Thursday, June 15, 2006

I read, among other things, Time magazine and the Economist on the plane, in that order. It was odd. I felt as if I switched from a conversation with Tony Danza to a conversation with Arnold Toynbee. They both covered the Zarqawi story, and how different the coverage was. But that is not surprising at all, unless you don't read the Economist, the best magazine there is. I know, I know: many American liberals don't read it because it has a conservative libertarian line; others avoid it because of the title. I don't read their editorials; just go to the articles. The quality of Time magazine is worse than ever; notice that they write a story on Iraq, say, and all those who are quoted, by name or anonymous, are US officials. I also noticed that US correspondents in Iraq, or many of them, being sequestered in the Green Zone, engage in fabrications and fibs. I am so sure of that. The Time magazine correspondent in Baghdad mentioned, matter of factly, that he interviewed a certain Abu Mara or Abu Batata, the "commander" of Al-Qa`idah in Iraq. I kid you not. I like you did not even know he was talking about. Since they don't know the language, and since they don't travel unless in a convoy of US troops (and their indispensable bevy of assistant, translators, chefs, body trainers, barbers, and bodyguards) they are now reduced to making things up. Economist's article on zarqawi was as usual careful and thoughtful, and not entirely based on blind loyalty to the US propaganda version.