Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Re: Civilian-Military Relations

I’ve decided to abuse my privilege as a keeper of the NLT posting codes to bump a comment of mine on David Tucker to the main thread, because I think Mac and David have started an important discussion:

David, David, David (as they used to say on Saturday Night Live):

I’ve largely come around to your point of view on the imprudence of the Iraq War and other aspects of the GWOT, as you know, but I think you go to far here in suggesting that the climate of elite media opinion is not a significant factor in government decision-making. Maybe I am taking your post too far (please amend and correct if I am); to be sure, a determined and confident government would rebuff the media (as Reagan did to some extent in the 1980s). But to depreciate the role of the media in the course of Vietnam seems too far to me. Case in point: Peter Braestrup’s book on media coverage of Tet. Do you think he was fundamentally wrong? I have been saying for a while now that Braestrup’s case study can be re-written for Iraq. Let us continue this debate. Mac?

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