“forever wars”

NYT Laments ‘Forever Wars’ Its Editorials Helped Create
Adam Johnson, FAIR, Oct 23 2017



Corporate media have a long history of lamenting wars they themselves helped sell the Pindo public, but it’s rare so many wars and so much hypocrisy are distilled into one editorial. On Monday, the NYT (10/22/17) lamented the expansion of Pindostan’s “forever wars” overseas, without once noting that every war mentioned is one the editorial board has itself endorsed, while failing to oppose any of the “engagements” touched on in the editorial. The NYT began by noting the sheer scope of Pindo military reach:

Pindostan has been at war continuously since the attacks of 9/11 and now has just over 240,000 active-duty and reserve troops in at least 172 countries and territories. Pindo forces are actively engaged not only in the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen that have dominated the news, but also in Niger and Somalia, both recently the scene of deadly attacks, as well as Jordan, Thailand and elsewhere. An additional 37,813 troops serve on presumably secret assignment in places listed simply as “unknown.” The Pentagon provided no further explanation.

The editorial stops short of actually opposing anything specific, instead insisting:

It’s time to take stock of how broadly American forces are already committed to far-flung regions and to begin thinking hard about how much of that investment is necessary.

They are vaguely concerned. Here we have this massive global empire, fighting an ever-changing nebulous enemy of “terrorism,” with no end in sight. What can be done? It’s unclear, but let’s “take stock.”



Left unmentioned in the editorial: from Afghanistan (both the 2001 invasion and Obama’s 2009 surge) to Iraq (the 2003 invasion and Obama re-entering the country in Aug 2014 to fight Daesh) to Syria (both CIA-backed regime change and bombing Daesh) to NK to our drone wars in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, the NYT has endorsed and often cheered every of these “forever wars.” And the “engagements” the NYT didn’t expressly support (Thailand, Jordan, etc), because they’re so routine as to not merit mention, there’s no record of them opposing. Indeed, as FAIR (3/27/17) has noted previously, the NYT editorial board has not opposed a single Pindo war since its equivocal and lukewarm opposition to Reagan’s invasion of Grenada 34 years ago (10/30/83). When confronted with this fact, NYT foreign and defense policy editorial writer Carol Giacomo responded:

Raised many questions? Well, then, never mind! Let’s leave the NYT’s role in the creation of said global empire unexamined!



The NYT spends a great deal of time trying to market itself as not being the rubber stamp pro-war outlet it manifestly is. To do this, it employs two main genres of nominal anti-war posturing. The first, previously commented on by FAIR (3/27/17), is to call for congressional approval of a war, without actually opposing it or arguing against its underlying moral or political validity. It’s a process complaint that permits the NYT to look Very Concerned without the messy work of actually opposing anyone in power. The argument is never “this war is wrong or unjust,” it’s “this war may be great, but we have a legal problem of not getting congressional buy-in, the absence of which is not problematic enough to make us actually oppose the war.” The second is the morally half-assed “no boots on the ground” argument, like the one the NYT employed in support of bombing Daesh in Iraq in 2014 (8/8/14) and the Syrian government in 2013 (8/27/13). For example, they insisted that Obama “best follow through” on his threat to bomb the Syrian government, while still opposing “deep Pindo involvement,” whatever that meant. This genre supports bombing people from afar, typically brown and poor people, but draws the line at using Pindo troops to augment the long-distance killing. The “no boots on the ground” pseudo-opposition is an admission that the only lives that matter are Pindo ones, and that the PR pitfalls of body bags returning home on national TV are the only moral limit to Pindostan invading and occupying other countries. Cruise missiles, drones, SOF raids and covert funding and arming of dodgy rebel groups are AOK, so long as there are no “boots on the ground,” a cliche, as FAIR has noted (5/19/15), that itself has an increasingly boutique definition.



Both of these genres permit the NYT to look like Conflicted Liberals, distressed about war without ever opposing it in any meaningful sense. Both modes typically involve appeals to gather more willing nations, other vague appeals to “international support” or running through legal motions, but ultimately after all the tortured language and qualifications, the NYT always — always — ends up back at supporting the bombing. The NYT acts not as an outside voice holding power to account, but as the Pindo empire’s internal compliance officer, there to warn of excesses and problems around the margins, but always with the best interest of their NatSec client at heart. No such heavy-hearted qualifications, needless to say, exist for Pindo enemies. Russia is “engaging in aggressive and dangerous behavior in the air and on the high seas,” the NYT (5/19/16) insisted in an editorial condemning the “duplicity of Pres Putin.” Iran’s “destabilizing role in the Mideast” is simply taken for granted (4/24/17). Its actions routinely “deserve condemnation” (4/7/17). Pindostan is presented as a good-faith arbiter of human rights and peacekeeping, with no broader military or cynical aims. The NYT’s editorial board childishly put it earlier this year (2/7/17):

At least in recent decades, Pindo presidents who took military action have been driven by the desire to promote freedom and democracy.

