My Protest to The Times: Effete Warmonger Kristol/Sanitizing Five Years in Iraq

Below is the letter I just sent to Bill Keller, Managing Editor of the New York Times. I was especially influenced by David Bromwich’s conclusion that the Times consistently has attempted to “shift legitimate opinion toward acceptance of a large and permanent American force in the Middle East.”

Dear Mr. Keller:

I was one of the individuals who canceled my [sic] subscription (of more than thirty years), when the Times decided to hire William Kristol as a columnist. Not a dime of my money will go to the Times as long as it pays that scoundrel, who I call the “effete warmonger,” to write his neocon trash.

But I take great delight in the knowledge that the effete warmonger committed an egregious error in his Times‘ column today, an “error” reminiscent of those committed by Jayson Blair. While waxing accusatory about Barack Obama, the Times‘ effete warmonger incorrectly placed Senator Obama in Reverend Wright’s church on July 22, 2007, the date when Wright gave one of his more incendiary sermons. According to Keith Olbermann, your effete warmonger obtained his incorrect information from the disreputable right-wing news source: Newsmax.

Slipshod sourcing in the service neocon ideology has long been a distinguishing trait of your effete warmonger. But, according to Keith Olbermann, you, Mr. Keller, knew or should have known that the Obama campaign had already established that the Senator was in Miami, Florida on July 22nd. Moreover, the Obama campaign made this information available a day BEFORE you permitted the effete warmonger to publish his column.

This is not the first such error by your effete warmonger. Thus, the question: “How many more such errors before you sack him?” Or are you simply exporting Judith Miller’s disdain for the facts from the newsroom to the opinion page?

Beyond such mangling of facts is the unfortunate bias you brought to the subject of Iraq after five years. Should you desire to pursue honest, forthright journalism sometime in the future you might want to read David Bromwich’s March 17, 2008, Huffington Post article about the Times‘ abysmally poor (if ideologically revealing) choice of “experts.” Did it ever occur to you to consider assigning an “expert,” who opposed the war before it began? How about an “expert,” who would have addressed the illegality and immorality of Bush’s preventive war?

In September 2002, writing in The Philadelphia Inquirer, I opposed Bush’s 2002 National Security Strategy extolling preemptive war — as well as his determination to give his strategy a try in Iraq. Moreover, I’ve spent much of the past five years attempting to uncover the criminality and incompetence that describes the invasion and occupation of Iraq. I would have been glad to write about Iraq after five years. I would have given you paper a breath of fresh air.

Better yet, you might have asked Jonathan Steele. Writing in his new book, Defeat: Why America and Britain Lost Iraq, Steele asserts: “I accept as a given that the war was illegal, since it had no UN backing. No other UN Security Council members shared the US and British governments’ line that UN resolutions going back to 1990 provided sufficient authorization for an invasion in 2003. I also accept that the war was unnecessary.” But Steele’s book focuses on the American occupation of Iraq, not its invasion. And, here, his point is quite blunt: “The occupation had created the resistance and there was no way to end it without ending the occupation.”

Writing in 2004, Anatol Lieven certainly got it right when he observed: “Left-wing intellectuals are almost completely excluded from the American mainstream media and from the branches of academia with close government dealings. Their only role in these fields is to act as convenient whipping boys for the Right . . . It might indeed seem natural that the radical Left should be excluded from the ‘mainstream,’ except for one thing: the radical Right is not so excluded. Even in the comment pages of newspapers widely viewed as liberal, such as the New York Times and the Washington Post, hard-line, right-wing nationalists such as George Will, William Kristol, Robert Novak, William Safire and Charles Krauthammer are to be found day after day.” [America Right Or Wrong, p. 65]

In a word: What’s wrong with you?

— Walter C Uhler

Walter C. Uhler is an independent scholar and freelance writer whose work has been published in numerous publications, including Dissident Voice, The Nation, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the Journal of Military History, the Moscow Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. He also is President of the Russian-American International Studies Association (RAISA). He can be reached at: Read other articles by Walter C., or visit Walter C.'s website.

5 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Timber said on March 18th, 2008 at 12:18pm #

    I’m a lefty myself, but I wonder what effect if any it would have if Chomsky, Zinn, Parenti, or other intellectuals despised by the right were represented in mainstream media.

    For one thing, any criticism of America’s consumerist culture is going to fall on deaf ears. I live in a working-class neighborhood, and big SUVs, Bluetooths, and fake Rolexes are everywhere. People will work 80 hours a week to possess almost any dumbassed status symbol. Ironically, many lefties who insist on the inherent intelligence of the American public will characterize them as unable to resist the mesmerizing power of advertising as the reason why people choose trinkets over freedom or thrift.

    For another, there are at least a million families with a member in the military alone, not to mention in private contractors like Blackwater or in some other agency of the ol’ military-industrial-intelligence complex. How many of those families are going to be receptive to a criticism of those organizations as a tool of big business or some even more shadowy oligarchy? And yet, without some criticism of how the military, CIA, et. al have been used in the past, there is no chance of keeping them from being used for the same purposes in the future.

