The review keeps mainly to the book contents, though Yost does start to stray into editorializing near the end of the review with this:
(In the book) the press takes some much-deserved hits. Peters takes to task not just obviously partisan outlets like al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya, but the U.S. media as well.That's a pretty damning accusation, and of course there's no follow up in this review on that (I don't know if there's any follow-up in the book either, but I'm not going to spend any of my hard-earned money to find out). It's also interesting how Yost's own bias comes out in this review (he correctly states that the U.S. media...), though I suspect he'd be one of the first people to scream about presumed bias from any writer who didn't support the war. Also, I think it's absurd to allege bias in war reporting when all of the reporters were embedded and were only allowed to report on what the army approved anyway.
"As our media enemies openly did all they could to undermine first our destruction of Saddam Hussein's regime and then our reconstruction of Iraq, American journalists insisted that the only issue that mattered was freedom of the press." He correctly states that the U.S. media, "more concerned with the spook of censorship than with terrorism and atrocities... defended their unscrupulous brethren without reservation."
Well, it only gets worse from this point on, as you can see.
Despite all that's gone wrong in Iraq, Peters believes we'll prevail.The "experiment"? This war wasn't originally sold to us as "an experiment." It was sold to us on the basis that Saddam Hussein had WMD, nuclear missiles tipped with chemical weapons that could wipe out cities. It was sold to us based on The Niger Letter stating that Saddam Hussein was trying to enrich uranium to make nukes. THAT is how this war was originally sold to us. When these reasons were exposed for lies, too many people voted for the liars anyway and they were returned to office last year (showing approximately the same mental capabilities as the jurors in the O.J. Simpson criminal trial as far as I'm concerned).
"With its divided population and a tradition of oppression, Iraq is the ultimate laboratory of change in the Middle East," he writes in a chapter aptly titled "Why Iraq Matters." "The experiment under way will shape the region's future for decades to come."
Here comes the big finish.
That's something, I think, that the neocons - including the one in the White House - have always understood and gotten right. Thanks to Ralph Peters' new book, more of us may understand that and be willing to stay the course in Iraq. The future of the planet depends on it."More of us?" Again, the pro-war bias couldn't be more obvious. And the final sentence sounds like it came straight from an RNC press release.
I don't typically read book reviews as much as I should (though the Inquirer had Newt Gingrich reviewing some conservative screed by any one of 'the jackal pack,' twisting the reference from Sen. Joseph McCarthy a bit, which I immediately disregarded), so maybe this kind of editorializing has become more common. Still, though, I would like to read a review that is objective enough to allow me to make up my own mind and not pander to my political inclinations one way or the other. But maybe that's too much to ask from the Inquirer any more.
Update 10/3: I guess Mr. Yost and Mr. Peters think that this is appropriate for our press corps, seeing that they're "in league with the enemy" and all that.