THE PAPER TRAIL OF THE "PAPER OF RECORD"The New York Times
prides itself on being " the paper of record" for our nation. On foreign policy though their editorial record is not one of consistent principle - unless partisanship and historical amnesia constitute principles. Where the Times stands on a given issue depends a great deal on who is standing in the Oval Office. That is as true today for the Iraq War as much as it was yesterday for the war in Vietnam.Marc Schulman
of The American Future
is running a three part series that meticulously traces the evolution of the Times in regard to Iraq
and it is a devastating portrait:"A war can be lost because public opinion turns against its continued prosecution. The New York Times – the self-described “newspaper of record” – is among the world’s most influential opinion leaders. As shown by the cited quotations, the newspaper’s stance on Iraq underwent a complete transformation during the decade separating 1993 and 2003. While its editors never lost their fear of Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD), their prescription for countering the threat posed by the weapons was altered beyond recognition. In 1993, by arguing that cease-fire violations nullified U.N. protection, the Times affirmed the right of a victorious party to resume hostilities at its sole discretion if the party it defeated did not abide by the terms of the agreement to which it affixed its signature. Ten years later, the Times reversed its stance, asserting that the United States should not go to war without the approval of the United Nations. In so doing, the Times implicitly argued that going to war with the approval of a multilateral institution took precedence over the use of military force to expeditiously eliminate the threat posed by Iraq’s WMD. This post, which covers the eight years of the Clinton administration, is the first of three that employ the Times’ editorials to trace and analyze the evolution of the newspaper’s position on Iraq. The second will cover the pre-invasion Bush administration, while the third will deal with the period from the fall of Baghdad to the present."Continue reading...This is an example of blogging at its best, not just citizen-journalism but citizen-history - and I will be linking to each part in Marc's series.