The former New York Times chief editor, Bill Keller, now a weak weekly columnist there, has polluted the Internet with a rare blog post—apparently inspired by a crying jag after it became apparent yesterday Obama would fail to bomb the hell out of Syria this week.
This is the same Keller who proudly proclaimed himself a “reluctant hawk” over our invasion of Iraq, only apologized half-heartedly (and it seems to be a small heart to start with) in a famous “mini-culpa”, and stood behind Judy Miller far longer than seemingly morally possible. And now he’s throwing a tantrum because Obama is not bombing Syria by sundown.
A few months back Keller begged us all to “get over” Iraq—clearly, he had—and confront Syria.
I like this comment from a Keller reader in Maine:
This is not about a conflict between Obama (US) and Putin (Russia).
It’s about trying to get rid of chemical weapons in Syria or disarm then or something. If that can be done without further bloodshed that’s a win-win.
Yes, the Syrian conflict will continue, but we’ve decided that it’s too complicated and too opaque for us, or anyone, to intervene.
Come on Keller. The Cold War is over! If Putin (Russia) can accomplish what Obama said he wanted that’s great.
Then there’s a William Verek from California:
Dang. We were all led to believe that the need for a strike on Syria was to make it unlikely to use chemical weapons again because they are, you know, different in kind from conventional weapons like land mines, cluster munitions and white phosphorous (all of which are used by the U.S. and the ally it is most faithful to, Israel).
So now we may have accomplished what Obama said we were trying to accomplish and may have done so without blood being shed by the U.S. Why do you sound disappointed?
How could accomplishing our stated goals without war be a defeat? Either the stated motives weren’t the real motives or some people just want war.
Given all the hoopla about chemical weapons as the reason the U.S. had to attack, and the discounting of other motivations, such as to bring a quick end to what could be a horrific unending civil war that may put Al Qaeda in the drivers seat of a country with unlimited advanced shoulder-launched surface to air missiles, If Assad follows through in getting rid of his chemical weapons, it will be immeasurably more difficult to drum up a new excuse for intervening on the Israeli- and Saudi-supported side in the Syrian civil war.
Which could prove yet another painful lesson on the drawbacks of trying to lie the country into (yet another) war.
And from a Kevin Rothstein:
Mr. Keller sounds downright angry that we may not go to war after all.
Isn’t it a pity, Bill, how we try and try to get other people to kill for us, and don’t always succeed?
Keller was wrong on Iraq; he is danger of being two for two.
The Times, no doubt, will give the neoliberal war hawk a raise and promotion.
Greg Mitchell delves into public opinion on Syria.
My book on how Keller and others in the media gave us Iraq, So Wrong for So Long, now out in a new edition, and as e-book for first time.