“The Middle East is a… place where the most bizarre theories often have real policy consequences,” Atlantic editor Jeffrey Goldberg writes in full Orientalist mode. Yes well what about his bizarre theories about Saddam’s links to Al Qaeda that helped get the U.S. into the Iraq war?
Trump has made the establishment nostalgic for the last Republican president. But Bush made the most destructive executive mistake of recent times, the decision to invade Iraq in 2003. It was based on lies, and a weakminded strategy of bringing democracy by gunpoint, and its wrongness was obvious at the time to millions who protested it.
Jonathan Coulter describes the Western media’s very poor reporting of the Ukraine famine of 1932-33 that killed approaching four million people. He then compares this to contemporary UK reporting of matters that concern the Middle-East, including Israel/Palestine, questioning whether our standards have improved in the intervening period.
Exceptions to the mainstream voices who see the U.S. as playing a beneficent role in the Middle East, Geraldine Brooks and Bernie Sanders cite American war crimes and call for diplomacy, not assassinations.
The New York Times gives Paul Wolfowitz a platform to criticize Trump on the withdrawal from Syria, and the fight against ISIS, without saying a word about the roots of ISIS in the destruction that his project of invading Iraq wrought throughout the region. Wolfowitz should be on trial for major war crimes, Helena Cobban writes, not featured in the New York Times.
Tom Friedman of the New York Times says he supported Iraq war in part to keep Israel from being surrounded by chaos in Arab world. He assures a pro-Israel audience, “Israel had me at hello. Whatever you think folks– don’t worry. In times of crisis, I know where I will be. When the Jewish state is under threat–” Though he worries if the next foreign affairs columnist will get a “buzz” for Israel.
The late foreign policy guru Les Gelb tried to rationalize his decision to support the Iraq war by chalking it up to “unfortunate tendencies within the foreign policy community, namely the disposition and incentives to support wars to retain political and professional credibility.”
The NYT’s initial strategy was to starve Tulsi Gabbard out – no coverage, no candidacy. Now, because she’s still in and lately told a truth that weakened the Times choice Kamala Harris, they are giving her the Bernie 2016 treatment: i.e. this candidate is outlandish, absurd, unaccountably heartless, mystical, a tool of the wicked (she points out that Syria never went to war against the US) – and possibly a Russian agent.
Neither the US political establishment nor the people want a war with Iran, and Donald Trump knows it’s a political disaster. But 9 years ago Obama was seen as untrustworthy on Iran, and the lead reporter on the Middle East Jeffrey Goldberg goaded him to attack Iran with a report that Israel was going to attack Iran, a report that proved false.