I just got back from the west coast (that’s the reason for lack of posts). While flying, I was able to finish reading Bob Kohn’s book, “Journalistic Fraud: How The New York Times Distorts the News and Why It Can No Longer Be Trusted”. Kohn presented a strong argument that the New York Times is no longer a newspaper, but a opinion based propaganda tool that promotes anti-Bush and anti-war one-sided and incorrect arguments. What is disturbing is the impact this has world-wide. Here is a recent example from the Channel NEWSASIA web site:
The New York Times called on President George W. Bush to apologize to the American people for going to war on Iraq after an official probe into the September 11 attacks found no evidence linking Iraq and al-Qaeda.
"Now President Bush should apologize to the American people, who were led to believe something different," the Times editorial said.
Instead it is the New York Times who should apologize to the American people, who were led to believe there was no evidence linking Iraq and al-Qaeda. Here is Bill O’Reilly’s argument for that:
Once again we are mislead by some in the press.
I know some of you complain about me, but it’s on days like this that you should appreciate the No Spin Zone.
The 9/11 Commission (search) has come to some conclusions and Thursday newspapers across the country blared headlines.
The New York Times wrote: "Panel Finds No Qaeda-Iraq tie."
The Washington Post put forth: "Al Qaeda-Hussein Link Is Dismissed."
The Los Angeles Times opined: "No Signs of Iraq-Al Qaeda Ties Found."
And even the conservative Wall Street Journal trumpeted: "No Iraq-al Qaeda Link."
But if you read below the headlines you see the Commission said something a bit different: That there was no a collaborative relationship between Saddam and Al Qaeda regarding Sept. 11. That's true, but there were certainly links and ties between Saddam and Al Qaeda and that's provable.
Then is the impact the propaganda has on the masses as exemplified by this transcript from Rush Limbaugh:
CALLER: -- of the opinion that he has created. Yes.
RUSH: Created an opinion? It's your opinion. He didn't create opinion. He stated opinion. If you created an opinion, you formed it on your own based on your bias.
CALLER: Well, I mean Vice President Cheney, even this week said that there are long-standing links between Al-Qaeda and Iraq --
RUSH: There are.
CALLER: Yeah. Well, that creates an impression that there's a strong relationship or that there's a relationship, and the 9/11 commission said categorically --
RUSH: The only problem with that, Robert, is the president himself has always denied a connection between Iraq and Qaeda on 9/11.
CALLER: Well, but he has --
RUSH: So if you want to impeach him for telling the truth about that, I guess you can try it.
CALLER: Well, he has misinformed the American public --
RUSH: No. On what? What did he misinform us about?
CALLER: About weapons of mass destruction, about --
RUSH: Robert. Robert. The British intelligence, the United Nations Security Council, there were something like ten resolutions about weapons of mass destruction. And Bill Clinton in 1998, my man, said the exact same things that George W. Bush said in 2001 and 2002, and John Kerry and Tom Daschle endorsed Clinton in '98 when he said them and wanted to sign a resolution authorizing force against Iraq.
CALLER: The weapons of mass destruction -- I'm just talking about the false claim of uranium from Niger, that one, that was very specific --
RUSH: That was a British government claim, and Bush disowned it in the State of the Union speech.
CALLER: Well, I mean there are many reasons Bush should be impeached, you know, including the torture situation going on --
RUSH: Ah, now we get to it. I can sit here and tell you, Robert, gently and kindly, that every assumption that you've made is erroneous. You are wrong. I'm not going to blame you. I think you're a student of the mainstream press, and they are making things up about this.
Why is the mainstream media ignoring the Prime Minister of Iraq:
Saddam Hussein "always had links with international terrorist organizations." On the face of it, this is not a controversial statement. It comes from a CNN interview of Iyad Allawi, recently chosen as the interim prime minister of Iraq. Allawi expanded on this assessment in a December 31, 2003, interview with CNN's Bill Hemmer, when he estimated that more than 1,000 al Qaeda terrorists were operating in Iraq. But his more interesting comment came moments later. The al Qaeda fighters, he said:were present in Iraq, they came and they were active in Iraq before the war of liberation. They were inflicting a lot of problems on the--and inflaming the situation in northern Iraq, in Iraq Kurdistan. They killed once about a year and a half ago 42 worshipers in one of the mosques in Harachi [ph] in a very ugly way.
Again, on the surface, this was not a particularly revealing statement. After all, Colin Powell told the United Nations Security Council that al Qaeda was operating in Iraq--almost certainly with the knowledge and approval of the Iraqi regime--before the war. CIA Director George Tenet has testified to the presence of al Qaeda in Iraq on several occasions. Allawi went on:Those people have had the backing of Saddam prior to liberation, and they remained in Iraq after the collapse, and after the vacuum was created. After the way, they remained in Iraq. Many joined them since then.
Allawi's declaration that the Iraqi regime supported al Qaeda terrorists before the war in Iraq is intriguing not because of the claim itself, but because of the man making it. Allawi for years ran an Iraqi exile group called the Iraqi National Accord. In recent years, he was the Iraqi exile closest to the CIA. And although George Tenet has spoken repeatedly about the prewar Iraq-al Qaeda connection, he has been at odds with many in the bureaucracy beneath him.
UPDATE: The Weekly Standard has a William Kristol column on how John Kerry showed his real intentions as the NYT distorted the Saddam al Qaeda link. Read the whole thing.