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Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Unfortunately, the editorial board at the NY Times doesn't read the columns in their own paper.

First, Nicholas Kristof, in probably his best column in over a year, compares today's Bush-made Iraq crisis to a similar situation in 1956. Then, Israel, France and Britain wanted to invade Egypt to protect the Suez Canal from Egypt's leader, Gamel Abdel Nasser. U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower, no chickenhawk he, stepped in, much as Chirac and Putin are trying to do now, to prevent an unjust and unnecessary war. Kristof writes:

European leaders were determined not to appease this "Hitler on the Nile." France, Israel and Britain conspired to invade Egypt and oust Nasser. "It was too risky to allow this adventurer, this miniature Hitler, to develop," Prime Minister Guy Mollet of France later told Nasser's biographer Jean Lacouture.

Ike was outraged and did to the Europeans what they are trying to do to us now: He forced the invaders to retreat and solve the crisis peacefully. "The United States is committed to a peaceful solution," he declared.

Thank God for Ike. If the hawks had been running the show then, we might still have troops in Egypt.

Next, Paul Krugman points out how the failure to keep promises, along with plenty of outright lying, has cost the Bush administration the trust of most of the world:

Consider the astonishing fact that Vicente Fox, president of Mexico, appears unwilling to cast his U.N. Security Council vote in America's favor. Given Mexico's close economic ties to the United States, and Mr. Fox's onetime personal relationship with Mr. Bush, Mexico should have been more or less automatically in America's column. But the Mexican president feels betrayed. He took the politically risky step of aligning himself closely with Mr. Bush a boost to Republican efforts to woo Hispanic voters in return for promised reforms that would legalize the status of undocumented immigrants. The administration never acted on those reforms, and Mr. Fox is in no mood to do Mr. Bush any more favors.

Mr. Fox is not alone. In fact, I can't think of anyone other than the hard right and corporate lobbyists who has done a deal with Mr. Bush and not come away feeling betrayed. New York's elected representatives stood side by side with him a few days after Sept. 11 in return for a promise of generous aid. A few months later, as they started to question the administration's commitment, the budget director, Mitch Daniels, accused them of "money-grubbing games." Firefighters and policemen applauded Mr. Bush's promise, more than a year ago, of $3.5 billion for "first responders"; so far, not a penny has been delivered.
Then there's the honesty thing.

Mr. Bush's mendacity on economic matters was obvious even during the 2000 election. But lately it has reached almost pathological levels. Last week Mr. Bush who has been having a hard time getting reputable economists to endorse his economic plan claimed an endorsement from the latest Blue Chip survey of business economists. "I don't know what he was citing," declared the puzzled author of that report, which said no such thing.

But, to put a damper on the whole thing, the Times main editorial ignores all of the belligerency and lies that Kristof and Krugman point out and supports the US-British resolution which is practically a declaration of war (funny, I thought Congress was supposed to declare war for the US, not Tony Blair). The editorial could have been written by Ari Fleischer or Karl Rove, and probably was.