I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate the New York Times. Did I mention that my feelings towards that particular paper are less than positive? Well they are.
There's an NYT article published on 12th Nov with the ominous heading of "Stability vs. Democracy". lenin-with-a-little-l does a good job of dissecting the underlying creepiness here. It seems that after the mid-terms there's a new impetus towards criticism of the war in Iraq, but no new understanding of how to do so. Based on this article and a couple of questions by American reporters heard elsewhere, I am going to jump to the conclusion that the US media is now trying to oppose the occupation of Iraq in exactly the same racist, imperialistic and jingoistic terms that it once supported it - probably the only terms it knows.
What I'd like to discuss about this article is the way it casually rewrites history, starting with its header. The article
The elections of June 2004 were originally the time at which America was going to install an unelected 'provisional government' which would rule the country until it was deemed fit for democracy. As the situation in the country worsened, the number of years that the provisional government was expected to rule for was extended. Some powerful Americans started to wonder if perhaps they should just leave it that way, and never hold elections. However, the Americans in Iraq were crestfallen to discover that they were not the ones in charge of the Iraqi people. By and large it was Ayatollah Ali Sistani. And this religious nutcase, from the intrisically-incompatible-with-democracy religion of Islam, was adamant that the ones in charge of the Iraqi people should be the Iraqi people themselves. These Iraqis sure do have a different set of cultural standards to us, don't they! No wonder it was all doomed to failure!
Thanks to the Ayatollah's sway over the Shia people in Iraq and his dogged determination that Iraq should be a democracy, in June 2004, instead of installing an unelected government, Iraq held democratic elections. The US acted like this was what they had planned all along, and most of the media happily reported it this way.
Now that things haven't worked out so well, coincidentally after little matters like America policing the country with guided missiles, we are now being presented with this idea as if it were an uncomfortable but possibly necessary solution to a difficult problem, rather than what they actually wanted to do all along.
Fuck off The New York Times.