New York Times Bashes Outspoken World Leaders – by Stephen Lendman
Few world leaders challenge US and Israeli crimes. Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan often assails Israel, including at a Pretoria, South Africa Turkish foreign policy conference.
On October 5, Haaretz headlined, “Turkey PM: Israel a nuclear threat to Middle East,” saying:
On Wednesday, Erdogan called Israel “a threat to the Middle East region for having….nuclear weapon(s).”
Israel’s open secret has it one of eight known nuclear powers.
In his 1997 book, “Open Secrets: Israeli Nuclear and Foreign Policies,” Israel Shahak said that “Israel (is) clearly prepar(ing) itself to seek overtly a hegemony over the entire Middle East (with no) hesitati(on) to use for the purpose all means available, including nuclear ones.”
Shahak also explained that Israel regards “the launching of missiles (on its territory) as ‘nonconventional’ regardless of whether they are equipped with explosives or poison gas.”
In turn, Israel’s nuclear doctrine asserts that a “nonconventional” attack requires a forceful response, implying a nuclear one. Shahak called it the foundation of its grand strategy.
According to Hebrew University’s Professor of Military History Martin Van Creveld, “We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you (it) will happen before Israel goes under.”
Israel’s double standard opposes other regional states acquiring nuclear weapons or technology, but won’t give up its own or right to use them preemptively.
Erogan knows Israel’s “state terrorism” threat, saying:
“I see Israel as a threat to its region because it has nuclear weapons. In addition, Israel is an occupying force and implements state terrorism in the region.”
Moreover, Israel bombed Gaza with white phosphorus. “It is a weapon of mass destruction and it is a crime to use weapons of mass destruction….Gaza was besieged by tanks while it was also attacked with phosphorus bombs.”
Israel stockpiles nuclear weapons while Iran “is attacked by everyone” because it has a commercial nuclear program. “What kind of justice is this?”
He also condemned Israel’s occupation, saying:
“Palestinians, not Israel, are the owner(s) of these lands. You can live in peace in South Africa right now, but Palestinians do not have this kind of peace in their lands….The international community must tell Israel that it is not above the law.”
Referring to Obama’s threatened Palestinian UN membership veto, he called for UN reform, adding:
“The structure of permanent membership and non-permanent memberships must change. Is there any African country among the permanent members? No. How, then, will justice be served? Right now, the fate of the whole African continent is in the hands of the five permanent members.”
In fact, it’s threatened by Washington’s AFRICOM allied with Britain and France. Together they plan exploiting its resources and people to shut out rival powers. BRIC countries Brazil, Russia, India and China, as well as 52 African countries, of course, have their own say, so new millennium Great Game strategy outcomes are very much up for grabs.
Erdogan also thinks sanctions with teeth imposed on Israel would have resolved regional peace long ago. Perhaps also full Palestinian UN membership and liberation from occupation.
New York Times Targets Outspoken Leaders
Representing Washington and Israel, not its readers, its September 20 editorial headlined, “Turkey’s Leadership,” saying:
“….Erdogan’s increasingly shrill denunciations of Israel are a danger to the region as well as to Turkey….He needs to stop playing for the applause lines and weigh the full consequences of his words.”
Erdogan confronts Israel’s crimes and regional danger forthrightly. Few other leaders dare. Washington supports them.
He’s also rightfully furious over Israel’s cold blooded murder of nine Turkish nationals aboard the May 2010 Mavi Marmara humanitarian ship, bringing aid to Gaza. Caught red-handed, Israel refused to apologize.
In fact, Israel never says it’s sorry, no matter how grievous its crimes. The New York Times backs them, calling them self-defense, not state terrorism. Erdogan wants accountability. So do Palestinians and millions globally supporting them.
“Mr. Erdogan is playing a particularly dangerous game with Israel. (He) upped the ante….with his threat to send warships into the Mediterranean to escort Turkish shipping.”
Erdogan wants peace, not conflict. Israeli belligerence rejects it. In its customary role, The Times blames victims, not aggressors. Erdogan speaks truth to power. The Times represents it in Washington, Tel Aviv, and key Western capitals.
Despite a considerable cross to bear, notably for allying in NATO’s Libya aggression, leaders like Erdogan confronting Israel deserve praise, not condemnation.
They also need others replicating their spirit against Israel’s global intent to use all its military might preemptively if threatened.
New York Times, Take Two – Bashing Russia’s Putin
Times correspondents, op-ed commentators and editorial writers regularly assail world leaders less than fully supportive of Washington and Israel’s worst crimes.
Vladimir Putin is one. After announcing his 2012 presidential candidacy, a September 28 Times editorial headlined, “President Putin Redux,” saying:
Still months away, “the winner is pretty much decided.” Medvedev agreed to become prime minister if Putin’s elected. “(M)ore liberal and Western-oriented, (he couldn’t) break the Kremlin’s iron grip….Putin proved again that he is really the one in charge.”
