Wednesday, February 02, 2005

It Takes LAT Editorial Pages Just Two Days To Become War Critics Again

Just two days after they summoned up enough courage to proclaim the Iraqi election "some unequivocal good news," the Los Angeles Times editorial pages are back to their old position of wanting to give in to enemies of the United States.

The lead editorial wants to treat the terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, with every consideration, as if they deserved it.

And the Op-Ed Page is back to its old tricks with an anti-Administration cartoon and a ridiculous column by Adriana Huffington arguing the elections didn't mean anything. "This is still the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time," Huffington concludes. "And the election, as heartwarming as it was, doesn't change any of that."

Op-Ed Page Editor Nick Goldberg just can't gird up his loins and be supportive of American policy, and Editorial Pages Editor Michael Kinsley seems to care more for the detainees at Guantanamo than for U.S. soldiers fighting in Iraq.

The letters column continues to be the fairest part of the editorial pages. I was particularly impressed yesterday, Feb. 1, with a letter from Jerry Andersen of Pacific Palisades.

"Let's see," Andersen wrote, "a Yale degree, a master's from Harvard, a fighter pilot, twice elected governor of Texas, twice elected president of the United States, democracy for Afghanistan, disposed of a savage dictator in Iraq, a free election in Iraq, the hope of democracy to those without. What would he be capable of if he weren't so stupid?"

Right on the opposite page, columnist Bob Scheer again demonstrated the kind of wrongheadedness that marks the Los Angeles Times editorial pages, which are an insult to all of the Times correspondents risking their lives to covering the struggle for democracy in Iraq.

Now, Scheer says, let's retreat. "No matter what happens," says this remarkably obtuse columnist, "it is going to be a long and messy process. Iraq and the Middle East have been frozen politically for too long. It will only be made worse, however, if the United States can't learn how to get out of the way."

Scheer should revise his views. If the U.S. and Britain had not intervened in Iraq, Saddam Hussein would still be in power, and there would be no chance for democracy. The threat from the Middle East would be intensifying. not being assuaged.

I just don't want to see the U.S. give in to evil in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. This would make the attacks of 9-11 just a precursor to even worse assaults against the American people.

Meanwhile, John Kerry, not for the first time, can't enunciate a clear position on what to do.

He's quoted in the LAT yesterday from his appearance on NBC's Meet The Press in an article by Mary Custius headlined, "Democrats Shy From Iraq Exit Timetable."

"Obviously, you've got to provide security and stability in order to be able to turn this over to the Iraqis and to be able to withdraw our troops, " Kerry said. "So I wouldn't do a specific timetable." But, he added, "I certainly agree with him (Sen. Edward Kennedy) in principle that the goal must be to withdraw American troops."

Kerry's a lot like Kinsley: Both can't wait to give in. Thank goodness, Kerry wasn't elected president of the U.S. But it's too bad he remains in the U.S. Senate, where he can continue to argue he is on both sides of major issues. And Kinsley is still editor of the Times editorial pages as Times circulation slips away under the ownership of the Tribune Co.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your blog. I live in the midwest, am a former reporter at a well-known daily in the heartland, was one of a handful of conservatives in the newsroom, and now enjoying viewing the workings of newspapers from the outside. I admire John Carroll and his work, but was astonished when he hired Michael Kinsley to edit the Times edit page -- and from long-distance at that. Your piece today reaffirmed why.

2/03/2005 11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just started reading your blog and I thoroughly enjoy it. I worked at the LAT not too long ago, and it's interesting to read your perspective re: the paper's editorial pages. Like the midwesterner who recently e-mailed you, I'm glad there's a fellow journalist out there who is not another knee-jerk liberal. Thanks.

2/03/2005 5:04 PM  
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