November 17, 2004

W. 43rd St. Watch

In their masthead on Condi:

As secretary of state, Ms. Rice is going to be first and foremost a loyal servant of Mr. Bush's agenda and worldview, and that does not bode well for those who were hoping for a more nuanced approach to American diplomacy.

What breezy condescencion! And couldn't they have chosen a different word than, er, "servant"? How gauche and ungracious--particularly given her (inspiring) personal history and background.

Posted by Gregory at November 17, 2004 12:30 PM
Comments

Well, look. That's the NYT. They won't be satisfied until poor old Cyrus Vance is dug up and propped up in a chair on the Seventh Floor. That's how the MoDo crowd thinks.

Part of the problem with the coastal chattering classes is that it simply has not hit them that we are at war against visionary psychopaths who mean to kill us.

So of course they think that we'd best be served by adopting the counsel of Chirac and Schroeder. This particular column, like other NYT editorials, reeks of the kind of condescending wrongheadedness that came out of another paper in another time. During the Tory governments of Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain, the Times of London derided that paladin of the back benches, Winston S. Churchill, as a warmonger for his continued Phillipics against the Tory Party's European policy. William Manchester described it as a situation in which the men who ran the Governments of the day were so scared of the Red Flag being hoisted over Whitehall that they were willing to treat with Hitler.

That is exactly what is going on today. Fear taking the form of condescension. It's not that the Left doesn't get bin Laden. They do, intellectually. However, unlike Bush, they want a way out of the GWOT that doesn't demand that we undertake the historical mission that Bush and Rice have chosen to pursue. They want a modus vivendi with the Islamic Fascists. As with the London Times of old, they wish to toss meat to the crocodile in the hopes that they'll be eaten last.

This is what you'll see among more and more Democrats in the Second Term. The left intelligentsia will begin to demand that we find out what ails poor Mr. bin Laden so we can come to an arrangement. The Democratic Party's activist base has long ago lost its nerve to fight and win this war. Iraq is only the excuse: there is a reason Michael Moore has become fabulously wealthy instead of being regarded as the marginal crank that he actually is.

Like it or not, the base of the Democratic Party has adopted the policy of appeasement. Sixty million voters understood that, and were not fooled by the smoke and mirrors of the Kerry campaign. They voted for the guy who understood the stakes of the war in his gut, and said so again and again. Anyone who tells you that sixty million people voted for Bush because of gay marriage and the Bible is lying to you.

Sadly, the Evan Bayhs and Joe Liebermans are few and far between over there. That may be good from a partisan Republican point of view, as Democrats continue to marginalize themselves while Republican totals in blue states got larger and larger. However, it is bad for warfighting policy and foreign policy formulation-those two policies must be bipartisan.

I would not cry if a Joe Lieberman or Sam Nunn replaced Don Rumsfeld, that's for sure.

Posted by: section9 at November 17, 2004 01:15 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

As Public Editor of the NYTIMES Daniel Okrent is first and foremost a servant of the Left-wing/Old Media empire run by the Sulzberger's, and that does not bode well for anyone hoping for a less nuanced approach to new reporting.

Posted by: reliapundit at November 17, 2004 01:52 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I'm guessing the NYT stylebook won't let them say "house nigger".

Posted by: Charlie (Colorado) at November 17, 2004 02:25 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

they came as close as they could though charlie....

Posted by: jj at November 17, 2004 03:31 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

>has not hit them that we're at war with visionary psychopaths

It's amazing to me that people still buy this story of the reasons for the war in Iraq. The neocons have been wanting to invade Iraq for their own reasons ever since the early 90's. They put forward the GWOT as their latest excuse for the war, but Wolfowitz had been arguing for this for many years, long before 9/11.

I have my doubts that THIS administration really takes the war on terror seriously. I would prefer a much more directed and focused approach.

