November 21, 2003

Keller Watch Hey folks, don't

Keller Watch

Hey folks, don't miss this "news analysis" (where speculative musings masquerade as hard news)--a New York Times specialty!

Money quote:

"The religion-inspired wars of the 1990's drew some young Turks north into Bosnia or across Iran to Chechnya and Afghanistan. In those places, terrorism experts say, the young men were vulnerable to the ideological zeal and global designs then coalescing into Al Qaeda.

The war in Iraq may have tipped the balance toward actual terrorism. "Before, the threat was more or less theoretical," said Rifat Bali, a writer in Istanbul." [emphasis added]

Translation? Well, pretty much, Dubya helped cause the Istanbul carnage because of his "unilateral" folly in Iraq.

Speaking of unilateralism, when will the NYT stop trotting out the misrepresentation that the Bush administration is hell-bent on pursuing a brutish new form of unilateralism? Today's masthead is typical.

Key sentence:

"Mr. Bush, however, has embraced unilateralism not as an extraordinary policy option, but as his dominant international theme." [emphasis added]

Really? Even with the two charter "axis of evil" countries that haven't been actively engaged in battle, Iran and NoKo, we are actively employing multilateral strategies. And these are the very countries where we'd be most likely to employ unilateral action--as we've repeatedly said they present a grave danger to international stability.

Don't believe me? Here's just one story that gives the lie to the contention that the Bush Administration has embraced unilateralism as its "dominant international theme."

But the realities of, say, significant Chinese involvement with the diplomatic process vis-a-vis NoKo or mention of the troika of Euro foreign ministers liasing with Iran on nuclear compliance--if all this were mentioned--the Times couldn't score cheap anti-Bush shots on its masthead with such ease, right?

So why bother with the muddy realities? Bush is simply a bufoonish unilateralist. The world is running scared from a new imperial hegemon that does as she pleases--all the subject peoples be damned! And we reap what we sow when we so vigorously take the wrecking ball to the Achesonian world order (see Casablanca, Bali, Riyadh, Istanbul, etc)

It's all very similar to the worldview of some of the London protestors I saw interviewed on the Beeb last night. Asked about the carnage in Istanbul, they (with dulled eyes peering at the camera) muttered on about how Iraq was the cause of the slaughter.

Easy, no Iraq--no terror! I'd expect such breathtaking naivete amidst hardened Tony Benn and Harold Pinter types who are bored, pretty clueless, and want to march about Trafalgar after a few pints.

But I'd expect a more nuanced, sophisticated story line from Bill Keller's shop over at W. 43rd.

Posted by Gregory at November 21, 2003 10:29 AM

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