Why you can’t find William Blum in the New York Times

15 August 2007,  by george.salzman@umb.edu

this page is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/S2/2007-08-15.htm

      Tony Fresques is an American Indian of the Oglala-Lakota nation. When I arrived at Oglala Lakota College on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota at the start of the 1994-95 academic year ever-affable Tony was the Acting College President. One day he saw a pile of New York Times on a shelf next to my desk, smiled as he went by and greeted me with, “the newspaper for those who like to think they think.” Of course he was right. There I was in the Great Plains two thousand miles from Boston where, without an internet connection, my bulky copies of the Times came by mail a few days late.

      I knew the Times was not to be trusted, had known it for years by then, but still remained addicted. Very few people really know how to read the Times, and I’m not one of them. Obviously among those who are not misguided, to mention a very few, are folks like I.F. Stone in his day (Izzy said its articles should to be read backwards because any significant facts would be buried late in the article), Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, Greg Palast (I know I’m leaving out a good number of people in this group, e.g. Gore Vidal and Mummia Abu Jamal). William Blum is in that camp too. The Times doesn’t pull the wool over his eyes. None of these folks is in the Times’ stable of ideological misleaders, unlike e.g. Thomas L. Friedman. Why? Because each of them has a profound understanding of the social/political/economic reality in which the peoples of the world are being forced to live, and writes to expose that truth as much as possible. The commitment of the Times is to safeguard that terrible reality by preventing, as much as it can, the spread of that knowledge and understanding to ordinary people.

      Blum writes a monthly column that I never miss, and that never disappoints me. Thoughtful, informed, incisive, provocative, humorous, no wonder he’s not welcome at the self proclaimed ‘paper of record’. Here’s the beginning of his latest column:

The Anti-Empire Report
Read this or George W. Bush will be president the rest of your life

August 10, 2007
by William Blum

Separation of oil and state
On several occasions I’ve been presented with the argument that contrary to widespread opinion in the anti-war movement and on the left, oil was not really a factor in the the United States invasion and occupation of Iraq. The argument’s key, perhaps sole, point is that the oil companies did not push for the war.

Responding to only this particular point: firstly, the executives of multinational corporations are not in the habit of making public statements concerning vital issues of American foreign policy, either for or against. And we don’t know what the oil company executives said in private to high Washington officials, although we do know that such executives have a lot more access to such officials than you or I, like at Cheney’s secret gatherings. More importantly, we have to distinguish between oil as a fuel and oil as a political weapon.

A reading of the policy papers issued by the neo-conservatives since the demise of the Soviet Union makes it clear that these people will not tolerate any other country or group of countries challenging the global hegemony of the world’s only superpower. A sample — In 1992 they wrote: “We must maintain the mechanisms for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role.”[1] And in 2002, in the White House “National Security Strategy” paper: “Our forces will be strong enough to dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing a military build-up in hopes of surpassing, or equaling, the power of the United States. ... America will act against such emerging threats before they are fully formed. ... We must deter and defend against the threat before it is unleashed. ... We cannot let our enemies strike first. ... To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively.”

As the world has been learning in great sorrow, the neo-conservative world-dominators are not just (policy) paper tigers.

Japan and the European Union easily fall into the categories of potential competitors or potential adversaries, economically speaking.  . . .

      The entire column is at http://members.aol.com/bblum6/aer48.htm .

All comments and criticisms are welcome.  <george.salzman@umb.edu>

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Last update of this page: 15 August 2007