September 14, 2001
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The "Reckonings" columnist on the op-ed page of today's New York Times attacks President Bush for his handling of the aftermath of the terror attack. "One hopes that the White House will distance itself from this disgraceful opportunism, that it will deliver the bipartisanship it originally promised. But initial indications are not good: the administration developed its request for emergency funding in consultation with Congressional Republicans -- full stop. A Democratic contact says that his party received 'no consultation, no collaboration, virtually no information,'" the Times columnist writes. "I didn't want to mention this, but now is the time to draw the line. This tragedy will only be magnified if it is exploited for political gain. Politicians who wrap themselves in the flag while relentlessly pursuing their usual partisan agenda are not true patriots, and history will not forgive them."
What kind of alternate reality is the "Reckonings" columnist living in? Why should any reader believe him and his anonymous "Democratic contact," when the House Democratic leader, Richard Gephardt, is quoted elsewhere in the Times today saying, "There is no division between parties, between Congress and the president"?
"No consultation, no collaboration"? Here's a quote from a Times news article today: "Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Mr. Schumer asked for an extra $20 billion from Senator Tom Daschle of South Dakota, the majority leader, and then brought up the sum with Mr. Bush." Bush expressed support for the additional spending. If that's not consultation and collaboration, it's hard to imagine what is.
Low-Key: The lead editorial in today's New York Times suggests that America work with China, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to pressure Afghanistan. "India might also be a willing partner. But its role should be low-key to avoid unnecessary complications with Pakistan and China," the Times writes.
That's a perfect example of the appeasement attitude that emboldened these terrorists to attack us to begin with. India is a democracy. China and Pakistan are authoritarian. Why should America keep its relationship with another democracy "low key" to avoid "unnecessary complications" with dictatorships? In fact, these complications are necessary. They are unavoidable. So long as America is a free democracy, we will have "complications" with those countries that are not, because America's very existence provides an example that threatens the dictatorships by inspiring the people under the dictator's boot.
The Times editorial asserts that "China fears a spillover of Islamic terrorism into its own western province of Xinjiang, where Muslims make up about half the population." But there's a huge difference between the terrorism that struck New York and America and efforts by Muslims in Xinjiang to break free of the Chinese dictatorship. The attack on America was an attack on freedom in a free country; the effort in China is an attempt to win freedom in an unfree empire. For the Times to combine the two as "Islamic terrorism," confusing America's interests with China's, is wrongheaded.
Israeli Oppression: An article in today's New York Times reports that Osama Bin Laden and other Arab militants "increasingly came to blame the United States for Muslim woes, among them oppression of Palestinians by Israel." Unless it is the position of the Times news department that Israel is oppressing the Palestinians (and if that is the position then it explains a lot), that sentence could be improved by writing "among them what they consider the oppression of Palestinians by Israel."
Can't Spell: An article in today's New York Times reports on a $1 million gift to the New York Times 9/11 Neediest Fund from the "Edmund J. Safra Foundation." You'd think if a foundation gave a newspaper's charitable fund $1 million dollars the newspaper could at least be bothered to spell the foundation's name correctly. It's the Edmond J. Safra Foundation, with an "o," not a "u."
Over-Overview: An article on page A3 of today's New York Times is labeled "The Overview," and another one on Page A18 is also labeled "The Overview." Maybe there needs to be some oversight of the overviews.
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