The New York Times has a history of ignoring one of journalism’s basic principles: don’t bury the lede. However, given the Times coverage of the GWOT (and Israel in general) there are more ledes buried on these issues than in Saddam’s killing fields.
It’s no surprise that in its Week In Review column this week the newspaper again ignores the elephant in the room so it can conveniently insert its own editorial political points which continue to masquerade as news reporting.
The Times notes that:
“The campaign may succeed, experts here and in Israel say, but it could also backfire. Either way, the political consequences could reverberate throughout the Middle East, all the way to Iran, and help determine the ability of President-elect Barack Obama to pursue his stated goals of calming the Middle East through diplomacy.”
Never mind the inherent demagoguery in the comment that President elect Obama wants to “calm” the Middle East through diplomacy. The question is, what will actually help President elect Obama as this Israeli action unfolds? The Times saves that point for the last two paragraphs of a twenty plus paragraph article and still misses the point:
“It is likely that the immediate fighting will have ended by Inauguration Day. (emphasis mine) If so, President Obama will be able to capitalize on the cease-fire to renew a push for a permanent settlement. He once suggested throwing American weight behind regional talks that would include Hamas, but that may no longer be a possibility. Mr. Bush fiercely resisted any accommodation with a group the United States and European Union classify as a terrorist organization.
“He has one advantage: that this is happening now,” (emphasis mine) said Mr. Asali of the American Task Force for Palestine. “The passionate reactions, the emotional reactions, the hatred, et cetera, et cetera, will be directed at the present administration rather than the next one. But that is a slight silver lining.”
The benefits that accrue to Obama as a result of the broad time frame of regional events, including the recent Israeli response (the ground invasion began today), are far greater than the Times cares and wants to admit. Some historical reality and perspective is called for to actually comprehend the events of the day as they relate to future “diplomacy” that Obama might pursue.
For example, whatever diplomatic course Obama chooses to pursue, he will be able to do so with an advantage given to him by President Bush at incalculable political cost and military sacrifice. No other U S president since Harry Truman has enjoyed such a negotiating advantage.
1) The U S will have several hardened bases in Iraq that provide a force projection threat that will not be ignored by interested parties…such as Iran and Syria. (Long forgotten are the difficult times of Middle East negotiations when the extent of force projection was stationing the USS New Jersey off the coast of Beirut and risking a Marine detachment at the Beirut airport).
2) These bases are contiguous to the two countries that have sponsored Hamas and Hezbollah activities in the region, Iran and Syria.
3) Another sponsor of foreign terror and regional destabilization, Saddam Hussein, has assumed room temperature.
The Times could write this piece another way but that would require a level of journalistic and intellectual honesty, as well a demonstration of character and integrity, that they long ago traded in after their sellout to the leftist mob.