A little out of date

A LITTLE OUT OF DATE…. National Review’s Cliff May published this comment today from an unnamed Marine in Iraq.

[M]orale among our guys is very high. They not only believe that they are winning, but that they are winning decisively. They are stunned and dismayed by what they see in the American press, whom they almost universally view as against them. The embedded reporters are despised and distrusted. They are inflicting casualties at a rate of 20-1 and then see shit like “Are we losing in Iraq” on TV and the print media. For the most part, they are satisfied with their equipment, food and leadership. Bottom line though, and they all say this, is that there are not enough guys there to drive the final stake through the heart of the insurgency, primarily because there aren’t enough troops in-theater to shut down the borders with Iran and Syria.

In other words, here’s a Marine who, coincidentally, is repeating the exact talking points approved by the White House and supporters of the war. Sure, the Marine’s reported perspective seems completely at odds with everything we know about the crisis — indeed, it even conflicts with some of the president’s own concessions last week — but the National Review was fortunate enough to hear from a soldier willing to tell the magazine what Cliff May wanted to hear.

Except, there’s a catch. The nearly identical text from May’s NR post was part of a widely disseminated email from over a year ago. Worse, there were slight deviations in the original text in 2005, which made it difficult to confirm its authenticity.

As Justin Rood put it, “Despite a civil war and mounting body counts on all sides, the National Review folks can still find good news coming out of Iraq. Too bad it’s over a year old and of questionable provenance.”

Oops.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.