The NYT is a regular target on the pages of Miscellany101 and it is an easy one. Its reporters lie, make articles up, for which some are punished or disciplined and others not, or tow an administration’s line, if it serves the purpose of corporate and ethnic imperialism.
Allison Weir has outed the NYT’s story on the Gaza Flotilla inquiry that will supposedly be handled by the Israeli government. The writer of the Times’ story is both an Israeli and one with suspected ties to the murderous IDF so you can only imagine the slant of that piece. You can read Weir’s revelations about that story here. The Times has a habit of using Israelis to write pieces on Israel and they see nothing wrong with that. I suggest therefore that they hire a Palestinian to write articles on Gaza and the Israeli blockade of that territory, but I’m sure that will never fly.
The second article more brazen than the first is the sophomoric grandstanding of the Times about the story of Afghanistan’s supposed wealth of natural resources. We are pretty much on record for saying that the two wars fought by America in Iraq and Afghanistan are about regime change and control of the natural resources therein, so the Times’ announcement is not earth shattering as far as we are concerned, but the timing is what we find immensely dubious as do others as well.
The way in which the story was presented — with on-the-record quotations from the Commander in Chief of CENTCOM, no less — and the weird promotion of a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense to Undersecretary of Defense suggest a broad and deliberate information operation designed to influence public opinion on the course of the war. Indeed, as every reader of Jared Diamond’s popular works of geographic determinism knows well, a country rich in mineral resources will tend toward stability over time, assuming it has a strong, central, and stable government.
Risen’s story notes that the minerals discovery comes at a propitious time. He focuses on lithium, a critical component of electronics. One official tells him that Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium” — a comparison to oil. (I can see it now: “We must wean ourselves off our dependence on foreign lithium!”)
What better way to remind people about the country’s potential bright future — and by people I mean the Chinese, the Russians, the Pakistanis, and the Americans — than by publicizing or re-publicizing valid (but already public) information about the region’s potential wealth?
The Obama administration and the military know that a page-one, throat-clearing New York Times story will get instant worldwide attention. The story is accurate, but the news is not that new; let’s think a bit harder about the context.
This “news” about the riches of Afghanistan precedes another Times story which talks about the problems the Afghan mission is facing and how it might be somewhat difficult to meet the Obama administration’s deadline of withdrawal from that war ravaged country (What better way to insure circulation levels than to beat the drums for more war?) as if to prepare their readership for the bad news by re-cycling a story about the riches at the US’ disposal if we only stay the course. Why anyone bothers to read the Times is unfathomable; my suggestion is you don’t!