March 22, 2005

Fiskus americanus "giganteus"

This collection of little poison dagger-jabs by the NYT really aroused my contempt. Warning: long Fisking ahead.

March 18, 2005 EDITORIAL New York Times
Two Years Later
The invasion of Iraq, which began two years ago this weekend, was a world-changing event. We can see many of the consequences already. The good ones, so far, exist mainly as hopes and are fewer than the bad ones, some of which are all too concrete...

The good starts with liberating 25 million people from one of the cruelest tyrannies in history. The good ALREADY far outweighs the bad.

One of the few positive domestic consequences of the war has been the nation's determination - despite obstruction from the White House and its supporters - to honor the memory of each American man and woman who has died in Iraq...

GROSS LIE. You lefty's "honor" our dead by using them as propaganda for America-bashing and appeasement--things that almost all our military community despises. And you rarely report the REAL honoring, such as the many times that whole communities in the heartlands turn out with flags for the funerals of our men, or to welcome troops home. Or the enormous amount of time the President and his supporters spend visiting the troops and families and the wounded. I wonder how many Timesmen visit Walter Reed Hospital to cheer-up wounded soldiers?

The administration has been shockingly callous about the tens of thousands of Iraqi victims, whom ordinary Americans cannot count let alone name...

LIE. Utter filthy lie. Our forces have bent over backwards to minimize civilian casualties, often paying the ultimate price themselves. Most of the Iraqi victims have been killed by Ba'athist and Islamist terrorists. Who don't even pretend to be trying to achieve military victory; their murders are done so YOU will gloatingly report them in the western media, so YOU will do your part for terrorist victory and western capitulation. The blood of many of those Iraqis is on YOUR hands, because you've done your best to encourage their murderers. "Shockingly callous" describes the NYT and the western press exactly.

The Real Reasons
The Bush administration was famously flexible in explaining why it invaded Iraq, and the most important reason, in the minds of Americans and in the arguments made by American diplomats, turned out to be wrong. There were no weapons of mass destruction to destroy...

The NYT and the French, and the UN had exactly the SAME belief about Iraqi WMD's. So why aren't they called "wrong?" And the main reason that WMD's were put formost in our war-arguments was that YOU, and your whole leftish realm, demanded that we seek approval of the UN. And the only thing the UN cared about was the WMD's. The tortures, the genocide, the stagnation and oppression of the Arab world, you and the UN cared nothing about those. You were cold-hearted bastards, and now you have the supreme gall to criticize the Bush Administration for over-emphasizing WMD's!

Worse, the specialized machinery and highly lethal conventional weaponry that Saddam Hussein did control was looted during the invasion and is now very likely in the hands of terrorists. As James Glanz and William Broad reported in The Times, among the things missing is high-precision equipment capable of making parts for nuclear arms. The WMD argument was not only wrong, but the invasion might have also created a new threat...

This is the grossest effrontery I've read this year. "There were machines to make nukes BUT there was no WMD problem BUT Bush has CREATED a WMD problem by attacking Saddam's nuclear bomb program, which wasn't otherwise a problem." Jeez. (And we know from that NYT article that "looting" isn't the right word; the stuff was hauled off using heavy equipment and truck convoys, before the Americans arrived. Bush's fault of course.) And if a terrorist nuke goes off in NY, I bet surviving Timesmen will blame Bush for letting himself be distracted by the UN instead of dealing with the Iraq problem sooner

However, there was another theory behind the invasion. Mr. Bush might have been slow to articulate it, but other prominent officials were saying early on that overthrowing Saddam Hussein would shake up the hidebound, undemocratic regimes in the Middle East and free the natural democratic impulses of Arab and Islamic people. This rationale may still hold up. Iraqi and Afghani voters marching stolidly to the polls was by far the most hopeful image in the past two years.

They were not "stolid," they were both joyful and determined even to the point of death. "Stolid" would describe a Timesman forced to concede that perhaps something good has come from an American war. And if Bush HAD articulated that reason earlier, the NYT would have been the first to deride him.

There is an endless list of qualifications. Many of the most promising signs of change have little to do with Iraq...

They have EVERYTHING to do with Iraq. The only reason these new flowerings aren't crushed by tyrants and terrorists is that they know the US is deadly serious. The reason Condi's frown caused Mubarak to announce elections was because he knows we are serious--BECAUSE we didn't flinch in Iraq.

The peace initiatives in Israel were made possible when Yasir Arafat died and was replaced by a braver, more flexible leader. The new determination of the Lebanese people to throw out their Syrian oppressors was sparked by the assassination of the Lebanese nationalist, Rafik Hariri, not the downfall of Saddam Hussein. And in Iraq itself, the voting largely excluded the Sunni minority, without whose cooperation Iraq will never be anything more than a civil war battleground or a staging platform for a new dictatorship...

