Thursday, January 24, 2008

The New York Times, the "War on Terror," Habeas Corpus, Zionism and Battlefields

Glenn Greenwald ably deconstructs -- rips to pieces – the deplorable Michael R. Gordon's Sunday 1.20.08 NYT article which blasts the Democratic contenders because they dare to mildly reflect the electorate’s understanding that Iraq is a great catastrophe, that the war is destroying the US just as it is destroying Iraq. Gordon, as Greenwald points out, is incensed that the Democrats do not shout from the rooftops their support of Bush's plan to maintain the US occupation of Iraq indefinitely. Greenwald incisively points to the responsibility of the New York Times.

It is not hyperbole to say that the Liberal Media's New York Times bears as much responsibility for both the commencement of the war and its endless duration as any other American institution. Judy Miller and Gordon, of course, jointly led the way in funneling false pro-war claims to the public to justify the invasion, and ever since, its lead reporters on that conflict, Gordon as well as John Burns, have been overt proponents of continuing the war (thus becoming heroes to the pro-war, media-hating Right). It is, then, entirely predictable that we have yet another ostensible "news article" by Gordon today, preaching on the imperatives of our ongoing occupation of Iraq.

(see below for links to Greenwald and Gordon)

But Greenwald doesn't explain why Gordon is still employed by the NYT, why despite his insuperable credibility challenges, the Paper of Record still prints his blatant disinformation.

There are basically two reasons for US policy in Iraq and for the support that the NYT doggedly offers: one reason Greenwald hints at and the other he ignores.

Greenwald prefers not to dwell on Zionist interest in insuring that Iraq remain destroyed indefinitely. Greenwald is far from alone as a liberal or a progressive who misses or ignores the Zionist angle. Take the Center for Constitutional Rights' Michael Ratner who co-hosts one of New York City's WBAI-FM's best radio programs. It’s a Monday mornings, show called Law and Disorder wherein he and his colleagues detail and courageously struggle against the administration’s gross violations of human rights particularly in respect of the Guantanamo detainees and others.

Although it's apparent that a crucial reason that Bush has managed to proceed so far with his criminal actions is because of Zionist anti Muslim bias, you'll rarely if ever hear the words Israel or Zionism pass Ratner's lips. It would be nice if Ratner acknowledged that the reason that there are so few sympathizers for those detained at Guantanamo is because of the society-wide practice of religious and ethnic profiling. Thus far Bush and Cheney have made sure to incarcerate mainly those who could be viewed as real or potential enemies of Israel.

Secondly, Greenwald only hints at the Bush-Cheney CIA/military interest in endless war and destruction for its own sake. But the interesting question is why would the NYT support such a suicidal policy? My best guess is that the CIA, with the necessary collaboration of executive editor Bill Keller, and publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. continues to claim the required NYT real estate when it comes issues of U.S. state terror.

Three points on Zionism, habeas and disputing the "war on terror"

1. Zionism. Some mistakenly think that the Zionists have forced Bush-Cheney into many of their policy choices, particularly the war in Iraq, and the "war on terror" (which should always be within quotation marks) and torture and so on. It's pretty much the other way around. Bush and Cheney cleverly and cynically use the power of Zionism to smooth the way for their agenda of perpetual war. It's not always noticed that on some issues where the American Jewish community has a stake, such as in sharing Faith Based Initiative dollars, Jewish organizations are completely shut out just as are their Muslim brethren, and as they both are from other discretionary health and welfare funds. It’s no accident that the Zionists only get their way on war and militarism.

2. Why are Bush and Cheney determined not to allow habeas corpus and why is torture an essential element of their policy? If you've got all these guilty, (the "worst of the worst") villains down there in Guantanamo and in perhaps in a score of other places, why not charge them with crimes and convict them?

Isn’t it clear that the policies of Bush-Cheney betray an understanding that the guilty parties in the “war on terror” are not behind bars in Guantanamo? Shouldn’t the task of the left be to at least disprove the contention that the entire “war on terror” is nothing but a massive false flag operation? Needless to say this gets us into 9/11 truth issues. If Bush and Cheney are responsible for the 9/11 terror, and if no planes crashed that day in NYC, or Washington DC or in Pennsylvania or anywhere else in the country, then young Islamic extremists had nothing to do with it. But even on the left, it seems that a majority are most comfortable blaming Muslims, despite the lack of evidence and the common sense notion that it takes the resources of the state to pull off such huge high profile events like 9/11, Oklahoma City, London, Madrid, Jordan, the African Embassy bombings and on and on.

3. Why do we accept that we are at war?

I've never understood why even our most brilliant and dedicated lawyers like Michael Ratner, Glenn Greenwald, Marjorie Cohn and many others seem to accept at face value the government contention that we are at war. War with whom? Where's the opponent? Where's the battlefield?

Most of us would agree that on the battlefield, due process must sometimes be adjusted or postponed until conditions permit. Our current wars against Afghanistan and Iraq shouldn’t complicate the discussion. When it comes to torture or the Guantanomo detainees, some of the 350 remaining have been there for 6 years, and none have faced charges. The WSJ editorial page early on understood this issue and dared anyone on the left to argue that we are not at war. To my knowledge no one has yet taken them up. Why can we not raise the issue in court? Why can’t we assert that we’re not on a battlefield. There’s no state fighting against us. Why has no one made this argument? What am I missing?

Glenn Greenwald: "Michael Gordon 'reports' on the 'only serious' Iraq option: Staying forever” 1.20.08

Michael R. Gordon: War, Meet the 2008 Campaign NYT, 1.20.08

1 comment:

Ronald said...

K wrote:

At the very end of this you begin
a discussion about the semantics of whether or not we're in a "war." I'm curious about this particular
discussion since I'm not sure how it would affect the public's
understanding of these on-going events. If we say that the occupation of Iraq and whatever is happening in Afghanistan are not "wars," then what will change? Could it be argued that what "war" is has changed over time
so that these aren't "battlefields" in a traditional sense, but then
neither were the rice paddies or jungles of Viet Nam, right? --K

Ronald replied:

Yes, of course you’re right that Afghanistan and Iraq are wars just like Vietnam. Your question makes me realize that I might have taken more time to clarify the issues. And that the Bushies have cleverly
amalgamated their phony war on terror with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. And they use each one to
supplement the other whenever necessary, and they can do this because they are not forced to spell out which one they are talking about. Everything’s lumped together in the “war on terror.”

If the left had challenged Bush on the war on terror by which they mean 9/11, the London and Madrid bombings, etc., the Bushies would have been forced to distinguish between battlefield situations and the more amorphous phony war on terror (where I gather you’ve noticed I think they planned and executed and continue to do so. In addition I believe they control the fighting in both Afghanistan and Iraq, but that’s another

Thus the lawyers for the hundreds of prisoners in Guantanamo, 99% of whom were picked up in non battlefield situations are forced to argue that their clients deserve due process even while they effectively admit that we are at war. They should be able to say that their clients were not in battlefield situations…

Reminds me that according to present law – until and unless it gets challenged or changed – the president can designate any citizen and throw her into jail for 3 years without a lawyer or charges or anything.

Interesting to speculate what Hillary would do about such a law if she were president.