Posted by: Mitsu at November 17, 2004 03:35 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Meanwhile, Porter Goss tells the CIA:

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/17/politics/17intel.html?oref=login&hp&ex=1100667600&en=bdf50ba54566e1cb&ei=5094&partner=homepage

"As agency employees we do not identify with, support or champion opposition to the administration or its policies..."

Whatever happened to the CIA as a source of evidence, both for and against, any given policy?

Posted by: Mitsu at November 17, 2004 03:36 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Greg: Pot, meet the kettle.

You're stretching a bit to tear down the Times, don't you think?

Posted by: just me at November 17, 2004 03:49 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Mitsu -- where did you get the impression that "do not champion opposition" and reporting the facts are in any way inconsistent?

BTW, if you look around, you'll find the rest of the memo, in which Goss says pretty much word for word what you're saying: we don't champion the opposition, we objectively report the facts. The Times (surprise) cherry-picked a sentence out of context.

Posted by: Charlie (Colorado) at November 17, 2004 04:31 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Why is it considered a bad thing for a President, who has just been elected on his campaign agenda by a solid majority, to appoint people to his Cabinet and Administration who are dedicated towards carrying out his agenda? Only Democrats would believe that [because they are entitled?] they should prevent this. Expect a bloody war, on the order of the current battle in the CIA burocracy, between the President and Condi v. Foggy Bottom to rid this liberal fiefdom of it's recalcitrant bureaucrats. I expect the same at Justice as well.

Ramrod

Posted by: Ramrod at November 17, 2004 05:10 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

...that does not bode well for those who were hoping for a more *nuanced* approach to American diplomacy.

Yoo-hoo! Timesmen! "Nuance" got smacked down on November 2. It was in all the other papers.

Cordially...

Posted by: Rick at November 17, 2004 09:40 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Intriguing, isn't it, that they chose the word "nuance" to describe the kind of foreign policy they want... belies their sentiments in the recent election. We've had too much "nuance" in our foreign policy. It simply makes it easier for terrorists to assume we'll let stuff slip by -- and that assumption led to 3,000 American deaths on 9/11.

Jimbo

Posted by: Jimbo at November 17, 2004 10:00 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

>"do not champion opposition"

Had he said, instead, "do not champion either opposition nor advocacy of the Administration's policy" that would have been fine. But the fact that he only mentions opposition leaves the impression that actively championing advocacy is perfectly all right.

That is not the role of intelligence agencies. The Pentagon's intelligence setup under Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz was explicitly intended to champion policy, and what did it get us? A veritable flood of bad intelligence.

>It simply makes it easier for terrorists to assume we'll let stuff slip by

I am shaking my head in disbelief at this statement. "Let stuff slip by"? The Clinton Administration was having nearly daily intelligence briefings on Al Qaeda during the time leading up to the 2000 attack, and they were able to stop the LAX attack (never heard of the LAX attack? That's because we stopped it). Bush, on the other hand, did next to nothing in response to a memo entitled "Bin Laden Determined To Attack Within The United States", and guess what "slipped by" then?

The problem with this Adminstration, as I keep arguing, is that they are WEAK on terror, not strong. Blustering around getting our troops bogged down in sideshow wars isn't being strong --- it's being weak. Is Iran really worried we'll invade them? Why would they? They know we can't. We're in a much weaker position now than we could have been.

I hope we will learn from our mistakes but I am not holding my breath.

Posted by: Mitsu at November 17, 2004 10:38 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The scum dwellers at the NY Slimes should refer to "Ms. Rice' as Dr. Rice, a distinction she is owed and deserves.

Having such luminaries as Dr. Rice and Secretary Powell as SoS, representing the US, is a badge of honor. It speaks well for the US and the distance the country has come. The US and the world are very fortunate for their service.

Posted by: Captain America at November 18, 2004 02:27 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Mitsu:

Why would we need to invade Iran. Our air power alone could destroy that country's government and its infrastructure.

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