Monday, October 24, 2005

Frank Rich Utters the Words

Frank Rich is a Jewish gay op-ed writer for the NYT. He has made a remarkable switch from theater critic to political commentator making one wonder just what qualifies someone for that position.

Even though Rich has been against the war in Iraq, his background and audience make it nearly impossible for him to come to conclude that ethnic and emotional ties to Israel on the part of some in the Bush administration played a major factor in the decision to invade Iraq.

Rich can't say this because, as we have seen from many comments in this blog, some people think even if it were true such information might set of a "kristallnacht" in the United States. I mean, we all know that at any given time we are only one step away from the next holocaust here in the US, aren't we?

Knowing how close we are to the next holocaust, the US public is clearly not ready to hear anything about the well being of Israel being a factor in the decision to invade Iraq, even if such information is true.

Even with this understand, however, Rich's can't help himself in a recent op-ed and he blurts out (only parenthetically mind you) that securing the middle east for Israel was a motive to invade Iraq:

But here, too, was an impediment: there had to be that "why" for the invasion, the very why that today can seem so elusive that Mr. Packer calls Iraq "the 'Rashomon' of wars." Abstract (and highly debatable) neocon notions of marching to Baghdad to make the Middle East safe for democracy (and more secure for Israel and uninterrupted oil production) would never fly with American voters as a trigger for war or convince them that such a war was relevant to the fight against those who attacked us on 9/11. And though Americans knew Saddam was a despot and mass murderer, that in itself was also insufficient to ignite a popular groundswell for regime change. Polls in the summer of 2002 showed steadily declining support among Americans for going to war in Iraq, especially if we were to go it alone.


Of course he has to throw out the oil production and a "wag the dog" line of thinking as well, just to keep some squid ink in the mix. But, at least it is something.

3 Comments:

Anonymous David said...

"He has made a remarkable switch from theater critic to political commentator making one wonder just what qualifies someone for that position." :)


Another thing that always made me wonder is the paper's brazen choice of Thomas Friedman as Middle East columnist. Wouldn't common sense rule out from that post anyone who is on record saying--

"Israel was central to my life as it was to all my friends. ... Today I'm still emotionally involved in Israel."
http://www.forward.com/issues/2003/03.06.06/news3b.html

(Not ruled out from editorializing of course, but certainly from the position of official moderator of the paper's whole Middle East discussion.)


Hey wait a minute! Maybe both questions have the same answer! :)

10/24/2005 12:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...set OFF a..."

10/24/2005 01:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rich isn't gay. He's married to Alex Witchel (who is a woman). They have two kids. Other than that your facts seem okay.

10/24/2005 06:02:00 PM  

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