Bullshit. Bush sidelined Arafat in 2002 by announcing that the Palestinians must have a peaceful elected government to earn our help getting a state. And the Lebanese can protest now because they know the Syrians are afraid of Bush. And the Iraq election did not "exclude" the Sunnis (they were welcome to vote and many of them did)---certain Sunni groups boycotted it, and now are scurrying to be included in the new government. "Excluded the Sunni"--what a slimy lie that is.

With all that said, even the fiercest critic of George Bush's foreign policy would be insane not to want these signs of hope to take root...

A lot of them are insane in exactly that way.

That would not excuse the waging of an unnecessary war on false pretences, but it could change the course of modern history. Grieving families would find the peace that comes with knowing that spouses, parents or children died to help make a better world...

They KNEW IT ALL ALONG! Anyone who follows military websites and blogs is aware that our forces have ALL ALONG been very aware of what they are fighting for, and how necessary it is. It's the vile America-haters led by the NYT who have been trying to convince them our losses were unnecessary and futile. (ALSO, bringing the hope of freedom to a billion or so people WOULD excuse waging war on false pretenses, although we did not do so.)

The Real Losses
Even with the best possible outcome, the invasion is already costly. America's alliances, particularly those with Europe, have been severely frayed since President Bush turned his back on the United Nations in the fall of 2002...

No no, we didn't turn our back on the UN. We begged the UN to enforce its own binding resolutions, and our "allies" refused to support us there. France and Germany are NOT friends. They don't like us and they hinder us at every opportunity.

Even some of his early supporters, like Spain, have edged away...

Spain didn't edge away, it cravenly capitulated to terrorist blackmail. Which is fine with the NYT.

Tony Blair remains the exception, mainly because of his willingness to ignore public opinion. If there is such a thing as the European street, anti-American feeling is strong and universal...

That "public opinion" doesn't just happen, your colleagues in the European press work non-stop to create it. They are bitterly anti-American, and you reveal your true colors by going along with them.

Things are even worse on the Arab street. While hope for change may be rising, opinion about the United States has never been as profoundly negative...

A LIE. We are suddenly starting to see the REAL Arab street, not the bogus one run by dictators and hyped by the NYT. Those million-or-so demonstrators in Beruit seem to have a rather good opinion of the US. They are the "Arab street."

Even under the best circumstances, it would have been hard for the proud people of the Middle East to acknowledge any benefit from an armed intervention by a Western power. And the occupying forces have made themselves easy to hate with maddening human-rights disasters. When the average Egyptian or Palestinian or Saudi thinks about the Americans in Iraq, the image is not voters' purple-stained fingers but the naked Iraqi prisoner at the other end of Pfc. Lynndie England's leash...

Because that's all Al-Jazeera and Al-NewYorka want to report. The hundreds-of-thousands tortured and murdered by Saddam go down the Memory Hole. The children tortured and wives raped to make their loved-ones confess mean nothing to you cold-hearted bastards at the NYT. ONLY incidents that can be used against America interest you. You tirelessly lead the media-chorus in tearing down America, then turn around and say, "Look how BUSH has made everyone hate us."

The atrocities that occurred in prisons like Abu Ghraib were the product of decisions that began at the very top, when the Bush administration decided that Sept. 11 had wiped out its responsibility to abide by the rules, including the Geneva Conventions and the American Constitution...

Rubbish. The Convention covers only Lawful Combatants who abide by the rules of war. Our opponents do not, but the NYT would never dream of criticizing them, while it reviles the US for not rewarding them anyway. And in fact we have treated our captives very humanely, while the Falluja terroritsts broadcast from the mosques their intention to torture and kill any American they captured. Which is OK by the NYT. The Abu Ghraib abuses were being investigated and dealt by the US Army months before the lefties became interested, but for the NYT it's the only thing that's ever happened.

For the United States, one of the greatest harms from the Iraq conflict has been the administration's willingness to define democracy down on the pretext of wartime emergency...

False. The War on Terror was debated vigorously during the last election, and the Iraq Invasion was argued about for over a year, and placed before Congress to vote on. And the voters and their representatives have strongly endorsed the President and his policies. That's what galls you at the NYT--the voters have rejected you. It's called democracy. Get ready for more of it.

Mr. Bush was not honest with the American people in the run-up to the war. He hyped the WMD evidence abroad and played down the cost at home. The results of last fall's election ensured that he would pay no political penalty. But other people sit in judgment as well. Mr. Bush's determination to have his war and his tax cuts at the same time meant masking the real price of invading Iraq, and even now the costs are being borne mainly by overseas holders of American debt. The international markets know this, and over the long run are most likely to be less forgiving than American voters...

