NewYork Times’ Thomas Friedman libels opponents of Iraq war
By Joseph Kay
23 July 2005
The bombings in London have been accompanied by a campaign on the part of the political and media establishment to deny the obvious—that these attacks are the inexorable consequences of American and British foreign policy, above all the war in Iraq. A particularly provocative example of this campaign is Thomas Friedman’s column in the July 22 New York Times, entitled “Giving the Hatemonger No Place to Hide.”
Friedman levels against critics of the war policies of the Bush administration the vile charge that they are moral and political accomplices of those who carry out terrorist acts. “After every major terrorist incident,” he writes, “the excuse makers come out to tell us why imperialism, Zionism, colonialism or Iraq explains why the terrorists acted. These excuse makers are just one notch less despicable than the terrorists and deserve to be exposed.”
This smear comes from a man who has the benefit of a politically influential pulpit at the Times. In constructing this amalgam—grouping together those who would seek to explain the historical and political origins of terrorist acts with the terrorists themselves—Friedman provides an ideological justification for legal sanctions and even violence against opponents of government policies.What does Friedman mean by “excuse makers?” Does Friedman expect anyone who is in any way familiar with the history of the Middle East to believe that the bombings in London and other terrorist attacks are unrelated to the policies of the American government and its allies, above all the British government of Tony Blair?