Monday, July 09, 2007


Loyal reader Joshr has asked my opinion on the latest NYT Op-Ed The Road Home which dramatically reverses the paper's previous position on the war with the opening lines:

It is time for the United States to leave Iraq, without any more delay than the Pentagon needs to organize an orderly exit.

The piece, drawing on the deep reserves of strategic military and diplomatic wisdom stockpiled at the Times' 8th Avenue Command Bunker, goes on to explain how this might be done.

Where. to. begin?

I know! Let's begin at the end!

Let's pretend that I've already pointed out the nauseating hypocrisy contained in a two-page editorial that doesn't once mention the paper's own involvement in a war of aggression that it pompously scolds Bush for launching, an involvement which continues to this moment. Let's imagine we've discussed how the same paper is concurrently publishing "news" stories on its front page pushing irresponsible single-sourced sabre-rattling Pentagon war propaganda about Iran. Let's make believe we've noted the piece's collusion in propagating the deeply malevolent War on (some people's) Terror meme and its casual acceptance that the US has any right to be doing anything in the Middle East that doesn't involve getting the fuck out.

Let's skip all the implicit unwarranted assumptions of right, privilege and good faith; pass over in silence all the silence that passes over the catalogue of criminality; ignore the ludicrous armchair quarterbacking; pay no mind to the pseudo-authoritative tone that bestows us proles with pearls of wisdom and "serious, responsible" thinking.. Such pearls having been the common-sense of the majority of ordinary citizens for over a year now.

Fuck. that. shit. Let's get to the end. Let's get to the good stuff: the sterling honking contradiction that cries over the din of all the other nonsense, the one single glorious glistening turd that demands to be mounted and framed. Let's ask ourselves, why are they writing this? Why the about-face? Why now? The authors tell us that up 'til now they believed in the cause, up 'til now they waited so dutifully, so patiently for steely-eyed rocketman to make his words a reality, but alas:

It is frighteningly clear that Mr. Bush’s plan is to stay the course as long as he is president and dump the mess on his successor.

Now we know the real plan! Now we're all scrubbed and shiny and ready to gradumate to the the fifth fucking grade! Now we know there's a difference between what the Preznit says, and what's in the world outside my cocktail party! And the truth is: he ain't leavin'!

Well, you know what that means? Let's write two whole single-spaced pages on construction paper for our show-and-tell project DEMANDING THAT HE DO WHAT WE'VE JUST REALIZED HE HAS NO INTENTION OF DOING!!!!!

After taking this bold stance that entails approximately zero risk, the Times goes on to lay out the options:

This country faces a choice. We can go on allowing Mr. Bush to drag out this war without end or purpose. Or we can insist that American troops are withdrawn as quickly and safely as we can manage — with as much effort as possible to stop the chaos from spreading.

Got it, America? Those are your choices. Allow Bush to do what he wants to do, or insist that he not do what we know he's gonna do anyway. Whatever you do, do not under any circumstances get the idea into your head that you can get rid of Bush. Even though, by our own admission, getting rid of Bush would actually make it possible to do what we think should be done. You can allow or you can insist, you can stand aside quietly or you can stand aside and talk, but you cannot affect outcomes. You must stand aside. You are spectators.

This is the moral universe of the New York Times: Start a war, cheer a war, abet the next war, when your credibility is shot, hop on a bandwagon only after it is completely safe and risk-free to do so. Also, make sure that the bandwagon you hop on has no chance of going anywhere. That way you can co-opt the anti-war sentiment and create the appearance of responsiveness to public opinion while the criminal project continues unmolested.

It is the Times' considered stance to not ever, fucking never fucking ever let the opinions of the public influence policy. Impeachment is a wonderful tool as long as its being used by a small group of the powerful and is completely unpopular. We'll cheer those impeachments on all day long. Disagreements among factions of the powerful are fine, but it is completely unacceptable to advocate an impeachment that is desired by the populace.

It is more important to preserve the power structure than it is to stop the war. We will (make you) pay any price, bear any burden, to ensure that the plague of democracy not reach our shores.


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