“First comes the missionary, then the soldier,” was an old maxim borne out by the bitter experience of a century of bloody colonial conquest in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
The missionaries are still at it, particularly in lands where souls can be bought most cheaply, but they hardly play the role allotted to them in the 19th century. A more modern version of this same epigram—better suited to the ongoing militarist drive by US imperialism for global domination—might substitute for missionary, “the man from the Times.”
From the wars of aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan to the proxy war for regime change in Syria and the fascist-spearheaded coup in Ukraine, theNew York Times has dispatched its correspondents to produce the propaganda—in all of these cases involving fabrications and outright lies—needed by Washington to justify its predatory policies.
In Iraq, America’s so-called “newspaper of record” was an invaluable partner of the Bush administration in dragging the American people into a criminal war of aggression that claimed the lives of roughly a million Iraqis, killed nearly 4,500 US troops and left an entire society in a state of devastation.
The Times senior correspondent at the time, Judith Miller, used her intimate connections with US military and intelligence sources to promote and embellish upon the administration’s lies about Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction,” using the newspaper’s erstwhile liberal credentials to lend them greater credibility.