Spanish-Language Dailies Say No to Bush ‘Surge’

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By: Mark Fitzgerald

U.S. Spanish-language dailies are virtually unanimous in their opposition to President George W. Bush’s “new way forward” in Iraq.

All three major dailies that publish unsigned editorials oppose the so-called “surge” strategy of adding troops to secure Baghdad.

The Bush plan is to “take unpopular measures to achieve victory,” wrote Hoy, Tribune’s Co.’s Spanish-language tabloid that circulates in the New York, Chicago and Los Angeles markets.

“This newspaper favors a withdrawal from that country,” Hoy declared.

Hoy had vociferously opposed to the war well before the 2003 invasion, when the editorial policy — often at odds with other Tribune papers — was directed by Louis Sito. After Sito was forced out as the company’s first-ever director of Hispanic publishing when it was discovered he masterminded a scheme to fraudulently inflate circulation at Newsday and Hoy’s New York edition, the newspaper’s opposition seemed muted.

Friday, though, the editorial headlined “Getting Out of Iraq” rebutted the justification for all steps in Bush’s plan. “This is the time to stop U.S. deaths,” Hoy wrote. “It’s time to rectify things, and get out of Iraq.”

An accompanying editorial cartoon y Jos? Angonoa showed Bush dreaming of soldiers jumping sheep-like over a fence with a sign saying, “To Iraq.” The president appeared to be counting the soldiers: “17,994 … 17,995.”

El Diario La Prensa, the New York City daily published by ImpreMedia LLC, argued in a Jan. 11 editorial that Bush was ignoring a ?public mandate to change course in Iraq? with the surge strategy.

?After the vote of no confidence in the administration’s conduct of the war this November, we expected a decrease, not an increase of U.S. troops in Iraq,? the newspaper wrote. It said that 135,000 U.S. troops have been unable to stabilize Iraq, making it ?unlikely that another 20,000 will be able to do so.?

La Opini?n, ImpreMedia?s Los Angeles daily, noted Jan. 15 that it had opposed going to war, and often criticized Bush?s handling of it.

?The previous decisions taken by the commander in chief were riddled with errors,? La Opini?n said. ?This seems to be another one.?

?We hope the Bush administration, differently than in the past, will think seriously about a realistic Plan B for disengagement if this strategy doesn?t get results.?

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