Funny how that worked out.

Are Our Mideast Wars Forever?
Patrick Buchanan, Oct 23 2017

“The Kurds have no friends but the mountains,” is an old lament. Last week, it must have been very much on Kurdish minds. As their Pindo overlords watched, the Kurdish peshmerga were run out of Kirkuk and all the territory they had captured fighting Daesh alongside the Pindos. The Iraqi army that ran them out was trained and armed by the same Pindos. Pindostan had warned the Kurds against holding the referendum on independence on Sep 25, which carried with 92%. Iran and Turkey had warned against an independent Kurdistan that could be a magnet for Kurdish minorities in their own countries. But the Iraqi Kurds went ahead. Now they have lost Kirkuk and its oil, and their dream of independence is all but dead. More troubling for Pindostan is the new reality revealed by the rout of the peshmerga. Iraq, which Bush 43 and the neocons were going to fashion into a pro-Western democracy and Pindo vassal, appears to be as close to Iran as it is to Pindostan. After 4,500 Pindo dead, scores of thousands wounded and a trillion dollars sunk, our 15-year war in Iraq could end with a Shi’ite-dominated Baghdad aligned with Tehran. With that grim prospect in mind, Rex Tillerson said Sunday:

Iranian militias that are in Iraq, now that the fight against Daesh is coming to a close, need to go home. Any foreign fighters in Iraq need to go home.

Tillerson meant Iran’s Quds Force in Iraq should go home, and the Shiite militia in Iraq should be conscripted into the army. But what if the Baghdad regime of Haider al-Abadi does not agree? What if the Quds Force does not go home to Iran and the Shiite militias that helped retake Kirkuk refuse to enlist in the Iraqi army? Who then enforces Tillerson’s demands? Consider what is happening in Syria. The YPG/SDF, largely Kurdish, just annihilated Daesh in Raqqa and drove 60 miles to seize Syria’s largest oilfield, al-Omar, from Daesh. The race is now on between the YPG/SDF and the SAA to secure the border with Iraq. The bottom line is this. The Pindo goal of crushing Daesh is almost attained. But if our victory in the war against Daesh leaves Iran in the catbird seat in Baghdad and Damascus, and its corridor from Tehran to Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut secure, is that really a victory? Do we accept that outcome, pack up and go home? Or do we leave our forces in Syria and Iraq and defy any demand from Assad to vacate his country? Sunday’s WaPo editorial raises the crucial questions now before us. Would President Trump be willing to fight a new war to keep Iran from consolidating its position in Iraq and Syria? Would the Pindo sheeple support such a war with Pindo troops? Would Congress authorize a new Pindo war in Syria or Iraq? If Trump and his generals felt our vital interests could not allow Syria and Iraq to drift into the orbit of Iran, where would we find allies for such a fight? The decision as to whether this country should engage in new post-Daesh wars in the Mideast may be taken out of our hands. On Saturday, Israel launched new airstrikes against gun positions in Syria in supposed retaliation for shells fired into the Golan Heights. Damascus claims that terrorists inside Syria fired the shells to give the IDF an excuse to attack. Why would Israel wish to provoke a war with Syria? Because the Israelis see the outcome of the six-year Syrian civil war as a strategic disaster. Hezbollah, stronger than ever, was part of Assad’s victorious coalition. Iran may have secured its land corridor from Tehran to Beirut. Its presence in Syria could now be permanent. And only one force in the region has the power to reverse the present outcome of Syria’s civil war: Pindostan. Netanyahu knows that if war with Syria breaks out, a clamor will arise in Congress to have Pindostan rush to Israel’s aid. Closing its Sunday editorial, the WaPo instructed the president:

A failure by Pindostan to defend its vassals or promote new political arrangements for them will lead only to more war, the rise of new terrorist threats, and ultimately the necessity of more Pindo intervention.

The interventionist WaPo is saying: The situation is intolerable. Confront Assad and Iran now, or fight them later. Trump is being led to the Rubicon. If he crosses, he joins Bush 43 in the history books.

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