So, okay, we start with one of Muir’s patented scoliosis-stricken women, wearing some variety of floral maternity handkerchief, asking: “Are things turning around in Iraq?”
Instead of answering “Well, considering that 2007 has been the bloodiest year of the war so far, I would say that’s a pretty asinine question”, another of the spine-mangled stroke fantasies replies: “You mean ‘victory’? Sam, it’s not like WWII. You can’t sum it up in some photo.”
Now, leaving aside the weirdness of this response (conservatives are always trying to compare the War on Terror/Iraq/Darkies to WWII, and exactly what photo would sum up the Second World War, anyway? The bombing of Hiroshima? The raising of the flag at Iwo Jima? The Times Square kiss? The pictures of huge piles of corpses in Nazi death camps? The Japanese surrender?), it’s the third panel that’s the real kicker: cut to a photo (taken by highly respected journalist Michael “Al-Q’aeda is Making People Eat Babies” Yon) of Iraqis erecting a cross on top of a church.
There you go. There’s your iconic image of victory in Iraq. Sure, a record number of American troops died this year, and sure, the Taliban is resurfacing in Afghanistan, and sure, no one in all of Iraq is safe, and sure, our own government is saying torture is legal, and sure, we abuse prisoners and let mercenaries and soldiers slaughter civilians, and sure, the Middle East is less stable than ever, and sure, our entire pretext for war was a lie, and sure, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have died, and sure, radical Islamic terrorism now exists in one of the few Arab countries that didn’t have it before we invaded, and sure, after six years of war, al-Q’aeda is stronger now than it was before September 11th, but FINALLY THE VILLAGERS HAVE A PLACE TO PRAY!
Also, for all the talk about how this isn’t a war against Islam, about how it’s not a crusade or a religious war, it’s pretty telling how Muir and a lot of other right-wingers choose this as their defining image of victory in Iraq. Not the statue of Saddam being pulled down, not the building of a school, not the people turning up to vote in (sort of) free elections – nope, an image of a Christian church being restored. Sends quite a straightforward message about how they perceive the conflict. Nice.