John Chuckman



“The New York Times as Judge and Jury”


I don’t think things at The Times are quite so innocent as the author seems to think in parts of this.

For example, I do not believe they got the story of Iraq’s imagined “weapons of mass destruction” wrong.

They simply lied, as they have done many times, to support American and Israeli imperial interests.

And that was what the Iraq War was, part of an imperial adventure through the Middle East.

The so-called Neocon Wars and the Arab Spring, following the illegal invasion of Iraq, are just a set of dirty operations to re-make the face of the Middle East to Washington’s liking. Part of the whole business has been about building a kind of cordon sanitaire around Israel.

By the way, since the Iraq invasion was largely about Israel and done after considerable and lengthy inside pressure from Israel, would you really expect The Times to report honestly on one of the government’s main devices (so-called weapons of mass destruction) used to confuse people and justify the invasion?

George Bush himself in a little-noted comment after the invasion, a comment made concerning Ariel Sharon’s incessant pressure to attack other states in the region, said something along the lines of, “Geez, what does he want? I invaded Iraq for him?”

Even then, every expert weapons inspector told us the claims were not true after the First Gulf War, but their voices were drowned out in the artificial rush to start a new war. Before the First Gulf War, Iraq was indeed working on such weapons, but that war put a stop to it, and all their facilities were destroyed.

Cheney and Rumsfeld, the guys really making the decisions in George Bush’s White House, were both fierce supporters of American exceptionalism and imperialism and supporters of what Israel defined as its interests, Israel being viewed as a key part of America’s empire, its pied-a-terre in the Middle East.

Since Iraq, America has indeed attacked a number of states in the Mideast, just as Sharon wanted, always done with ruses and devices as justification for what is really just outright aggression. This series of bloodbaths is called the Neocon Wars.

Its aims include eliminating any government that is independent-minded and does not toe the new American imperial line. Some very decent local leaders have been destroyed in the process, but since when does Washington care about anything like good leaders or the people they serve?

Never. Washington, and now more than ever, is about imperial power abroad. Under Neocon influence is essentially telling the planet, “It’s my way or the highway.”

So much so, domestic American matters, for both parties, almost don’t matter anymore except in campaign rhetoric. There’s no room or resources left for them.

The Times’ management is smart and connected well enough to know all of that.

After all, as was not long ago revealed, every story that The Times gets concerning Israel is passed to the official Israeli censor before being published. It would be hard to come up with a poorer way to demonstrate independent journalism and integrity.

And did you ever see an American imperial adventure in all the years since WWII that The Times did not support and beat the drums for (and ditto, The Washington Post)?

The New York Times has been called, quite accurately I think, the official house organ for the American power establishment.

Did you ever read a corporate house organ that criticized its parent corporation? Of course not. The job of such publications is boosterism for the corporate interests.

The Times maintains some credibility by doing good reporting in relatively small things or in the arts or travel or business, but on any story of real life-and-death importance to world affairs or national politics, I find The Times just plain dishonest, and often.

I don’t understand anyone’s taking the paper seriously in such matters.

Of course, The Times also has a record of assisting CIA and has been discovered more than once with CIA on its staff.

It also uses many little journalistic tricks over time. A favorite is getting something wrong, and later, when the desired impact has already been made, humbly retracting it, as though being terribly honest.

Mainline newspapers are about influence. News on the big issues takes second place, at best.



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