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Readers' Comments

August 22, 2006

Editor's Note: Here are some readers' comments that followed our publication of "Why NYT's Friedman Should Resign."

I couldn't agree more. Both Cohen and Friedmen should be in the dock with the entire Bush Administration. Apparently incapable of explaining a complicated reasoning for not going to war, they advocate mass murder without being able to give a satisfactory reason for that either. They seem to think that their flawed simple reasoning will appeal to the average man. Unfortunately, the average man doesn't read their column or the NYT. The reason that they can't admit their mistakes is that they would have to admit they are guilty of murder, rape, and all the rest. More perfect examples of  educated, unworldly, over-the-hill pundits can't be found anywhere.

Mike

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Mr. Parry: Thanks again for another great article. Real men admit their mistakes and attempt to right them. Friedman is just like the other neo-cons and people who voted for Bush-gutless and war mongers.

Sincerely, Bill Trembley, Champaign, Il.
 

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This is crap.  The man has admitted he was wrong.  Please take me off 
your mailing list - you just lost all credibility in my eyes.

Lawrence J. Worden
 

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No, Thomas Friedman should not resign.  He should be tried for war crimes,
like the German journalist Julius Streicher.

John Wheat Gibson

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Dear Consortium News.

I just read and enjoyed your piece on "Why Doesn't Tom Friedman Resign?"

In addition to your incisive comments, wasn't Friedman the one who coined, or at least popularized, the phrase, "Islamofascist?"

My question is, just what the hell is an "Islamofascist?"

Has journalism just deteriorated to elementary school playground name-calling, or is their some basis for calling Islamist terrorists "Fascists" that does not occur to me? Maybe Tom Friedman can write us piece to explain it all.

Sincerely Yours

Kenton W. Stephens

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We think you are wrong on this one.
Cynthia & Kevin Green

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Dear Consortium news,

Thank you for finally taking the final "leap," calling
for Bush and his entire cabal of thugs to be arrested
and put on trial for war crimes. Likewise, arrest the
propagandists like Friedman, who whipped up the war
frenzy.

The sooner we all realize we are dealing with the US
equvialent of the Nazis the better. It is time to stop
mincing words. The gang in power in Washington are
outlaws, who do what they please, how they please.
They have violated so many laws, lawyers and judges
might spend the rest of their lives dealing with the
multitude of charges.

If the US people are not capable of coming to terms
with the fact they elected criminals, then there is
little hope that democracy can ever be restored in the
USA. And heaven help us if the likes of Hilary "I love
war" Clinton is nominated, much less elected. She is a
despicable opportunist. If that is the best the
so-called Democrats can offer, we are truly doomed.

Keep up the good work. And don't hold back.

Charlie Kaften

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A hearty and appreciative "THANK YOU!" for your article, Thomas Friedman Should Resign" as posted at ConsortiumNews.com.

By the mid-1990s I was screeching and pulling my hair out over the daily lies and misreporting coming out of the Times.  Back then, only a very small handful of reporters and writers could see past the sins and wounds of the Clinton White House (many of those wounds self-inflicted by Bill and Hillary and Al Gore themselves), and realize that the Republican Party was running a coordinated, well financed witch hunt of not just the Clintons, but the entire Dem Party/Liberal agenda of the past decades.  At the time, Gene Lyons and Joe Conason (both writing, at least part-time, for Salon.com) were about the only writers continually pounding at the coordinated, tag-team style Republican jihad against the Clinton White House, what I call a "white-collar lynch mob."  (At that time, even Molly Ivins maintained that the Repubs were just being "good ol' boys doing the good ol' boy thing.")

Clinton should certainly have known of the vitriol the right-wing held against Democrats for the Nixon Watergate impeachment process, even if he was a tad too optimistic and cheerful to understand the depths of Deep South right-wing hatred for his support of the Civil Rights legacy.  Lyons and Conason would go on to write their book, "The Hunting of the President," which details, documents, and footnotes the reams of atrocious reporting coming out of the Times against the Clinton White House.  For example, with the active collusion of the NY Times and Washington Post, Repubs were able to turn NON-scandal issues like White House sleepovers (aka "the Lincoln bedroom scandal"), "Travelgate" (aka "the Democrat president is NOT entitled to do what every other American is entitled to do - fire his travel agents and get new ones"), and, ultimately "White House Trashing scandal" (without A SINGLE PHOTOGRAPH OF EVIDENCE, this "scandal" was trumpeted on front pages of Post, Times, and major network news for weeks if not months) into not just scandals, BUT CRIMES!

