Tuesday, July 25, 2006

New York Times Dupe of the Week: Bob Herbert

First it was the New York Times' Nicholas Kristof. Next, pea-brained op-ed hack Bob Herbert joined the chorus. Their lyrics? That Israel's campaign to eradicate Hezbollah has gone too far... and (who else?) Bush & company are to blame.

A few weeks ago, I noted the observation that the three political columnists for the Times -- Maureen Dowd, Frank Rich, and Bob Herbert -- had written a total of 156 columns on the Bush administration over the course of 18 months. Every single one -- all 156 -- were negative.

So it comes as no great surprise that Herbert finds a way to blame the administration for Hezbollah's rocket attacks and kidnappings, which precipitated Israel's counterattacks. Herbert's script is so predictable he could have authored it 18 months ago and simply waited for the predictable escalation of terror attacks to mail it in to his editor-in-name-only.

...It’s too late now... but Israel could have used a friend in the early stages of its war with Hezbollah — a friend who could have tugged at its sleeve and said: 'O.K. We understand. But enough.' That friend should have been the United States...

Herbert is not learned enough to acknowledge the obvious: that Hezbollah's war on Israel is simply a proxy effort orchestrated by Iran. Ahmadinejad, Iran's puppet president, has casually stated on multiple occasions that Israel should be wiped from the face of the Earth. So when Hezbollah fires Iranian missiles, utilizes Iranian troops, and otherwise leverages the fruits of Tehran's war-machine, it all flies right over poor Herbert's head.

Stunningly, Herbert isn't aware of any of this... even though it just appeared in the New York Times. Herbert can't be bothered to actually read the news... it might interfere with his Bush-bashing meme!

...But the unnecessary slaughter of innocents, whether by Hezbollah, Hamas, Al Qaeda, American forces in Iraq or the Israeli defense forces, is always wrong, and should never be tolerated. So civilized people cannot in good conscience stand by and silently watch as hundreds of innocents are killed and thousands more threatened by the spasm of destruction unleashed by Israel in Lebanon...

Herbert writes around the fact that Israel carefully tries to avoid civilian casualties. And he simply glosses over Hezbollah's use of human shields (Q: do you have rockets stored in one of the rooms of your house? A: if you answered yes, expect to get bombed in a counterattack).

And Herbert, of course, casually ignores the dozens of other conflagrations that have targeted civilians in the global war he dares not mention: Mumbai, London, Kashmir, Thailand, Beslan, the U.S., Uzbekistan, Darfur, Madrid, Bali, Somalia, Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, et. al.

Let me see if I can make this clear to Herbert: Israel, the US, the UK and other allies in the war on terror studiously try to avoid civilian casualties. Hezbollah and its puppet-masters in Damascus and Tehran glory in civilian casualties. In fact, their use of human shields encourages both Muslim and Jewish deaths, all of which become public relations victories when marketed by useful dupes like Herbert.

But Herbert's brain, apparently addled from years of watching CNN, can't be bothered straining his quads to get off his derriere and do actual research  -- heavens, no -- that might entail having to read some history and truly understand the backdrop of these events. That's way too much work for a hack like Herbert.

...As a true friend of Israel, the task of the United States is to work as strenuously as possible to find real solutions to Israel’s security. The first step in that process, as far as the current crisis is concerned, would logically have been to try and broker a cease-fire.

But the compulsive muscle-flexers in the Bush crowd were contemptuous of that idea. Always hot for war, and astonishingly indifferent to its consequences, they egged Israel on. That was not the behavior of a friend...

The Israelis withdrew from southern Lebanon to create peace. They withdrew from Gaza to create peace. But instead of building schools, businesses, and the other infrastructure that would benefit their populations, Iran's proxies turned these regions into missile bases.

There are 10,000 to 15,000 rockets and missiles in the areas from which Israel withdrew. And now Israel is doing the entire world a favor by eradicating Hezbollah and its supply lines.

And only useful dupes like Herbert can ignore those facts. Put simply, he and his ilk are 0 for 156. If there's a Pulitzer Prize for moral equivalence, Herbert is a lock for the 2006 award with this paean to terrorism.

To call Herbert, Dowd and Rich laughingstocks is to overestimate their worth.

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