The New York Times Finally Tells the Truth, Without Mincing Words

Check out tomorrow’s (well, actually, today’s, now) editorial in the New York Times, called “The Road Home“:

It is time for the United States to leave Iraq, without any more delay than the Pentagon needs to organize an orderly exit.

Like many Americans, we have put off that conclusion, waiting for a sign that President Bush was seriously trying to dig the United States out of the disaster he created by invading Iraq without sufficient cause, in the face of global opposition, and without a plan to stabilize the country afterward.

At first, we believed that after destroying Iraq’s government, army, police and economic structures, the United States was obliged to try to accomplish some of the goals Mr. Bush claimed to be pursuing, chiefly building a stable, unified Iraq. When it became clear that the president had neither the vision nor the means to do that, we argued against setting a withdrawal date while there was still some chance to mitigate the chaos that would most likely follow.

While Mr. Bush scorns deadlines, he kept promising breakthroughs — after elections, after a constitution, after sending in thousands more troops. But those milestones came and went without any progress toward a stable, democratic Iraq or a path for withdrawal. It is frighteningly clear that Mr. Bush’s plan is to stay the course as long as he is president and dump the mess on his successor. Whatever his cause was, it is lost.

The political leaders Washington has backed are incapable of putting national interests ahead of sectarian score settling. The security forces Washington has trained behave more like partisan militias. Additional military forces poured into the Baghdad region have failed to change anything.

Continuing to sacrifice the lives and limbs of American soldiers is wrong. The war is sapping the strength of the nation’s alliances and its military forces. It is a dangerous diversion from the life-and-death struggle against terrorists. It is an increasing burden on American taxpayers, and it is a betrayal of a world that needs the wise application of American power and principles.

A majority of Americans reached these conclusions months ago. Even in politically polarized Washington, positions on the war no longer divide entirely on party lines. When Congress returns this week, extricating American troops from the war should be at the top of its agenda.

Well-timed editorial: Eight more U.S. soldiers died in the past two days, as did probably well over 150 Iraqis — killed in combat, in roadside bombings, and in a series of suicide attacks:

Suicide attacks across Iraq killed at least 144 people and injured scores in an 18-hour period, including a massive truck bombing in a northern Shiite village that ripped through a crowded market, burying dozens in the rubble of shops and mud houses, Iraqi officials said Saturday.

Shattering a relative lull in Iraq’s violence, the attacks raised questions about whether insurgents who have fled an ongoing military offensive in Baghdad and Diyala province are regrouping and assaulting soft targets elsewhere, in less-secure areas with fewer troops.

The violence came as the U.S. military reported Saturday that eight American soldiers had been killed over the past two days, all in combat or by roadside bombs in Baghdad and the western province of Anbar. The fatalities underscored the mounting death toll during the five-month security offensive, reinforced by thousands of U.S. troops, that is meant to help Iraq meet political and security goals set by the Bush administration.

The worst carnage occurred in the Shiite Turkmen village of Armili, 50 miles south of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, when a suicide bomber detonated a food truck loaded with explosives in the central market at 9:30 a.m., officials said.

Police and provincial officials put the death toll at 115 but said they expected the number to rise. Col. Abbas Mohammed Amin, the police commander of Tuz Khormato district, where the village is located, said 155 were killed, including 25 children and 40 women. About 250 were wounded, he said.

But why acknowledge reality when you can simply refuse to see it, continue to deny it, and make up fairy stories to rebut it?



Filed under 05_kathy

33 responses to “The New York Times Finally Tells the Truth, Without Mincing Words

  1. Isn’t this the same NYT that helped Bush lie his way into the Iraq debacle in the first place?

  2. Susan

    It would have been nice if they’d at least have acknowledged somewhat the role they’d played in perpetuating this debacle. Could they maybe fire a few of their pundits who have been wrong about everything? Glenn Greenwald gets to write up the list.

  3. Cosette

    Phydeaux and Susan… these were my thoughts EXACTLY as I read this editorial.

    Now I’d like to see the NYT write an editorial on the necessity of impeaching Cheney and Bush … oh and Gonzales while we’re at it.

  4. Brynn

    A majority of Americans reached these conclusions months ago.

    Months ago?! Gotta love the way teh Times maintains its absolute editorial commitment to ignoring the American Peace Movement. We weren’t pot addled hippies just opposed to the war on moral grounds. During the lead up to the war when teh NYT was beating the drums of war for the Bush administration, many of us firmly believed that this very bloody quaqmire was inevitable if the invasion went forward.

    While I’m pleased to see this editorial, I agree with Susan and phydeaux that it’s too damned little, too late.