Clearly, we do not have a functioning democracy if the Opposition Party can be CRIMINALIZED so easily by the dominant party, which is indeed the Karl Rove/George Bush/Dick Cheney playbook for the past 3 national elections.  (Thanks to clueless, hapless, and indecisive Dem. candidates and leaders such as Al Gore, Tom Daschle, Joe Lieberman (both Daschle and Lieberman short-sheeted the Dem. 2002 midterm campaign by letting Enron off the hook in the Senate investigation into Enron fraud), and John Kerry.)


As anyone with an ounce of "step back and let's look at the facts" dispassion must realize, Bill Clinton's great sin was not that he was a womanizer or liar or adulterer (indeed, Clinton was an outright piker in all those categories compared to Right-Wing icon and former presidential candidate Strom Thurmond, who REALLY DID grope women, and who really did father a Black child...  out of a statutory rape of his family's underage female maid, at that!), no, Bill Clinton's great sin was that he supported the CIVIL RIGHTS and VOTING RIGHTS agenda of the 1960s, the anti-segregation policies that drove the Deep South to furies of madness for all the decades since the Civil War. 

(And, indeed, the ONLY reasons America was able to enact those Civil Rights bills was because Lyndon Johnson was a legislative genius from the Deep South, who skillfully and effectively, with the help of the Kennedy family, created the image of John F. Kennedy as a fallen martyr to democracy and justice in America.  Without Johnson's legislative skills, his effective arm-twisting, and the effective use of Kennedy's iconic martyrdom - 'the myth of Camelot' - the Civil Rights and Voting Rights bills might never have passed the Southern filibuster in 1964.)

Unfortunately, Senator Joe Lieberman and the New York Times are the new icons of that democratic progress and civil- and voting-rights era BETRAYED.   The Times, it must be realized, was THE MEGAPHONE for the Republican "get Clinton!' jihad, which finally morphed into impeachment when Ken Starr was hounded out of resigning from his 'Independent Counsel" commission (by rabid righties who went foaming mad at the prospect of Starr resigning) and morphed his "Whitewater" financial investigation into his peeping-tom "Monica - Did She, or Didn't She?" investigation.  (Which, not incidentally, put more FBI agents on interrogating women about their sex lives, than the FBI put on investigating Al Qaida terrorism.  That, and Republicans shouting "WAG THE DOG!" when Clinton sent cruise missiles against bin Laden in Afghanistan, demonstrates that Repubs have long paid more attention to destroying their American political opponents, than to concern for America's security overseas and at home.  Just as Chaing Kai Shek placed more attention on killing his Communist rivals, than he did on fighting the Japanese conquest of China.)

For example, the Times allowed William Safire to pen his venomous columns for years, including his infamous "Hillary is a Congenital Liar" column, which the Times headlined thus, and his "Indictments [against the Clintons] Will be Handed Down this Week" column, both of which should have been quashed by diligent Times editors.  But perhaps Safire's (and thus the Times') most infamous op-ed was the one where he called for PUNISHMENT against the entire town of Fallujah, for the murder of 4 American mercenaries in that city, mercenaries who went well ahead of the US military by entering that city without support or backup, where they were shot while in their SUV, then had their bodies strung up on a bridge.  The US response to that killing(s) is, stripped of frills, unmistakable: we did to Fallujah what the Luftwaffe did to Guernica at Franco's behest.  Pounded it from the air to a rubble.  AT THE BEHEST OF William Safire AND the NEW YORK TIMES.

IF I had better web-skills, I would dedicate a site to the New York Times' pathological BETRAYAL of democracy in America, and, ergo, America's national security.  The idiots of the Times truly believe that creating Guernicas (Fallujahs, Baghdads, Afghanistan narco-regions, and now Beirut bomb-blasted suburbs) is how to win the "War on Terra," when, again, anyone with an ounce of dispassionate distance would recognize that the Bush administration, which botched the pre-9/11 warnings and botched the Afghanistan occupation and ran Kangaroo courts for female volunteer privates for "abuse" while promoting the Torture Generals, is/are hardly proficient at stopping terror attacks on Americans. 

Tom Freidman is the least repulsive neo-con chickenhawk in the NYT stable, but as David Sirota has noted, Friedman has reflexively supported Free Trade agreements in the past, even though he admits that he hasn't even read the treaty he was supporting!  And Sirota also documents Friedman's arrogance at pushing "Export American jobs, industry, technology, and cash" agenda, as he reaps huge rewards for writing his BS column that is adding to the destruction of a productive America.

