New York Times Unrealistic On Middle East War
Under executive editor Bill Keller, as distinct from Howell Raines, the New York Times all too often is showing these days that it is a liberal newspaper rather than a paper of record. It is not a step forward, since the country needs a leading paper which can be respected as unbiased.
We see an unrealistic liberal bias particularly on the editorial page and the Op-Ed Page where ultra liberal columnists such as Paul Krugman and Bob Herbert continue hammering away, unbalanced by mildly-conservative columnists.
The news columns frequently remain straight forward and often unbiased., though not always.
The divergence is evident this Tuesday morning when the NYT editorializes on the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, calling frantically for establishment of an international peacekeeping force to separate the contestants amd a cease fire (without so much as mentioning the safe return of the kidnapped Israeli soldiers), while on the front page there's a story saying that no country so far has been willing to commit to a peacekeeping force.
The front page piece, by Elaine Sciolino (who is no fool) and Steven Erlanger, explains the obvious: A peacekeeping force would have to be prepared for heavy fighting, if it were to keep Hezbollah from further attacks against Israel, and, remembering the Hezbollah attacks against American and French forces in Beirut in 1983, no country wants to undertake such a mission.
The New York Times editorial also suggests this morning that Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice go to Damascus in her search for a settlement of the present war.
To what end would she go? There is no prospect that the thug Bashar Assad would help disarm Hezbollah or end the fighting, as long as Syria is not involved in it. Assad, implicated in the murder last year of Lebanese leader Rafik Hariri, is now willing to fight to the last Lebanese to keep its anti-Israeli campaign going. It is assisting in Iranian resupply of Hezbollah. It is an enemy of both Israel and the United States, and there is no reason, barring a switch in their position, that Rice should go to Damascus. Chamberlain went to see Hitler three times in a bid to bring "peace in our time" to Europe. Instead, by yielding to the tyrant, he brought on a war that killed millions. We can no more justify temporizing with Syria and Iran.
No, contrary to what the New York Times and assorted handwringers at the United Nations and elsewhere say, there is no present prospect of a quick acceptable end to the war, the disarming of Hezbollah and establishment of peace on the Israeli-Lebanon border. Perhaps, there will be in a few weeks when the Israelis finish smashing Hezbollah. Not until much more destruction and killing occurs, may these malevolent forces be discouraged. This is the sad truth the liberals don't want to recognize,
Lebanon, and many Lebanese civilians, are suffering and dying in the war. But we now hear from the Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrullah, a man with a reputation for candor, that he notified the Lebanese government of his plan to invade Israel and kidnap its soldiers, before he began that fatal mission. So Lebanon is not so innocent. If you allow a man with bombs into your house, he tells you of his plans to lob them into the house of your neighbor, and then proceeds to do so, you have no right to expect to remain untouched in the reprisal.
It was a mistake for the Crusaders to leave the Holy Land under Muslim assault in the Middle Ages. Barbaric Islam should have been dealt with then. There is no excuse for refusing to deal with it today, when it threatens not only Israel but the whole world. So the war in Israel, Iraq and Afghanistan, for the time being, will have to go on, bitter as it is. Godspeed to those who are fighting these wars.