NY Times Reporter: From 'Kennedy Milk' to Bush's Bombs in the Middle East

August 1st, 2006 1:07 PM

Middle East-based reporter Neil MacFarquhar appeared on the Charlie Rose show Monday night and made anti-Bush comments regarding Israel’s war against the terrorist group Hezbollah. (All quotes courtesy of Nexis).

When Rose asks MacFarquhar if the Israel-Hezbollah war had increased hatred of the United States among Arabs, MacFarquhar became disconsolate, regretting the U.S. was expediting its supplying of weaponry to Israel and longing for the innocent milkmen of the Kennedy years:

“You know, it just -- you saw those heart-rendering pictures in Qana yesterday after the Israeli air strike. And every one of the reports on the Arab satellite channels were saying, you know, this is American bombs that killed these children. And you know, I have lived in this region for a really long time, since I was a little boy, really. And if you talk to people my age, I’m in my mid-40s and who grew up in poor countries like Morocco, you know, they will tell you that when they went to school in the mornings, they used to get milk, and they called it Kennedy milk because it was the Americans that sent them milk. And in 40 years, we have gone from Kennedy milk to the Bush administration rushing bombs to this part of the world. And it just erodes and erodes and erodes America’s reputation.”

MacFarquhar must have missed it when the Bush administration increased aid to Morocco five-fold in 2004, not to mention the billions in aid money that have gone to Egypt and Jordan after those countries signed peace treaties with Israel.

Rose: "And how did the people that you know and your own experience tell you this is going to end?"

MacFarquhar talks like a native about “occupied Arab land” and blithely insists Israel will have to give up the territory it won in defensive wars, when it was fighting for its very existence against hostile Arab forces:

“That is kind of the scary thing that gives you a little knot in the pit of your stomach, is that people don`t really see, you know, a way out. Because both sides have kind of dug in. And the only diplomatic solution would come through American intervention, and the Americans don`t appear to be making a very forceful effort to establish a cease-fire. And you know, when you talk to people with long experience in this part of the world, basically they say the only way you are going to solve this problem is to, you know, go back to the basics of the Arab- Israeli dispute, you know, the occupied Arab land and how all that is going to be negotiated. And there just isn`t a plan. And of course, that is a very long-term prospect, so people don`t really see a short-term answer to how to bring this to a close.”

Perversely for a paper so supportive of the United Nations and international cooperation, MacFarquhar dismisses a U.N. resolution demanding the disarming of Hezbollah and takes Syria’s point of view:

“I think in the short term, they would just want assurances that the U.S. isn`t going to try and push over the government. You know, I mean the main thing is kind of regime survival. And I think they also feel like, you know, the U.N. Resolution 1559, which everyone is talking about, kind of push them out of Lebanon, and they feel like -- I don`t think they want to send their soldiers back there necessarily, but they do feel like there should be sort of some kind of natural condominium between Syria and Lebanon, because of history and geography and so forth. And ultimately, but you know, in the long term, they would also obviously like to get the Golan Heights back, which has been occupied since 1967.”

And just how did it come to be “occupied”? Since 1948 Syria had used the heights to launch terror attacks against Israeli civilians. Israel captured the strategic point during the Six-Day War launched by Arab nations to annihilate Israel.

For more examples of New York Times bias, visit TimesWatch.