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New York Times' Hypocrisy

Tuesday, 26 October 2004 12:00 AM

The Times editorial reminds the major democratic nations of the world and “the winner of the presidential race” that it is critical they make clear “the West will brook no further delays and that it is serious and united about imposing stern sanctions if Iran won’t abandon its nuclear fuel enrichment efforts.”

The editorial is unusually martial in tone. While I agree that the West should take that course of action, I can’t help but note the hypocrisy of The Times, which is responsible in part for the current situation. The Times defended the actions of France and Germany and others who deserted the U.S. when it undertook to enforce United Nations Resolution 1441, which they supported.

That resolution stated that Iraq’s refusal to comply with 1441 was a cause for war and was adopted unanimously by the 15 members of the Security Council. Iraq had been required under 1441 to account for the weapons of mass destruction Saddam Hussein had admitted were in Iraq’s possession after Gulf War I in 1991 – weapons (poison gas) it used to kill 5,000 Iraqi Kurds and thousands of Iranian soldiers in the Iraq-Iran War.

Had Germany, France and Russia joined with the U.S. in enforcing Resolution 1441, and had The Times urged them and other nations in the original Gulf War coalition to do so, it would not now be writing of the West that they “no longer have the stomach” to undertake the necessary “sanctions or military action.”

Even The Times cannot argue that President Bush, as well as Prime Minister Tony Blair, do not have the stomach to continue the battle against the Islamic terrorists in Iran and Iraq, where terrorists and insurgents seek to torpedo the scheduled elections in January and prevent the Iraqi provisional government from functioning in the interim.

The Times has the gall to write that “a strong signal that the Europeans are ready to get tough is also vital for another reason. After the mess caused by going it alone in Iraq, Washington may now be more willing to return to multilateral methods of combating nuclear proliferation, but only if it is convinced that the Europeans are capable of waving a stick, as well as a carrot.”

How unfair of The Times. If any country has demonstrated its willingness to stand up to international terrorism, it is the U.S. We now know that European leaders in France, Germany and Russia and U.N. personnel were bribed by Saddam Hussein using up to $10 billion skimmed from the Oil-for-Food program, undoubtedly affecting their decision not to join the coalition in the war against Saddam Hussein.

I am so outraged at The Times’ chutzpa that I feel like opening the nearest window and shouting, a la Peter Finch in the movie Network: “New York Times, you should be ashamed of yourself. You defended France and Germany when they refused to join the U.S. to confront Saddam Hussein, who committed atrocities against his own people, was a proven threat to his neighbors and a foreseeable threat to the U.S. and its allies. How dare you offer advice!”

Does The New York Times honestly believe that John Kerry has the stomach to confront Iran and North Korea? I don’t.

I also think back to 1981, when Iraq was building its nuclear bomb facility, and Israel, which would have been the first target of those bombs, launched an air attack destroying Iraq’s nuclear plant. Israel was censured by almost every nation, including the U.S., at the U.N. Ten years later, those same leaders knew how lucky the world has been that Israel had the courage, the stomach, to take that action, which deprived Iraq of the use of nuclear weapons against the coalition troops who freed Kuwait in 1991.

Perhaps The Times editorial is signaling a change in its thinking. Perhaps we will yet see France and Germany recognize how wrong they were to desert us when we launched Gulf War II. They have an obligation to join us now and share the burdens of casualties and costs.

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The Times editorial reminds the major democratic nations of the world and "the winner of the presidential race" that it is critical they make clear "the West will brook no further delays and that it is serious and united about imposing stern sanctions if Iran won't abandon...
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Tuesday, 26 October 2004 12:00 AM
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