So if the markets know it why aren't they unforgiving in the SHORT RUN? What a preposterous argument. The NYT peers into the future and declares international markets will agree with it...sometime or other. How Krugmanesque. And the enormous economic benefits that will come from VICTORY in the War on Terror are not considered. I suspect both victory and economic growth are not things the NYT is hoping for.

The New Challenges
Those stains on the index fingers of proud Iraqi voters have long faded. As Robert Worth of The Times discovered in interviews with average citizens, an inevitable disillusionment has set in. People reasonably want to know what comes next. More chilling, they seem to be prepared to blame competing ethnic groups for anything that goes wrong.

"Interviews" by Timesmen ALWAYS find that people agree with their position. But POLLS say that Iraqis feel very hopeful about the future. So which should we believe?

Iraq's newly elected leaders must organize a government that Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds and smaller ethnic and religious groups feel has their best interests at heart. They must also accomplish some practical matters - more electrical power, cleaner water, better security - to give their constituents the confidence that things really can get better.

The first challenge is up to the Iraqis, and so far, there are not many signs that any group is prepared to compromise for the common good. Americans must help with the second problem, and almost no one inside Iraq seems to feel the infant government can survive right now without the Western military.

Yes, the ARE signs, starting with the disinclination of the Shi'ites to start slaughtering Sunnis, as many of them richly deserve. And the majority of Iraqis think they WILL be able to survive without the US forces in a year or two.

It is hard to imagine a quick exit that would not make things much worse. But at the same time, it's clear that the presence of American troops is poisoning the situation. Under constant fire from Sunni insurgents, the soldiers are seldom free to provide the good-will services that many would undoubtedly like to do. Instead they stand behind barricades, terrified that the next vehicle will be driven by a suicide bomber. The inevitable consequence is what happened to the Italian journalist and her protectors whose car was riddled with bullets en route to the airport. Far more often, the people inside the cars are Iraqis...

Of course. An Italian communist journalist rates high with the NYT, even though she's an obvious liar. American military personnel, however, often tell a different story. A story of courageous soldiering PLUS good-will services in enormous variety PLUS optimism about Iraq and its people. But the NYT is too wily to be taken in by a bunch of baby-killers from the primitive Red States. And the NYT would never dream of insulting Sunni terrorists by suggesting that THEY are "poisoning the situation." Only Americans are "poisonous"...

The invasion has stirred up other dreadful side effects that must be addressed. One is that other rogue nations watched what happened to Saddam Hussein and not unreasonably took the lesson that the only way to keep American forces away permanently was to acquire nuclear weapons quickly. Curbing the international market of the most lethal weapons must be the top priority for the White House, but it is not possible without the multilateral cooperation they scorned before the invasion. North Korea, which any sensible person regards as a far more deadly threat than Saddam Hussein ever was, can be kept in check only by allies working together...

There is in fact a LOT of multilateral work being done to curb nuclear weapons, such as PCI. But the NYT never sees it. And we have relentlessly pushed for 6-way negotiations in dealing with N Korea, but somehow that doesn't make us "multilateral." In fact, to the NYT, America (during a Republican administration) is ALWAYS guilty. If we try to do anything vigorous, and other nations won't help, WE are automatically guilty of alienating them. THEY are never guilty of shirking international responsibilities or letting an ally down.

The Enduring Principles
Like a great many Americans and most Europeans, this page opposed the invasion of Iraq. Our reasons seem as good now as they did then. Most important is our belief that the United States cannot work in isolation from the rest of the world. There are too many problems, from global warming to nuclear proliferation, which can be solved only if the major powers collaborate. Americans need both the counsel and restraint of other world leaders...

Restraint is what's on your mind, not collaboration. European "allies" have stagnant economies, chronic high unemployment, plummeting birthrates, seething masses of hate-filled welfare-dependent immigrants, decayed armies...but to the NYT it is self-evident that they should be restraining us with their superior wisdom. It never occurs that perhaps THEY night need some kind of kick-in-the-pants from us .

The White House has almost unthinkable power, and the rest of the globe has the right to take a profound interest in making sure it is exercised wisely.

But not to the point of actually, you know, HELPING us...

(I find The NYT's attitude loathsome, but it now occurs to me that they've been well-punished--It was obviously an agony for them to say anything good about a Republican war. What a sour and dreary world these Timesmen must live in. Their own country performs prodigies to succor the oppressed, and they can't feel any joy. Can't for even a moment forget their bile and just say, "Well-done America, we're proud of you!")

Posted by John Weidner at March 22, 2005 5:48 PM
Weblog by John Weidner