In short, Friedman and the New York Times (with the exception of Krugman and Frank Rich, and to a lesser extent Herbert and Dowd) actively promote an agenda that betrays America as we know it - the America we know and love, a country of high wages, good education, science, industry, inquiry - in favor of a third-world banana republic agenda.  (Throughout South America, fully one-half of the population - OVER 1/2 of the population - subsists on less than $200 a month, and that is clearly the ideal of the right-wing of the Bush-Republican Party.) 

(To get the full flavor how the Jewish neo-cons are now fully allied with the Southern neo-Confederats, Michael Lind's book "Made in Texas: George W. Bush and the Southern Takeover of American Politics" is not only indispensable, but I consider it to be the most important book in America this decade, with your "Secrecy and Privilge" second, Paul Waldham's "Fraud" third, and anything about the Repub. S&L "Looting of America" #4.)

The NY Times is SILENT as church-mice as  the Christianist right-wing tries to criminalize abortion, tries to ban evolution from high school science textbooks, and tries to demolish the wall between church and state.  The Times has been SILENT in calling for the prosecution of Enron fraud, Katrina FEMA fraud and incompetence, Dick Cheney's ongoing financial ties to Halliburton (and the gross Halliburton fraud and no bid/no oversight contracts), and George W. Bush's financial ties to the Saudis and other Arab sheiks (e.g., Dubai PortsWorld assuming control of major American ports.)  And, the New York Times can hardly be accused of aggressively pushing or investigating the CONNECTIONS between the Bush White House and Enron, Tom DeLay, Jack Abramoff, and Duke Cunningham, and Jeff Ganon CORRUPTION.  (The same could be said about the cowering DLC Senate Democrats).  (How was it that Jeff Ganon recieved a Secret Service pass, and spent late hours in the White House long after the press corps had departed, despite his up-and-running male prostitution web site?) 

On each and every one of these major, vital issues, the Times (and Post) COULD earn a Pulitzer prize or two or three aggressively documenting Bush admin. corruption and fraud.  Yet they, the Times and Post, refuse to do so.  They would clearly prefer to talk about Monica's stained dress, take dictation from Ken Starr, and applaud Strom Thurmond's Dixiecrat legacy, than continue the good fight for freedom, democracy, and an informed American electorate.

Demanding that Thomas Friedman be held accountable for his own arrogance, shoddy reporting, and double standards should be just the beginning of the Times' facing the responsibility for their negligent, awful, and misleading 'journalism.' 

Thanks again for your efforts at holding Mr. Friedman responsible for the arrogant misinformation of his column.

Sincerely,
Lawrence BK

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Consortium News:

When will full economic sanctions be levied against Israel?

When will the Geneva Accords be enforced in the Middle East? Against each
and every country which has violated them.

When will previous UN Security Council Resolutions regarding the Middle
East and the establishment of a Palestinian state by the year 2005 be
upheld and enforced?

When will the US be held accountable for violating its own laws and
providing weapons used to murder civilians?

Why is the Vatican the only voice of reason being heard regarding peace in
the Middle East and not any other Christian or Muslim or Jewish groups of
clergy and followers? Is this a media manipulation or a lack of
responsibility of major religious groups refusing, like hostile adolescent
gang members, to work together for international peace?

Where are the pro-Israeli Democrats when we really need Americans in
Congress? Why is it okay for them to be pro-Israeli first and then,
possibly American second?

When will Christians in America stand up to the evangelicals and
fundamentalists who call all other Christians false Christians, belonging
to fake churches and point them out for being Christo-fascists who are
highly judgmental, hatemongering, warmongering and Islamic hating bullies
and cowards driving the US Holy Crusade against Islam while the US is
really making a desperate grab for oil which the rest of the world has
complicitly agreed to allow because we have some of the worlds greatest
salesmen babbling on about democracy, in the same manner used to commit
genocide against Native Americans in the names of democracy and Christ?

Evangelical and fundamentalist American Christians are evangelical and
fundamentalist first, then possibly, on highly select occasions, American,
primarily if the issue has to do with protecting fetuses, preventing
abortions, or murdering Muslims. Why is this blessed by both Americans and
the rest of the world while Islamists who are Muslim first are cursed and
condemned?

Sincerely,
Jim Reed


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