The New York Times has been demonstrating an independence recently which is laudable. Its coverage of the American/Israel-Lebanon war has been fair, balanced and frankly shocking for an American newspaper with such a large pro-Israel constituency.
Such independence, that should be construed as bringing honour and glory to its coverage, has even extended to its endorsement of Mr Ned Lamont, as the Democratic Party nominee for the Senate. Senator Joseph Lieberman is a practicing Orthodox Jew and a former vice-presidential candidate of the Democratic Party in 2000. He was the individual that Mr Bush embraced with a hearty buss after the State of the Union address in 2005.
Democratic Senatorial Primary Candidate Ned Lamont
It is interesting that Senator Lieberman has received support from President Clinton and other luminaries of the Democratic Party including liberal California Senator Barbara Boxer. Senator Lieberman, however, despite his predisposition to using force against Arabs and his apparent incapacity to criticise much less question ANY American or Israeli action in the Middle East, is admittedly quite in the mainstream of the Democratic Party. The party has been silent over the Israeli butchery of Lebanese; the party has refused to call for an immediate cessation of hostilities; the party voted down Senator Kerry's proposal for removal of forces from country within a year; the party, at least in the Senate, voted for war in 2001.
Hence Senator Lieberman is all too typical of Democratic national-political figures: Obsequious support of American and Israeli terrorism, an intense bias against Islam, and an almost frenzied relish to use weapons of war against these peoples.
This is a link to the New York Times courageous and magisterial editorial endorsement of antiwar candidate Ned Lamont for the August 8, 2006 primary in Connecticut. A vote for Mr Lamont is not only a vote against the war and Senator Lieberman but also a vote against the Democratic Party prowar policies which truly is disgraceful and utterly lacking in morals and principles in the area of external affairs. It is afraid to look "weak" in national security matters so its support of war and violence continues unabatedly.
Here is my theory on the New York Times's brilliant reportage and editorial writing. It is aware, having expressed dutifully its mea culpas, of the Judith Miller days when it embraced the Bush adminstration's allegation of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and allowed its embedded reporter, Ms Miller, to essentially become a propaganda piece for the Pentagon and the warmongers in Washington. I think the paper has nobly attempted to resist such partisanship in subsequent coverage of the Middle East and domestic politics that flows from that.
Also the paper took quite a pummeling with its daring and most constructive reporting of the Bush administration's monitoring of financial transactions of many Americans and alleged "terrorists." It already incurred the wrath for reporting on telephone intercepts by the National Security Agency. The president described the Times's reporting of financial spying as "disgraceful" and I think the New York Times is determined to maintain an independence of reporting that may indeed infuriate official Washington. Not surprisingly, it refers, in the Ned Lamont endorsement, to the tendency of the the Bush administration to castigate those who oppose the Iraq War as less than patriotic and supportive of American democracy and freedom.
I hope the most preeminent paper in the U.S. can continue its present course of indeed printing "All the News That's Fit to Print" with objectivity and resoluteness.
Update August 8th 722 pm Chicago.
I noted how the Washington Post and New York Times carried pictures of the warmonger senator today and how their news stories, particularly the prowar Post, were spinning the comeback-kid syndrome. I must concede the Times was more nuanced in their weekend reporting but, nevertheless, I saw an incumbent spin recently. Fair enough for the latter since they endorsed the courageous J.P. Morgan heir, Ned Lamont.
If the antiwar candidate of honour wins, I hope this miniwave of antiwar political success will reach New York and that Senator Clinton can be driven from the Senate or at least badly damaged in her not so subtle desire to be president. Like Senator Lieberman, she is a person who cannot differentiate between Israeli and U.S. national interests. She is beholden to the Israeli lobby and is a woman of war and violence and lack of nuance in assessing Middle East politics. Her patently transparent political attack on Secretary Rumsfeld was about tactics not ethics. The Democratic Party needs to purge itself of these demagogues who apparently feel no compassion for American KIA or Arab civilians perishing by the thousands in our imperial, preemptive mania for global control and hegemony. Let the Lamont syndrome, spread to New York and engulf Senator Hillary Clinton.
I noted with some irony that the Connecticut Senator today said he felt there would be an "uprising" in the state. Indeed, I hope he is right and not the way he intended.
Peace not War must be our priority and ethical compass in assessing our national leaders.