Mosul: Press Picks Its Targets


Tuesday’s deadly explosion at a U.S. mess tent in Mosul, which left around 20 people dead, had New York’s dailies showing their true colors on Wednesday.

The New York Times devoted a lengthy editorial to the attack, depicting the Mosul strike and other recent violence as “stark evidence that with a crucial election now less than six weeks away, America’s effort to bring into being a new Iraqi government representing all major population groups and capable of defending itself and its citizens still has a very long way to go.” The Times’ 1,180-word leader makes only passing reference to the guys who died Tuesday. In its news coverage, the Times asks the “Is GWB the next LBJ?” question, probing whether the continuing crisis in Iraq will derail Dubya’s domestic agenda as Vietnam hamstrung Lyndon’s Great Society.

The Post‘s coverage hails the slain GIs as “liberators,” dubs the attackers “monsters,” and catalogs “Bush’s Sorrow.” The Post‘s editorial page hailed the sacrifices of America’s troops and, of course, said Bush has been the “Rock of Gibraltar” on Iraq. (Mosul ranks No. 2 on the Post‘s editorial page; an admiration of Bernhard Goetz gets the top slot. Of course.)

The Daily News’ edit page adopts the “last gasp” argument: that this attack marks a desperate bid by terrorists who know their time is about up. “When elections come off as scheduled Jan. 30 . . . the outlaws will have lost their gangster game,” the News cries. Sure, the Pentagon has been labeling the insurgents “dead enders” since the first days of the U.S. occupation 20 months ago, but now that the militants are killing scores of people daily, they must really be desperate.

And finally, picking out its own angle, the New York Sun‘s editorial page observes the carnage in Mosul and proclaims . . . that it’s time for Democrats to stop bashing Halliburton.

Of course.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 22, 2004

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