Nichols Countdown—10

local to 9
express to 7

The 9/11 Commission Report, issued in July, recommends that the U.S. “should offer an example of moral leadership in the world, committed to treat people humanely, abide by the rule of law…” It notes that “it is a simple fact that American policy regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and American actions in Iraq are dominant staples of popular commentary across the Arab and Muslim world” (Chapter 12.3 [.pdf]).

Now “a report by a Pentagon advisory panel…warns that no public relations plan or information operation can defend America from flawed policies” (NYT). The report states that “Muslims do not ‘hate our freedom,’ but rather, they hate our policies. The overwhelming majority voice their objections to what they see as one-sided support in favor of Israel and against Palestinian rights…” (page 40). “U.S. policies on Israeli-Palestinian issues and Iraq in 2003-2004 have damaged America’s credibility and power to persuade” (page 18). (It’s the Policy, Stupid!)

While some appear to be facing “simple facts,” others remain in a state of denial. Consider the case of John Nichols, Associate Editor of The Capital Times and Washington correspondent for The Nation. Nichols is a “progressive” bellwether, probably the most posted writer at Common Dreams.

It was Bush’s “shameless exploitation of the war on terror” that got him re-elected, Nichols feels. Well, gee, terrorism can’t be exploited if there isn’t any. Ergo, if the exploitation bothers one so much, one should address the causes of terrorism.

Nichols writes at least two columns a week for The Capital Times. So far this year, in 100 tries, he has yet to talk about US policy towards Israel/Palestine. Indeed, he has yet to mention “Israel.” Hence, the countdown, 100 columns down, ten to go.

In 2003, John proved himself to be the playful sort, ultimately mentioning “Israel” on December 30. I was doing the countdown by e-mail, maybe it was a mistake to include him on the circulation list. This time, no meddling, let history takes its course.