Saying the winner’s “pretty much decided” implies a rigged process the way America’s duopoly controls US elections, but don’t expect Times writers to explain.
Putin also replicates Erdogan’s spirit. He publicly condemned Bush’s Iraq war based on contrived distortions and lies. He opposed Obama’s Libya aggression. He called Security Council Resolution 1973, instituting a no-fly zone, “defective and flawed,” saying (it) allows everything. It resembles medieval calls for crusades.”
He denounced America’s meddling in the internal affairs of other countries, saying Russia must strengthen its defenses just in case.
He and Medvedev both expressed great concern about Washington’s belligerent encroachment near its borders with menacing military bases, interceptor missiles, advanced tracking radar, and other weapons.
Times writers ignore the threat that’s threatening the entire region.
“Elections alone do not make a democracy, and Mr. Putin, a former KGB officer, made clear his disdain for democratic rights. His Russia is a place where journalists and human rights activists are murdered with impunity….opponents are thrown in jail, and the media outlets are controlled by or intimidated by the government.”
Though far from perfect, “his Russia” succeeded Yeltsin’s lost decade. He wrecked the country. Washington and Western leaders supported him. So did major media scoundrels.
Putin impressively stimulated growth. During his tenure, living standards doubled. GDP rose 70%. Nearly all Russia’s foreign debt was repaid. About $402 billion in foreign currency reserves were accumulated.
In 2008 dollars, GDP grew from $200 billion in 1999 to $1.26 trillion in 2007. Russia rose from the world’s 20th largest economy to seventh ranked. Trade increased from 17% of GDP in 1990 to 48% in 2004.
Russia was transformed from a basket case to a magnet for foreign investment. Nonetheless, much unfinished business remains, including raising the living standard for millions left out and dealing deep-seated corruption.
In contrast, Obama’s out-of-control militarism, ties to Wall Street, and imposed austerity is destroying America the way Yeltsin returned Russia to 19th century depravation.
Dissent in America is an endangered species. US citizens abroad are murdered in cold blood. Domestic ones may be next.
Muslims are persecuted for their faith and ethnicity. Latino immigrants are terrorized for wanting work. America is a money-controlled police state permanently at war.
Leaders like Obama and Bush contemptuously trash democratic values. America is the world’s leading human rights abuser. It supports wrong over right on an unmatched global scale. Its major media support the worst of what harms global billions. They represent wealth and power, not vitally needed social change.
In contrast, Russia Today reaches 400 million viewers globally. It presents real news, information and analysis. So does Voice of Russia, reaching 110 million in 160 countries.
They report Occupy Wall Street protests across America accurately. America’s media first ignored them, then became dismissive, and now belittle what hopefully may become a national mission for progressive change.
On October 5, tens of thousands of New York Occupy Wall Street protesters (by far the largest assembly so far) faced brutal police violence. It’s what cops do, acting as “enforcers for crime bosses” as Gerald Celente explains.
The New York Times and other major media gave it scant coverage, focusing mostly on presidential politics, the economy, and various other topics unrelated to major world and national issues, especially on television.
“Obama will have to find ways to continue working with Mr. Putin. He will also have to be ready to speak out, clearly and forcefully, when (he) bullies his own citizens or his neighbors. There can be no illusions about who Putin really is.”
Obama solely represents wealth and power, scorns democratic values, defiles rule of law standards, and threatens wars against independent leaders, lurching from one to another.
Putin and Medvedev understand the threat. Times writers support it.
On September 30, a Mark Kramer Times op-ed headlined, “The Past and Future Putin,” quoting a line from an old song titled, “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” saying:
“Meet the new boss/Same as the old boss.”
It referred to political Washington. It’s far more corrupt and broken now than when the song came out 40 years ago, but Kramer bashed “events in Russia last weekend.”
Polls, in fact, show Putin far outdistances Medvedev and other 2012 presidential aspirants. Yet he claimed:
“The Russian blogosphere featured endless petitions calling on Medvedev to run for reelection.”
“Why were so many Russians and foreigners….’fooled again?’ ”
“(T)here is no reason to believe (Putin) will return to a more democratic political system (with) free and fair elections, respect for civil liberties and observance of the rule of law….Political power in Russia is now more concentrated in the hands of one one man (than) since Stalin’s death.”
Whew! Where to begin? Whatever political shortcomings exist in Russia, they pale compared to America’s corrupted broken system. A political duopoly controls everything. As a result:
As a result, same old same old substitutes for democratically expressed public sentiment.
Democrats are interchangeable with Republicans. Differences between them are minor. Both sides support corporate interests, imperial dominance, aggressive wars, and the divine right of bankers to have money power to make more of it at public expense.
“Russia (under Putin) will be something like Venezuela under Hugo Chavez,” said Kramer.
If only America was that way instead of under Bush, Obama, and corrupt congressional leaders beholden solely to wealth and power.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.