Jan
09
2013

A Cabinet of Peaceniks?

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It goes to show you how limited the debate over warmaking is when politicians whose records are mostly pro-war can be portrayed as war skeptics. That's what is happening with Barack Obama's new cabinet picks: Sen. John Kerry for secretary of State and former Sen. Chuck Hagel as Defense secretary.

Jan
07
2013

Chuck Hagel, Dove?

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Barack Obama nominated Republican ex-Senator Chuck Hagel to be his next Defense secretary today. The story can seem a little bit confusing–often because of misleading recaps of Hagel's career, which can make him sound like more like Dennis Kucinich than like the Republican who voted in favor of the Iraq War.

Sep
28
2012

NYT and Professor Netanyahu

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At his United Nations address yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held up a cartoonish drawing of a bomb, an odd way to illustrate the supposed existential threat posed by Iran's nuclear program. People quickly posted parody versions of the bomb. But not everyone joined in the fun. Take a look at the New York Times (9/28/12), where Rick Gladstone and David Sanger wrote this: With an almost professorial air, Mr. Netanyahu held up a diagram of a bomb with a fuse to show the Israeli view of Iran's progress in achieving the ability to make a nuclear weapon. He drew a […]

Aug
31
2012

Burying the Most Important News on Iran's Nuclear Program?

The release of a new International Atomic Energy Agency report on Iran was greeted as an ominous development by some major outlets. But are they playing down what could be the most important news in the report? The IAEA's latest made it to the New York Times (8/30/12) under the headline, "Inspectors Confirm New Work by Iran at Secure Nuclear Site." Reporters David Sanger and William Broad write: Iran has installed three-quarters of the nuclear centrifuges it needs to complete a site deep underground for the production of nuclear fuel, international inspectors reported Thursday, a finding that led the White […]

Jul
03
2012

Getting Iran Sanctions Wrong

Much of the media analysis of Iran at the moment dwells on the punitive economic sanctions targeting Iran's economy. An additional round of more restrictive sanctions took effect at the beginning of this month, drawing renewed attention from the press. The clear message from that media coverage is this: If Iran were to come clean about its nuclear program, they could get relief from the sanctions that are starting to wreak serious havoc on the country's economy. That is one of the primary assumptions in the coverage of the Iran crisis. But is it correct? Mostly not. Here's the New […]

Jun
01
2012

Cyberwar Is War, White House Said—but NYT Didn't Notice

For the second time this week, the New York Times has published a revealing report on a secret, legally questionable Obama administration program, but failed to include independent legal analysis of the controversial program. Tuesday's Times report on the White House's drone assassination program included no critical analysis of the thorny legal issues raised by the program. Surely independent legal experts would have something to say about the  program at large, but particularly about such details as the White House's bizarre definition  that counts any military-aged male found in the vicinity of a bombing target as a combatant, and thus […]

Apr
27
2011

NYT Explains–But Doesn't Name–U.S. Terrorism

Today the New York Times describes the state of the war in Libya: WASHINGTON – NATO plans to step up attacks on the palaces, headquarters and communications centers that Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi uses to maintain his grip on power in Libya, according to Obama administration and allied officials. This "more energetic bombing campaign" included "a separate raid on Monday that temporarily knocked Libyan state television off the air." As the Times' Thom Shanker and David Sanger explain: Officials in Europe and Washington said the strikes were meant to reduce the Libyan government's ability to harm civilians by eliminating, link by […]

Mar
08
2011

Hawks vs. Hawks: Debating U.S. Military Intervention in Libya

The New York Times has a piece today (3/7/11) about the debate over U.S. military intervention in Libya. The paper reports that there are persistent voices–in Congress and even inside the administration–arguing that Mr. Obama is moving too slowly. Reporters David Sanger and Thom Shanker contend that there is too much concern about perceptions, and that the White House is too squeamish because of Iraq. And who are those persistent voices? The most vocal camp, led by senators John McCain, the 2008 Republican nominee for president, and Joseph I. Lieberman, the Connecticut independent and another hawk on Libyan intervention, say […]

Nov
12
2010

Some Problems With Germany's Sermon for Obama

The lead story in today's New York Times (1/12/10), written by Sewell Chan, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and David E. Sanger, focused on allies' complaints about Barack Obama's economic policies: There was no way to avoid discussion of the fundamental differences of economic strategy…. Major disputes broke out between Washington and China, Britain, Germany and Brazil. Each rejected core elements of Mr. Obama's strategy of stimulating growth before focusing on deficit reduction. Several major nations continued to accuse the Federal Reserve of deliberately devaluing the dollar last week in an effort to put the costs of America's competitive troubles on trading […]

May
22
2009

The Iranian Threat to Eastern Crete

The New York Times had a story yesterday (5/21/09) about the test of an Iranian missile "that was capable of striking Israel and parts of Western Europe." This was an important point in the article–reporters David E. Sanger and Nazila Fathi included it in their lead paragraph, and later listed it among "three technologies necessary to field an effective nuclear weapon": "The second is developing a missile capable of reaching Israel and parts of Western Europe, and now the country has several likely candidates." The article reported that the range of the missile is "believed to be more than 1,200 […]