During my recent book tour, I resisted the persistent, illiterate request that I name traitors. With a great deal of charity – and suspension of disbelief – I was willing to concede that many liberals were merely fatuous idiots. (In addition, I was loathe to name names for fear that liberals would start jumping out of windows.) But after the Times' despicable editorial on the two-year anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attack, I am prepared – just this once – to name a traitor: Pinch Sulzberger, publisher of the New York Times.
To be sure, if any liberal could legitimately use the stupid defense, it is the one Sulzberger who couldn't get in to Columbia University. At a minimum, Columbia has 400 faculty members who start each day by thinking about how to get their kooky ideas onto the Times' op-ed page. For an heir to the Times not to attend Columbia, those must have been some low SAT scores.
But the clincher was an editorial on the two-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attack, in which the Times endorsed the principle of moral equivalence between the United States and the 9-11 terrorists. In the Times' meandering, mind-numbing prose, it explained that the terrorists may have slaughtered thousands of Americans in a bloody attack on U.S. soil – but the U.S. has had imperialistic depredations of its own!
By not opposing a military coup by the great Augusto Pinochet against a Chilean Marxist, Salvador Allende, the Times implied, the U.S. was party to a terrorist act similar to the 9-11 attack on America. This is how the Times describes Pinochet's 1973 coup: "A building – a symbol of the nation – collapsed in flames in an act of terror that would lead to the deaths of 3,000 people. It was Sept. 11."
Allende was an avowed Marxist, who, like Clinton, got into office on a plurality vote. He instantly hosted a months-long visit from Castro, allowing Castro to distribute arms to Chilean leftists. He began destroying Chile's economy at a pace that makes Gray Davis look like a piker. No less an authority than Chou En-lai warned Allende that he was pursuing a program that was too extreme for his region.
When Gen. Pinochet staged his coup against a Marxist strongman, the U.S. did not stop him – as if Latin American generals were incapable of doing coups on their own. And – I quote – "It was Sept. 11." Parsed to its essentials, the Times' position is: We deserved it.
This from a paper that has become America's leading spokesman for the deposed Baathist regime in Iraq. Interestingly, we started to lose this war only after the embedded reporters pulled out. Back when we got the news directly from Iraq, there was victory and optimism. Now that the news is filtered through the mainstream media here in America, all we hear is death and destruction and quagmire – along with obsessive references to the date on which Bush declared an end to major combat operations.
See if you can detect a pattern:
- "Since the beginning of the Iraq war, 292 soldiers have been killed in Iraq and Kuwait, including 152 since President Bush declared on May 1 that major American combat operations had ended." (Sept. 13, 2003)
- "So far, 290 American troops have died in Iraq or Kuwait since the beginning of the Iraq war, including 150 since President Bush declared on May 1 that major American combat operations had ended." (Sept. 12, 2003)
- "It was impossible to watch Mr. Bush's somber speech without remembering that four months ago, when the president made his 'Top Gun' landing on an aircraft carrier and declared an end to 'major combat operations,' ..." (Sept. 8, 2003)
- "The speech was Mr. Bush's first extended address about Iraq since he declared an end to major combat operations in a May 1 speech." (Sept. 8, 2003)
- "When President Bush declared an official end to major hostilities in Iraq in May, Reuters moved (a reporter) to Baghdad to give him a safer assignment." (Sept. 7, 2003)
- "Since President Bush declared the end of major combat operations in Iraq, hundreds of violent and disruptive attacks have been waged by an array of forces ..." (Sept. 7, 2003)
- "Eleven British soldiers have been killed since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1." (Sept. 5, 2003)
Hey – does anyone know when Bush declared major combat operations had ended? Because I think there may have been one article in the sports section of the Times last week that didn't mention it. The Times is even taking shots at the war in the Arts section, stating authoritatively in a recent movie review: "And with the war in Iraq threatening to turn into a Vietnam-like quagmire ..." (How about getting some decent, impartial reporters embedded at the Times?)
Apparently, the Times' stylebook now requires all reports of violence anyplace within 1,000 miles of Iraq to be dated from Bush's speech declaring an end to "major combat" operations. How about dating everything from the number of months since Jayson Blair was fired or the number of years since Pinch Sulzberger got his SAT scores back and realized he wasn't going to Columbia?
I gather the Times is trying to convey something by the infernal references to Bush's speech declaring an end to major combat in Iraq – but what? That we haven't turned a savage fascist nation into a peace-loving democracy overnight? Iraq is considerably better off than Chile was under Salvador Allende – the Times' second favorite world leader after Saddam Hussein.