In their now famous apology for their reporting in the lead up to and early stages of the war, published 26 May 2004, the NY Times’s Editors confess, ‘we have found a number of instances of coverage that was not as rigorous as it should have been’. Not much of an apology really, especially when hedged with ‘we found an enormous amount of journalism that we are proud of. In most cases, what we reported was an accurate reflection of the state of our knowledge at the time’, as if they had never heard of Scott Ritter, or Hans Blix, for that matter. The fact is, the Times one of the world’s most prestigious papers, ‘the newspaper of record’, featured article after article, particularly, but not only, those by Judith Miller, effectively promoting Ahmed Chalabi’s agenda to get the
We urge you to articulate this aim, and to turn your Administration's attention to implementing a strategy for removing Saddam's regime from power. This will require a full complement of diplomatic, political and military efforts. Although we are fully aware of the dangers and difficulties in implementing this policy, we believe the dangers of failing to do so are far greater. We believe the
We urge you to act decisively. If you act now to end the threat of weapons of mass destruction against the
It’s all there – regime change, WMD, ‘preemptive strikes’, ignore the UN… - for the Times to have known about and borne in mind when they were fact checking Miller’s contributions. But it seems they were asleep at the wheel. Either that or they were really on the PNAC bandwagon and didn’t want to exercise the kind of journalistic professionalism that war hysteria calls for.
You’d think they’d be embarrassed about their failure, and about their grudging apology, as if even a sincere apology could compensate for the damage they’ve done. But no.
In yesterday’s editorial, ‘Picking Up the Pieces’, they write,
It was surreal how disconnected President Bush was the other night, both from Iraq’s horrifying reality and America’s anguish over this unnecessary, mismanaged and now unwinnable war.
What’s really surreal is a few paragraphs later where they claim, ‘we opposed Mr. Bush’s invasion’! It’s as if they think readers have already forgotten the shameful role they played. But that’s not all they believe we’ve forgotten. They criticize Bush for
…sending some 20,000 additional troops in an attempt to impose peace on
Do they really think we’re that stupid? Countries do not send troops to impose peace, for crying out loud, their function is to impose war. And the quisling ‘Iraqi government’ is supposed to take some steps, when it is the
would mortgage thousands more American lives and what remains of
It goes without saying that American lives are the issue. The economic conscripts that populate the US Armed Forces do not deserve the fate that Bush and the neocons, in league with the Editors of the Times, have sent them to. But death and injury are widely accepted occupational hazards in their job. Granted, the military ought to have more rigorous health and safety standards, but the 655,000 Iraqis by and large just happened to be in the way.
And where did this credibility come from? The
And here’s that pesky sectarian government again, completely out of control. It’s as if ‘we’ squandered all those American lives for nothing. So ungrateful. I guess the Arabs really aren’t ready for the gift of democracy. Or could it be that ‘we’ are the ones who aren’t ready for them to exercise democracy. Just like we weren’t when the Iraqis chucked out
But even knowing all that,
Imagine, the region’s problems actually exacerbated by war! Who would ever have expected that? After all, every other war has just been jolly. You know, I had an email responding to that piece I wrote about HRW the other day saying, ‘One has to wonder what human institution does have the moral authority to discuss human rights. Seems we need someone from another planet to take on that task!’. Well, it looks like we’ve found a candidate, because these editors sure don’t have any connection with Earth.
It was before the war that a lot of people were talking about a plan to break up
Some of us are already concerned about the estimated two million refugees, and the nearly two million more estimated to be displaced within
It’s also a little late to start worrying about drawing in
A recent series of American raids against Iranians in
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Friday reaffirmed
In any case, as far as I’m aware, Turkish troops have been crossing the border with impunity all along, anyway.
I’m afraid it doesn’t end there.
The expanding power of a revolutionary, Shiite Iran is profoundly unsettling to the conservative Sunni-led governments in most of the Arab Middle East, which have been
Another thing I’m planning to return to, probably in a separate post, is
And so long as any American troops remain in
‘Disarm those militias!’ Now where have I heard that before? Oh, yes, it was Mr Sharon laying down conditions for the ‘government’ of
And check this out – the comrades down at the Times put in a lot of work on this editorial,
The government must also assure that Iraqi oil revenues are fairly shared out among the entire Iraqi population.
I was surprised, too. I had no idea those guys were socialists. Or could it have been a slip of the keyboard? It’s not often they saying anything that makes any sense. But wait a second. That doesn’t make sense either. Didn’t that ‘government’ just pass some kind of decree giving all the oil revenues to foreign oil companies?
Its provisions are a radical departure from the norm for developing countries: under a system known as "production-sharing agreements", or PSAs, oil majors such as BP and Shell in
That’s right, even those nice, moderate, traditional American allies in Saudi Arabia won’t give the oil giants the amount of control the democratic government of Iraq have decided to, entirely of their own free will, even if, according to today’s Independent, ‘the US government has been involved in drawing up the law’.
It’s kind of funny that the Times can write of a sovereign government of Iraq while stipulating a whole range of conditions that the US government must lay down for that government to comply with, or else.
…These benchmarks should be accompanied by fixed timelines. And they must be accompanied with a clear message that the
Withdraw the troops! Oh, no! After all the wonderful things they’ve done for the Iraqi people, like the big cull. I’m confident the sectarian Shi’ite government will come to heel when faced with a threat like that.
Sometimes I wonder what keeps people buying the NY Times when they seem so intent on insulting their readers with blatant, transparent bullshit, day after day. I guess it must be the crossword puzzle.