The New York Times, the Holodomor, the Holocaust, and the Biden Doctrine
When it comes to being shameless, the New York Times is without equal. Not only did it bury the Jewish Holocaust, but its man in Moscow, Walter Duranty, also managed to cover up the Ukrainian Holocaust, known as the Holodomor. Between 1932 and 1933, Stalin starved millions of Ukrainians to increase the standard of living of the urban proletariat and push Russia's industrialization. While Ukraine starved, Russia exported wheat.
For his reporting on the Soviet Union, Duranty received a Pulitzer Prize, one, which in view of events that Duranty concealed, the Times should have returned.
When Israel captured Adolf Eichmann, the Times demanded that Eichmann be tried in Germany, not Israel.
The Times avoided the Jewish Holocaust because its Jewish owners were paranoid about being viewed as giving special pleading for Jews. No consideration was given that maybe six million Jews and millions of Ukrainians before them required pleading on the basis that they were real human beings. In 1996, more than a half-century later, the Times acknowledged that criticism of its coverage of the Holocaust was valid.
Both the Times and the Pulitzer Committee have been far and away less forthcoming about Duranty's cover-up of the Holodomor. Despite Ukrainian organizations and scholars demanding that the Pulitzer be rescinded, the Times has ignored them.
Although its owners are no longer Jewish, the Times is still paranoid about Jews and Israel. Its anti-Israel biases have been the target of the organization known as CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis). CAMERA has taken to posting billboard ads to confront the Times about its alacrity to join the side of terrorists fighting Israel. In the latest war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, the Times refused to acknowledge that a substantial number of civilians killed in Gaza were casualties from Hamas's rockets that misfired.
Despite its controversial history, the Times is still one of the world's most influential newspapers.
With a readership comprising true believers, the truth is what the Times tells them it is. So it is not surprising that in the wake of the catastrophe in Afghanistan, the Times would tell its readers that they did not understand what they saw on their television screens and computer monitors. There really was not just a debacle at the Kabul airport, but the incipient phase of what is to be heralded as the Biden Doctrine.
"From the chaotic finale in Afghanistan, a Biden Doctrine is emerging: a policy that avoids forever wars and nation-building, while uniting allies against authoritarian powers," the Times' chief White House correspondent, Peter Baker, wrote on Twitter Sunday.
Baker was referencing a piece by his colleagues on Biden's insightful foreign policy and the Times' would-be neologism, "the Biden Doctrine."
Even progressives, however, have their limits and can see drivel when it contradicts their reality. The pushback from readers was as harsh as it was appropriate. "Uniting allies" set off a maelstrom in the face of the British Parliament publicly condemning Biden for the disaster at Kabul and not notifying them of the pullout from Bagram Airbase, a secure facility that would have enhanced the efficiency of the evacuation. Similar condemnation came from our other NATO allies, and Times readers were not hesitant to point that out, as well as that our pullout has resulted in the installation of a brutal, authoritarian — some might say totalitarian — government that will enforce a radical interpretation of a 7th-century ideology on the Afghan people.
If this was the new role of America in the world, it was contemptible at best and insane at worst. Our current adversaries, and future enemies, are benefiting greatly from our debacle in Afghanistan.
The reality is that not even the Times can spin the catastrophe in Afghanistan as something other than it is: one of the worst policy disasters of the last one hundred years. To recast it in glowing terms will not convince even the Times' loyal readers. It is, however, in keeping with the Times' ability to distort and conceal history.
Abraham H. Miller is an emeritus professor, University of Cincinnati.
Image: New York Times.
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