  5. Constant Comment

    Brynn’s got it exactly right. Seriously, months ago? Are they high?

  6. trygve

    Hear hear!

  7. amish451

    “…….months ago……….”???

    Oh, like 60 to 72 months ago …? At least around the time the bush numbers dropped below 50% ….that would cover ‘majority’.

  8. cfrost

    We’ve waited since March 2003 for this? Thanks NY Times. Won’t do a bit of good as long as as the petulant baboon in the White House remains free to fling shit at us. I’m going to go knock my teeth out with a rock; it’ll feel better than reading the NY Times piece.

  9. katecontinued

    Kathy, I refuse to shoot the messanger. I know that nobody here is either. I am pleased to have this be the very first thing I read this morning. It was a wonderful title to start the day.

    Nobody could possibly deny the obvious – the NYT is an active participant. I would love to see millions of fingers pointing at them in accusation.

  10. Thanks, Kate. I didn’t take it that way, really — I agree that the Times should have run an editorial like this years ago. I also agree that the editors absolve themselves of responsibility for how long it took them to acknowledge the obvious, and what most other Americans realized ages ago.

    I still have to give them credit for the forcefulness of the editorial. It’s not wimpy, and so many Times editorials are, even when they are supposedly taking the correct position. I guess you could say that the Bush admin is so weak by now, and so despised, that there’s no risk in publishing an editorial like this.

    I still believe it deserves note, if only because when people in positions of power do the right thing, it *should* be noted.

  11. Hey Kathy, do you know where I can find Times editorials from the beginning of the war? I wasn’t reading it at the time, and I’d like to know what they said.

  12. Kathy Kattenburg

    First, from well before the war started, the Times (via Judith Miller) was pushing for the U.S. to invade Iraq. So the history is very long.

    As for where you can find old Times editorials, I would say a public library or university library is the best place. Many libraries have access, via databases and microfiche, to old newspapers going back decades, if not more.

    Of course, if you are one of the lucky people who has access to Lexis-Nexis at home, then you can use that.

  13. Evelyn

    “the disaster (Bush) created by invading Iraq **without sufficient cause,** in the face of global opposition, and without a plan to stabilize the country afterward.”

    Uh, is this the same NYT that gave Judith Miller and her “source” Ahmed Chalabi all the space they wanted to provide Bush with cover for his lack of “sufficient cause”? They sold the war in their own pages, and now they have finally woken up from the bad trip they sent us all on. Thanks, NYT. Late to the party, but what the hell, come on in as it’s winding down.

  14. Susan

    Kathy, I know you read Greenwald so you’ve probably seen this, but the NYT Public Editor, Clark Hoyt, has also chimed in, in a critique of their Iraq news coverage that increasingly refers to everyone we’re fighting as “Al Qaeda”:

  15. Well, not to set the bar too low or anything, but it is nice to see a major media outlet say the obvious, whatever their role may have been. A little credit for those of us who were right to begin with might be appreciated, but still — every one of these public statements that the war is a bad idea, hasn’t helped us, is slowly (or quickly — ?) eroding our resources and etc. etc., is one more step in the direction of getting the damn thing over with. I’ll be interested in whose fault it was after it’s over; for right now, I’m more interested in getting our surviving troops out and stopping the checks to Halliburton.

  16. amish451

    NYT, then and now ….we may hope that this is the beginning of Pile On!! In retrospect, it seemed to take lifetimes for MSM to get on the Watergate wagon, but when it became ‘the story’; near everyone did join in….

  17. Paen

    At least it’s a good sign that the rats are abandoning the ship.

  18. Mr. Bush’s plan is to stay the course as long as he is president and dump the mess on his successor. Whatever his cause was, it is lost.
    His “cause” was to empty our treasury into the coffers of Halliburton and the rest of his cronies. In that, he has had great success.

  19. SBGypsy is correct, if George Bush is allowed to depart office without impeachment and is not held to account by indictment, he will indeed have succeeded.

  20. And if George Bush succeeds, others will follow him.

  21. And the more people think he is going to get away with it, the more will continue to support him. We need only make the wingnuts know that he will be impeached, and many more will flee him.

  22. But that’s just my opinion.

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  24. Interested party

    I know everyone loves to bash the Times and Judy Miller, because nobody ever made a mistake about anything, except the Times. But if you read the pre-war editorials in the Times, as opposed to just guessing at what they said, you will find that they opposed going to war in Iraq without the support of the UN, and that since then, the Times editorial page has been strongly critical of the war — INCLUDING explaining to its readers at great length how wrong they were about WMD. Of course, that would require actually reading the paper’s editorials on the subject. A lot to ask, of course.

