Home
Who we are
Our Agenda
 

Latest News
Good & Bad News

101 Palestinian History
Link & Resources
The Valley Galleria
nileMedia Reader
 

Archives
Contribute
Join US
Contact Us

November 05, 2001
Intellectual Prostitutes at the New York Times

By Ahmed Amr.
Editor

 
 

I was watching David Halbestram on C-SPAN the other day as he was being effusively lauded by callers for his books, especially the Vietnam Era classic "The Best and The Brightest". Halbestram was the New York Times reporter in Vietnam and had contacts with all the major players who led us into that swamp. To this day, he doesn't pass by an opportunity to berate Robert Mcnamara and McGeorge Bundy. He recalled confronting Bundy and asking him to tell the American people the truth about Vietnam. Bundy responded by calling Halbestram "an arrogant journalist".

Halbestram went on to say that he used to admire men like McGeorge Bundy and their 'establishment' credentials and because Bundy was once the dean of Harvard. And, at some point, he realized all those 'credentials' didn't matter. They were men with flaws. He was actually amazed to discover that men like Bundy and Mcnamara were not above lying to the American people.

The Vietnam war is long over and now it is Halbestram's turn to lie through his teeth. When asked a question on the subject of the Middle East, he did the standard "failed Arab culture" routine with the usual line about how "they hate us because we are so good and successful and they are so inept ". The Israeli occupation didn't show up on Halbestram's radar, neither did the the American garrison in Saudi or the punitive murderous embargo on Iraq. And Halbestram, being a former New York Times employee, never ventured into the murky subject of the Israeli lobby.

I have long admired the "Best and the Brightest", especially for its biographical portrayals of the deeply flawed men who were the architects of our Vietnam quagmire. With his evasive answers, David Halbestram identified himself as a staunch Israel Firsters intent on willfully and deceptively misleading the public on the roots of our problems with the people of the Middle East. David 'Bundy' Halbestram has become just another arrogant Yiddish supremacist, not unlike his buddy Thomas Friedman.

Halbestram also claimed that there is no longer an 'establishment' in America. Maybe there is no longer an exclusive WASP establishment, but there certainly seems to be a Yiddish mass media establishment.

Moving on. David Broeder, writing in the Washington Post, recommends that America needs better public relations work in the Middle East. Sure. But before the Bush administration goes out to sell our discredited policies, maybe the State Department should try to figure out if they have any policies that could even be marketed to first-generation and second-generation Arab-Americans. They should try it first on selected groups of ethnic Middle Easterners right here in America. What they will realize very quickly is that Arabs and Arab-Americans understand American policy all too well. Loving Americans is easy enough. But so long as American foreign policy are manufactured by the Israeli Lobby, they simply will not be accepted by the vast majority of Arabs, whether they be American citizens or 'over there'.

A little later on Sunday, I came upon yet another inter-yiddish symposium on the 'Press in times of war' with Marvin Kalb, Ted Kopel and Daniel Shorn, among others. These guys can't get enough of themselves. They follow each other around just to hear the echo of their own voices. They were discussing the 'new guidelines' set by Walter Isaccson of CNN to assure that any reports from Afghanistan were properly censored.

How much censorship and propaganda do these Yiddish supremacists think the American people can handle on one rainy Sunday afternoon? These control freaks must be really worried that their questionable 'journalism' is going to catch up with them. At some point they will have to answer a few questions about their cozy relationships with a racist Israeli government led by a serial war-criminal named Ariel Sharon.

This will be no comfort to them. In the British House of Commons, Gerald Kauffman, who identifies himself as an English Zionist, is already calling Ariel Sharon a war criminal and getting approving nods from his peers. Maybe Halbestram can stop acting like a fool and spend a little time investigating Qibya and Sabra and Shatila. Before he drones on about McBundy and Mcnamara, maybe he should reveal what he knows about the shadow state department that operates out of Sulzberger's New York Times.

We leave you with this little quote submitted to us by one of our readers. It is attributed to John Swinton (considered "the Dean of his Profession" by his peers), one time Chief of Staff, at the New York Times. when asked to give a toast at the New York Press Club in 1953...

"There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print.

I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone.

The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press?

We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes."