mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
Accountability
Dancing Around Failure

Without mentioning the name of America’s Commander in Chief, the New York Times let its readers know this weekend that the anti-ISIS strategy isn’t working:

Confounding declarations of the group’s decline, the twin offensives have become a sudden showcase for the group’s disciplined adherence to its core philosophies: always fighting on multiple fronts, wielding atrocities to scare off resistance and, especially, enforcing its caliphate in the Sunni heartland that straddles the Iraqi-Syrian border. In doing so, the Islamic State has not only survived setbacks, but also engineered new victories.

“Nobody here from the president on down is saying that this is something that we’ll just overcome immediately,” a senior State Department official said in a briefing with reporters on Wednesday, in which the ground rules demanded anonymity. “It’s an extremely serious situation.”

Within Iraq, the group’s offensive was taking shape almost immediately after the government’s victory last month in the central city of Tikrit.

We particularly enjoyed the use of the impersonal “declarations of the group’s decline” in the passage above.

If we had a GOP president, the Times would be flaying him alive at this point, with nonstop coverage of serial policy failures and their devastating consequences for the peoples caught up in a brutal war, for American power and prestige and for the future of a strategically vital region.

As it is, we merely get a bloodless recounting of the facts.

And yet even as the Times doggedly refuses to connect the dots and focus on the catastrophic and recurring failures and miscalculations of this administration’s Middle East strategy, it appears quite eager to criticize the strategies of… the emerging GOP field.

Is it really too much to ask for better than this?

Features Icon
Features
show comments
  • JR

    From the New York Times? Yes, it is really too much to ask for better than this. Like it or hate it, but accept that as a fact and move on.

  • Ellen

    Um, Yes it is too much to ask from them to have objective and meaningful reporting of the facts. Especially regarding the Mideast, where they really resemble Pravda in its heyday more than their official slogan, “all the news that’s fit to print.”

    A few weeks ago, a Hamas official openly stated that they were preparing for their next war with Israel. I read this in another publication. What was the most important news story coming out of Gaza that day for the NYT? A front page story on a feminist in Gaza and how she was living her particular lifestyle in a place ruled by Islamic male chauvinists. Really?? Is that the most fit piece of news from Gaza on a day when the Hamas leadership is declaring its intent to go to war so soon after the losing the last one?

    They are so mired in political correctness and downright lies on their favorite subjects (Israel bad, Palestinians good, Obama good, Republicans bad, Sunni fanatics bad, Iranian-backed fanatics good, etc). that I couldn’t tolerate the nonsense anymore as of 4 years ago and terminated by subscription. The WaPo and WSJ are much better newspapers, as is RealClearWorld.com if you want a summary of important news. Rarely more than 1 article per day – if that – from the NYT makes it to RealclearWorld which tells you their real weight in the world of serious journalism. Pretty soon, Prof Mead will have more pieces published per week on that site than the NYT.

    • johngbarker

      I would include the Economist as required reading, especially the in-depth coverage of important topics in their special reports.

    • Blackbeard

      I too terminated my subscription a few months ago, and the only reason we kept it as long as we did was my wife’s love of their crossword puzzles. Now I get about one email every day begging me to come back. They sound pretty desperate to me but even if they collapse financially, which seems increasingly likely, my guess would be that some deep-pocketed lefty (Tom Steyer? George Soros?) will just pick them up as a vanity acquisition. I’m afraid we’ll be stuck with the Times for a long time.

  • Kevin

    To be honest Obama’s star has set here. Unless he turns over a completely new leaf (say along the lines of Jimmy Carter’s change of heart about standing up to the USSR in 1980) we learn nothing new by reporting of what Obama is saying, doing or thinking. Much more useful is hearing how various possible next Presidents see the situation, how they are inclined to react. How do the various GOP candidates see this – which are inclined to get further enmeshed here (and how) and which to step back? What does Paul think we should do or not do? What information and instincts woukd guide his decision making? What about Walker? Rubio? Cruz? Fliorina? Etc.? What are the nuances and differences between them? What about Clinton or Sanders, O Malley, etc? Obama has shown he is willing to let this drag out for his successor to deal with – so let’s hear what these candidates would and why do so we can choose the best one.

    • R_of_the_H

      So I suppose the most important thing to question the candidate is:
      How do you secure our safety and put an end to this self inflicted cluster..
      Or, we are in deep sh, how can you save us?
      Instead they get questioned about faggots marrying and feral black people crying because 1 in 100 is killed by a white cop.
      Never mind what BHM fails at because nothing ever is his problem

  • Proud Skeptic

    I’m just waiting for Obama to flip the switch and launch the clever plan that he has been keeping in his back pocket until conditions were just right. Smartest man in the world and all that.

    Ooops! Sorry. For a second there I thought I was a Democrat.

    • Ellen

      Sadly, that is the attitude of much of the liberal commentariat. They imagine that he is so clever that there must be some upside to the disasters unfolding before our lying eyes. We mortals must all be missing something.

      No, it is what it seems to be. Don’t give yourself a nightmare about being a Democrat. Lie back, think positive thoughts, and the nightmare will pass.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    The NYT is run and staffed by leftist Democrat operatives with bylines.

  • GS

    Baboons baboinate in baboonery. In other words, what else to expect, a par for the course.

  • FriendlyGoat

    We have a Congress whose job it is to declare the wars against ISIL (or anything else) which a Commander in Chief would be obligated to command. Any news on how the Congress is allowing ISIL to proliferate?

    • Josephbleau

      According to your thesis, the Democratic Party in control of Congress was the agent in charge of the Iraq war II, Demos lied people died. Bush was just a bystander without the ability to declare war.

      • FriendlyGoat

        You are speaking of calendar years 2007 and 2008, I guess. So, yes, if a war is going on, Congress is supposed to have declared it. Whether the new Congress of a party change after Nov. 2006 is supposed to re-declare a war in progress, I don’t know. Perhaps.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service