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NYT’s Keller implies Iraq War aimed to save Israel from a ‘holocaust’

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NYT Executive Editor Bill Keller pens a tortured mea culpa about his support for the Iraq War, stopping short of a full apology because he “couldn’t have known better at the time.” Along the way, he drops this stunning revelation about where his and his colleagues’ priorities lie:

That leaves the elusive weapons of mass destruction. We forget how broad the consensus was that Hussein was hiding the kind of weapons that could rain holocaust on a neighbor or be delivered to America by proxy.

Which neighbor fears a “holocaust,” I wonder?

Also check out this laugher:

In the end, the costs [of the Iraq invasion and occupation] were greater than anyone anticipated because of calamitous mistakes in execution.

Speak for yourself Keller, but millions worldwide anticipated that the costs would be enormous – and were not fooled by the WMD scaremongering. Nowhere in Keller’s ramble does he mention the fact that Bush launched the invasion while inspectors were literally back in Iraq inspecting for WMDs, which I cannot see as anything but proof positive that this war had nothing to do with containing Iraq’s WMD ability.

A final note, interesting that Keller has some reflexive awareness that we progressives know that the NYT is a source of warmongering propaganda:

John F. Burns, a correspondent who chronicled the tyranny of Hussein while the man was still in power and stayed on to cover the invasion and aftermath, recalls the reflexive hostility he encountered as a Times reporter on trips home. “We were all liars, warmongers, lapdogs of Bush and Cheney and so forth,” he told me.

“Whatever we wrote — no matter what it was, and no matter how well documented — was dismissed as Bush propaganda,” added Dexter Filkins, who covered the battlefields and politics of Afghanistan and Iraq for The Times…

Keller only refers to the critics in vague terms, and makes no reference to international law scholar Richard Falk’s books Israel-Palestine on the Record: How the New York Times Misreports Conflict in the Middle East and The Record of the Paper: How the New York Times Misreports US Foreign Policy. And we can’t conclude a critique of Keller without mentioning his refusal to reassign Jerusalem Bureau Chief Ethan Bronner whose son serves in the Israeli Army, a clear violation of the NYT’s conflict of interest policies.

Matthew Taylor

Matthew A. Taylor is co-founder of PeacePower magazine, and author of "The Road to Nonviolent Coexistence in Palestine/Israel," a chapter in the book Nonviolent Coexistence.

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