    Lastly, and Chomsky is the best example of this, many left intellectuals insist on criticizing abstract entities for concrete problems, which provides absolutely no opening for reform. What does an institutional analysis accomplish if at the same time you absolve everyone participating in those institutions of any personal responsibility? It often seems to me that the institutional analysis is just a way of portraying yourself as a nice guy by not blaming people, even as you condemn the institutions and culture in which the selfsame people freely participate.

    I just don’t know what a lefty could say to America, given almost any platform or forum, that would bring about the change in consciousness that has to precede any kind of real institutional reform. Pessimistic or not, I think only the failure of present institutions will allow change.

  2. hp said on March 18th, 2008 at 12:57pm #

    And it’s really gonna hurt.

  3. Lloyd Rowsey said on March 18th, 2008 at 9:42pm #

    I’m a lefty too, Timber, and I knew a guy in the 1970’s who said he would stop preaching Secrecy is the Thing, because nothing would change until people started realizing that fact. And secrecy and social degeneration in the US would only worsen until secrecy was dealt with, so if the other lefties ignored him, he could always preach again later.

    Social reality is not susceptible to the fine and admirable analytical skills you demonstrate, Timber. People get fed up with It, and it’s almost like an iceberg turning upside down, against all the laws of how the damn thing came into being in the first place. At least I hope so.

    And hp. the funny thing is, the big hurt doesn’t even need to happen.

  4. hp said on March 19th, 2008 at 7:59am #

    Which is precisely why it will, Lloyd.
    And as far as secrecy goes, both you and I, Lloyd, are old enough to remember when the criminals would actually worry, shuck and jive, squirm and stutter, when facing, oh, say, a Senate inquiry. These days, no such thing. They just shove it in our face like a cream pie and ask what are we gonna do about it. At most, they toss up a clerk or two for the modern version of a human sacrifice and then back to work.

  5. Shabnam said on March 19th, 2008 at 1:52pm #

    Mr. Uhler:
    Your letter is nothing but waste of time, I think. Why did you wait until now to cancel your subscription? Didn’t you notice whose side NYT is working with? They supported the war from the beginning. Don’t you remember Judith Miller, the Zionist pro Israel, with a bag of sugar sitting next to William Cohen on National TV lying about Iraq weapons of mass destruction to frighten Americans who have been taken hostage by the Zionist media including the NYT? Don’t you remember the fuss over a package of baby powder where was widely reported as anthrax in the beginning? I am wondering who sent that package in. They sold many copies anyway. Don’t you remember NYT reporter David Sanger who was writing on supposedly “Iran Nuclear Weapon program” until recently to create a pretext for another Zionist war right after invasion of Iraq based on lies and deception? Why do you emphasize on the UN so much since everyone knows the UN is nothing but a WHORE HOUSE where is trying to establish an international system called “MODERN SLAVERY”, otherwise the UN should not have cooperated with the criminal West to drag the world to this condition and strengthen the hands of the criminals by giving them the rights to veto anything that limits their power in the targeted countries from Pakistan to Africa especially the Sudan and beyond to implement their invasion and occupation committing assassination, staging death squad, raping men and women, torturing people to get ‘information’ for a phony ”war on terror”, killing civilians and accusing Ben Laden who is death for years now. The war criminals making tapes to spread messages from a death boy, Ben Laden, to advice people to read books by Chomsky to establish the phony slogan of the anti war movement,
    “No Blood For Oil” to strengthen pro OIL position including Thomas Friedman’s message of “American addiction to Oil” which has been repeat by Cynthia McKinney in her acceptance speech for presidency. The information spread by NYT and other media keeps Americans in the cooperating mood.
    The NYT was and is an important instrument to disseminate
    ‘information’ to implement the neocon’s pro Israel plan using many reporters, columnist whose job is to prepare the pubic opinion for such a crime. Don’t you remember Michael Gordon who was giving us information as “evidence” that IED coming from Iran is killing American soldiers? Don’t you remember William Safire whose use of ‘Persian Empire”, started 12 years ago, intends to frighten the ignorant Americans to construct, like Sudan, minorities who are under the oppression of ‘Persian’ in Iran? Safire received a ‘Medal of Freedom’ for his services to the empire.
    Now, if you know the Zionist’s plan then you wouldn’t be excited to such a degree that writing a letter and informing NYT that you have canceled your subscription. You should have done it much earlier because facilitators’ contribution to war and destruction can be diminished by boycotting their product. Many people before you have done the same think but NYT mission is to stay with corrupt power until death.
    William Kristol has been hired by NYT to defeat Obama in November election against McCain, the war monger, by staging campaign of lies and deception against Obama to save Apartied State of Israel and to expand “American exceptionalism” by force into other areas of the world.