  25. Kathy Kattenburg

    Kathy, I know you read Greenwald so you’ve probably seen this,

    I did see it, but at Memeorandum, not Glenn’s place. I had not actually read it yet, though, just saw the headline.

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  27. Kathy Kattenburg

    Interested Party, the problem with your argument is that nobody here said editorials are not the only way newspapers can take a position, or affect government policy. Prior to the war, as you yourself note, Judith Miller wrote article after article basically making the Bush administration’s case for war. Her writing was hugely influential in building support for the war — that has been widely acknowledged, including, I think, by the Times itself. Michael Gordon is another Times reporter who has supported the war from before he started. He has a well-deserved reputation for writing cheerleader puff pieces about the U.S. military, the Iraq war, and the Bush administration’s policy — and he frequently ignores any sources of differing information. Someone here correct me if I’m wrong, but I think John Burns is another one who writes glowing articles about the war.

    The point here is that the Times’ (and any paper’s) day to day news coverage has just as strong an influence on public opinion as a Sunday editorial does — actually even more influence, I would argue.

    No one here has said that the Times’ editorials are the sole or even the major piece of evidence that the Times has been generally supportive of the Bush administration’s foreign policy. You are the one who is arguing from that assumption, and I have no idea why.

  28. Kathy Kattenburg

    The first sentence above should read, “…the problem with your argument is that nobody here said editorials ARE the only way newspapers can take a position…”

    In other words, “not” should not be there.

  29. Kathy Kattenburg

    from before he started.

    from before IT started (meaning the war).

  30. Independentthinker

    I love the single minded anti-Bush hate crowd. They have so little else to contribute! It keeps them out of the way for the real rats to take care of business.

    How many Eskimos have been caught trying to blow up anything? Any Yaklanders in the mix? What about native American Indians, seen them packing up up the old Mercedes and parking it downtown lately? Does an attack have to be literally in your own neighborhood or on your own house to make you see the truth?
    You would probably run out the back door and leave the victims to fend for themselves! Heros that you are for justice and all.

    I think the war is being run badly. We need to be allowed to be as ruthless as the enemy but Reporters and Attorneys are too willing to vilify the troops for fighting an enemy without a uniform or rules or a code of ethics who hides behind women and children and reporters for cover.

    Halliburton HUH how much are you sending the Cell Phone toy companies every month. How makes you car? Whats the payment on that? How much do you spend on trash called movies from Hollywood. Who is making your clothes? Who’s Latte you sippin? Before you critcize others look where and what you pump your last dime into. You pay Taxes to the biggest corporation in the world and seem to love every minute of it even as they pass more laws to take away your freedoms. Remember only Congress can pass a law!

    Small minds think alike and can only focus on one thing or person at a time. The other Rats are running the farm into the ground while you squeal at the one name you can pronounce.

    I only hope the blade is sharp so its merciful when the real enemy looks you in the eye. Stand close to the explosion so you don’t suffer. Open your eyes and see the truth it ain’t in the New York Times people.

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  32. Interested Party,

    If I may chime in here, too, several of the Times’ very influential columnists, such as Nicholas Kristoff, Thomas Friedman, and David Brooks, have all avidly supported the war from the very beginning–Kristoff and Brooks VERY avidly. Friedman strongly, although from what I understand (I no longer subscribe) he has recently begun to realise the error of his ways.

    Not only that, the Times editors pointedly ignored or severely minimised peace demonstrations in the lead up to the war. I marched in Manhattan in February ’03’s massive demonstration and the coverage in the Times was ludicrous. They undercounted us and failed to effectively convey the range, scope and dedication of the hundreds of thousands of people who were there. And they ignored the obvious abuses of the NYPD on that day.

    To realise how crucial such a bias is, imagine the opposite: if the Times had from the beginning focussed on the hundreds of thousand of Americans–not to mention, citizens of America’s allies, like the UK, Spain, Italy and Ireland—who took to the streets in the millions against the war. A movement of millions of people is newsworthy. Yet the Times largely ignored us.

  33. Independentthinker,

    Take a wrong left turn on your way to Freerepublic?

    You raise so many straw issues, I haven’t time nor desire to chase them down. One, however, should be addressed. An Iraqi civilian death toll of between 67,000 and 200,000, depending on sources, suggests that America has not only been as ‘ruthless as the enemy’, but far surpassed in brutality any terrorist attack in history, considering that Iraq did NOT have anything to do with 9/11.

    Your explanation? That Bush’s ‘war is being run badly’? Might as well say those planes made a mistaken course change on Sept 11, 2001.

    You’ve picked a seriously mistaken moniker. “Confused” or “Scared Shi*less” would be more accurate.

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