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NY Post turns Iraq Study Group into 'surrender monkeys' on front page

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Ron Brynaert
Published: Thursday December 7, 2006

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Thursday's front page of the New York Post depicts the two chairman of the Iraq Study Group as "surrender monkeys," suggesting that the bipartisan independent panel has urged the U.S. to "give up" and admit defeat in the war in Iraq.

The faces of James Baker, a former chief of staff for President Reagan who led President Bush's recount fight in Florida six years ago, and former Democratic Congressman Lee Hamilton, who also served as Vice Chair for the 9/11 Commission, were photoshopped onto the bodies of monkeys.

This isn't the first time that the Post has "monkeyed around" with nature to make a political statement on behalf of the Bush Administration.

In February of 2003, just weeks before the invasion of Iraq, the New York City based tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch's Fox empire depicted the French and German representatives at the United Nations as half men and half weasels. That front page came one month after outgoing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld apologized to the two countries for referring to them as the "Axis of Weasels" because of their staunch opposition to the war.

"The Iraq Study Group report delivered to President Bush yesterday contains 79 separate recommendations -- but not one that explains how American forces can defeat the terrorist insurgents, only ways to bring the troops home," Niles Latham writes in the Post's cover story.

"Declaring the situation 'grave and deteriorating,' the high-powered commission proposed the United States talk directly to terror abettors Iran and Syria to get their cooperation, and commit to removing U.S. combat troops in early 2008," the article continues.

The paper's editorial page also accused the Iraq Study Group of recommending surrender, though "not in so many words, of course."

According to the paper, the ISG "counsels cowardice -- and, ultimately, a shameful defeat."

Blogosphere reactions

On a thread at the Free Republic Web site, most commenters seemed to enjoy the Post's cover.

"I was walking by the Newspaper stand in Manhattan this morning on my way to work and I did a doubletake!" Freeper "areafiftyone" writes. "I thought the guys from the NY Post had been reading Free Republic!"

Another user thanked the fact that neither Iraq Study Group chairman was African-American.

"I am just glad neither one of them is black," wrote "Long Island Pete." "Al Sharpton would have a field day."

"Mark was here" joked, "Obviously a doctored photo, monkeys dont wear glasses."

At Wizbang!, Kim Priestap blogs that the tabloid is "right on."

"They're right on and I'm glad they're not afraid to say it," Priestap writes. "I also call the ISG the Iraq Surrender Group."

On the other side of the political spectrum, Daily Kos diarist "allmost liberal european" writes that this "ugly picture that really tells you all you need to know" about the right wing.

According to the diarist, the outrage from the right directed at the Group's report is all about "fear."

"There has been lot of criticism of the ISG proposal but the right is scared," writes the Daily Kos diarist. "Anything but a total war is unacceptable for them and they know that they are not going to get it (no, they are not going to fight in that war, but cheering)."

At Iddybud Journal, Jude Nagurney Camwell digs up a gossip tabloid cover and asks her readers to guess which is the Weekly World News and which is the New York Post.

Darryl Mason at Your New Reality thinks that the "cackling-shriek of vice-president Dick Cheney and Karl Rove must have been echoing up and down the corridors of the White House all morning," after the Post cover hit the newsstands.