Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Michael Goldfarb Is Shameless

By Cernig

Can I just say that Michael Goldfarb is an unprincipled hack willing to countenance butchery as long as it's done by people he approves of?

Here he is today:
The NYTimes is Shameless. From the first line of today's editorial:
The news out of Iraq just keeps getting worse.
What can you say to that? The editors at the Times have clearly stopped reading their own newspaper. Here's an AP story published in today's paper:
A U.S. helicopter opened fire on a group of men as they were planting roadside bombs in a Sunni stronghold north of Baghdad on Tuesday, then chased them into a nearby house, killing 11 Iraqis, including at least six civilians, the military said.
No mention at all of the reason the NYT editors think the news from Iraq is bad - the looming probability of a Turkish invasion of the Kurdish North, which could have been prevented by an administration that failed to plan and thus planned to fail. That first line is the only bit of the NYT editorial Goldfarb mentions. The rest doesn't matter to him. Especially the Turkish dead from terrorist attacks. Nor is there even a glimmering of awareness that a US attack in which more than 50% of the dead are innocent civilians is God-awful COIN doctrine and an assault on human decency.

Nope, Goldfarb is more interested in the next bit of the AP report he cites:
The airstrikes came a day after Osama bin Laden scolded his al-Qaida followers and other insurgents, saying they have ''been lax'' for failing to overcome fanatical tribal loyalties and unite in the fight against U.S. troops.

The message of his new audiotape reflected the growing disarray among Iraq's Sunni Arab insurgents and bin Laden's client group in the country, both of which are facing heavy U.S. military pressure and an uprising among Sunni tribesmen.
Which is certainly good news. But then again, Osama is telling his troops to change their terror tactics and remake a united front with other groups. If they pull it off then that won't actually be good news at all.

Then there's the whole question of the defeat of Al Qaeda in Iraq itself. Let's imagine a situation where, suddenly, through the grace of Allah, every Al Qaeda member disappears from Iraq - AQI is no more. Does anyone actually envision that the rest of the feuding Iraqi factions would immediately break out the rose petals and stop battling for supremacy? Or is it more likely that those factions would fight anew over who got to fill the vaccuum? Defeating AQI in Iraq is a decent short-term goal, but it isn't a panacea for what now afflicts Iraq. Indeed, it is far from clear that AQI is defeatable in the long term without treating the broader illnesses. One of those ailments, I maintain, is the coalition's occupation itself. There's a point at which any physician must say "heal thyself" and a physician who is more of a moonlighting barber using leeches and blood-letting as techniques should probably say that sooner rather than later for the good of the patient..

Goldfarb is pandering to a pro-occupation base who have swallowed the myth that AQI are the only - or even the biggest - problem in Iraq. He's shameless exactly because he's bright enough to have worked out what an untruth that is. Especially when his colleague Kristol is simultaneously trying to get the base to deepthroat another myth - that Iran is the only - or even the biggest - problem in Iraq. Somehow, like practised pornstar troupers, the base keeps failing to gag.

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