Hasty Harry: Smith Claims NIE Report Concludes Iraq War 'Failure'

"Good morning, this is Harry Smith reporting from London today, June 10th, 1940. With Luftwaffe pilots now brazenly carrying out daylight bombing raids on London, it's clear that the war against Nazism is a failure."

Judging by his take on Iraq, that's presumably how Harry would have reported matters had he been around during the dark days of WWII. Fortunately, Churchill was there:

"Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age."

Interviewing Nicolle Wallace, former Bush White House Communications Director recently turned CBS political consultant, Smith seized upon the leaked NIE report to cast current events in the most negative light possible:

Before we consider his "failure" comment, let's consider this choice bit of Smith bias. He said:

"This president . . . doesn't get good marks for the war in Iraq, but he does get good marks - insofar as the public is concerned - about the war on terror."

For Smith, the bad marks Bush gets on Iraq are a matter of objective fact. But the good marks he receives on fighting terror? Why, that's just "insofar as the public is concerned," and we all know how naive and easily misled they are! Harry, aren't the bad marks on Iraq coming from that same public?

He continued: "He's decided to merge the two and what this intelligence estimate says is this is a failure, this war is a failure and has created this kind of jihadist utopia over there."

See Smith's strategy? Since Bush says Iraq is part of the war on terror, and the NIE report says the war is a "failure," why then, then by extension the entire war on terror is a failure and Bush doesn't deserve the good marks on terror that the public has foolishly awarded him.

To my knowledge, nowhere does the NIE report conclude that the war is a failure. To the contrary, it suggests that the book remains very much open, concluding that winning the war in Iraq will be a major blow to international terror.

Wallace didn't squarely call Smith out on his premature "failure" spin, noting simply that the terrorists' own communications prove that Iraq is an important part of the war on terror. But that's why we're here!

Finkelstein lives in the liberal haven of Ithaca, NY. View webcasts of Mark's award-winning TV show 'Right Angle' here. Contact Mark at mark@gunhill.net

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.