbaya" and playing golf while ISIS runs rampant. It's also the mainstream media, which doesn't want to fact-check this characterization of what Obama is doing because the liberal-conservative conflict narrative is such a great news peg.

And so today we had CNN's Jim Acosta asking the president a press-conference question that concluded this way:
... I think a lot of Americans have this frustration that they see that the United States has the greatest military in the world, it has the backing of nearly every other country in the world when it comes to taking on ISIS. I guess the question is -- and if you’ll forgive the language -- is why can’t we take out these bastards?”
The obvious answer is: Because real life is not a freaking Michael Bay movie, you idiot. Armed conflicts don't get wrapped up in a two-hour running time.

I want someone to poll Americans on this question. Ask them: How many air strikes do you think the U.S. has conducted against ISIS in the past fifteen months? I bet at least a third of respondents would say "none." I bet the median answer would be in the low double digits.

And how would they know otherwise? Does the typical mainstream media outlet inform them?

5 comments:

Never Ben Better said...

Well, Steve, on the right hand you've got your basic, set-in-stone narrative, and on the left those pesky facts. Which hand do you think the media will use to grasp events?

Victor said...

NBB,
(Hi! And thanks for the kind words earlier at a different site).

"Which hand...?"
Uh...
The "right" hand?

Aunt Snow said...

since President Obama launched a military offensive against ISIS targets 15 months ago -- his “deep seated aversion to using military force” notwithstanding -- the United States military has carried out 6,353 airstrikes. Every other country on the planet combined has carried out 1,772.

The Republican response to this is not unlike Carly Fiorina's response to the questions about the number of jobs that have been added to the economy in 2015. When directly confronted with the positive numbers, she responded by saying things have gotten worse under the administration.

They are liars, both willfully and essentially.

Ten Bears said...

EYaw Auntie, that they are liars and thieves is a given, what I can't quite get my fingers around is people believe them.

At the Monday morning meeting of The Group W Bench today the topic of of discussion was not the proper utilization of an Oxford comma but whither doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result is faith or insanity.

Unknown said...

Oh for the good old days when all they demagogued about was Bbbeeennnggghhhaaazzziii.

Come back, Ben: all, or a reasonable approximation, is forgiven!