The Washington Post's editorials on foreign policy issues have almost always been confrontational towards whatever country the United States government considers too disobedient. Even the Post's Op-Ed page is less predictable and servile than its editorials. Abandoning their duty to inform the public and hold the powerful accountable, the paper's hawkish editorial writers are no different from their counterparts in the ultraconservative Washington Times or the Soviet-era Pravda in Moscow.
Currently this servility is on display in a Post editorial on August 21, devoted to incriminating Iran based solely on unverified claims by the Pentagon that Iran is murdering U.S. soldiers in Iraq. Buttressing the White House's declared intention to list Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist group, The Washington Post flatly states, with no supporting evidence, that IRGC "is waging war against the United States and trying to kill as many American soldiers as possible."
The speculation is contradicted by the Post's own coverage less than a year ago. In a dispatch from southern Iraq titled "British Find No Evidence Of Arms Traffic From Iran," the paper's staff writer Ellen Knickmeyer reported last October 4:
"A few hundred British troops living out of nothing more than their cut-down Land Rovers and light armored vehicles have taken to the desert in the start of what British officers said would be months of patrols aimed at finding the illicit weapons trafficking from Iran, or any sign of it.... [After two months, they have] found nothing to support the Americans' contention that Iran is providing weapons and training in Iraq, several senior military officials said."
Following Israel's devastation of Lebanon in the summer of 2006, the Post similarly urged the Bush administration twice to "get tough" with Iran, which it blamed for sponsoring terrorism in Lebanon.
The Post's unquestioning service to empire is all too familiar. Back in the 1980s, the paper made a habit of playing stenographer to the Reagan administration as it justified its murderous intervention in Central America. Reagan falsely claimed that the US had to train and arm the despicable Contra rebel army against Nicaragua because the country's leadership was channeling Soviet weapons to neighboring El Salvador in a bid to destabilize U.S. client states in the entire region. The Washington Post editorial writers never wavered from that fabricated line, not even when they feigned outrage at the scandalous Iran-Contra scheme by Reagan's subordinates to fund the war on Nicaragua in violation of a Congressional ban.
Similarly, the Post never questioned Reagan's full support for the fanatic Saudis and Pakistanis who fought the Soviet occupiers in Afghanistan in the name of freedom for Islam. It was those very evil forces who later regrouped as al-Qaeda to exact revenge on the American "infidels" on September 11, 2001.
One would expect an independent major
newspaper like The Washington Post to remind the Bush administration
that Iran was a victim of Taleban terrorism and made common cause with the U.S.
as Washington overthrew the Afghan government that harbored the perpetrators of
the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Instead, the paper supports the Bush
administration's newly announced multi-billion dollar weapons shipments to Saudi
Arabia, whose ruling elite notoriously supports anti-American extremists. That
despite the well-known fact that Saudi funds and jihadis are strengthening the
Sunni fighters in Iraq who kill American troops daily. The Post editorial
writers believe, as does the White House, that the massive arms buildup, and the
material support Washington is (according to Seymour Hersch) giving to Sunni
extremist groups in Lebanon, are necessary to contain Iran. A more twisted
editorial logic is hard to imagine. Apparently, cutting one's nose to spite
one's face is considered professional journalism at The Washington
Editor's note: Rostam Pourzal is the President of CASMII US.