The New York Times editorial board didn’t quite say today that they were wrong about the Iraqi election when over the past few months they had vociferously urged its postponment. The closest they got to admitting a mistake was to acknowledge their criticism of the Bush administration “over its policies in Iraq.” No mention of their stand on the election, yet, they say, they “rejoice in a heartening advance by the Iraqi people.”
Why do I suspect that, unlike in the streets of Iraq, there are few editorialists dancing down the halls and little joy today at the Times? Bob Herbert, on the op-ed page, had no problem curbing his enthusiasm for yesterday’s election by devoting his column to the negative. Taking a Chomskyite stance, he presumed to know America’s motives and goals in Iraq:
The desire of the U.S., as embodied by the Bush administration, is to exercise as much control as possible over the Middle East and its crucial oil reserves. There is very little concern here about the plight of ordinary Iraqis, which is why the horrendous casualties being suffered by Iraqi civilians, including women and children, get so little attention.
Is Herbert the Times’ Armstrong Williams? Is he working for Move On. Org.?
John Burns, the one Times reporter without a political ax to grind, ended his report by quoting a 83 year old Iraqi bricklayer who expressed the optimism the election inspired:
“Under Saddam we were a people who were lost”, he said. “Before, we were not able to talk to officials; they were just punching you, and kicking you. But now, with elections, we’ll have good officials. We will know them, and they will know us.”
But what does this old guy know? Savants like Bob Herbert and the other members of the Democratic Party intellectual elite would not even say that about their own country.