Those Bigots at the New York Times

Blame-America-First liberals blame America for Filipino disaster.

For anyone even slightly to the right, the New York Times has long stood for the utmost in elitist, arrogant, self-righteous, anti-conservative bigotry.  Times reporting exudes far-left liberalism as naturally as breathing.  On those rare occasions that a conservative individual or policy is mentioned in the Times, it's done with the journalistic equivalent of holding a dead rat at arms length with a pair of fireplace-tongs.

Because, at its core, conservatism is really traditional American constitutionalism, conservatives often interpret the Times' bias as being anti-American.  Understandably enough, the denizens at the Times furiously reject this charge, often claiming that they stand up for the finest American tradition of protest - after all, isn't the purpose of journalism to speak truth to power?  Indeed they do - but only when it's a Republican making a mistake, or doing something which the Times dislikes.

Enough about the editorial page.  The true perspective of Times writers comes through when they're writing about something else which has nothing whatsoever to do with American politics.  In a recent article on the horrific results of the recent monster typhoon in the Philippines, the Times has finally laid the debate to rest:

The Philippines is a former Spanish possession and then was an American possession, and any suggestion that it needs to rely on foreign forces can be an emotional issue here. Mr. Romualdez disagreed with Mr. Yaokasin on the need for security forces from outside the Philippines, saying that, “right now, that won’t be necessary.”

This section of the article is talking about politics in the Philippines.  As an independent country formely an American possession, Filipino politicians have an all-too-human prickliness about asking for help from their former colonial overlords.  Yet, the Philippines is not a superpower and its military is limited, especially when the entire country has been trashed by a storm of historic proportions.

Should the Philippines ask for help from foreign countries, particularly the United States?  The Filipinos desperately don't want to, but on the other hand, whole cities have been flattened, people are dying of starvation and disease, and lawless anarchy is spreading.

Why the lawless anarchy?  The Times has the answer:

The Philippines has one of the world’s most heavily armed civilian populations, few effective gun control regulations and a tradition of violence being used in personal disputes, legacies of being an American possession before World War II.

So Filipino criminality and violence are the fault of American culture?  America ran the place for 48 years; the Spanish did for centuries.  In fact, the Philippines have been an independent country for 65 years, half again as long as they belonged to us.

Yet our Second Amendment is to blame for the problems there?  Only a dyed-in-the-wool anti-American could ever even imagine such a thing, much less put it on paper in the middle of a totally unrelated article as a bland statement of fact.

Especially when the very next paragraph puts the logical lie to this bizarre accusation:

Service station owners are refusing to start pumping fuel from their underground storage tanks for fear that they will be robbed by desperate people, Mr. Yaokasin and Mr. Romualdez each said separately. The result has been the virtually complete disappearance of gasoline and diesel at any price, immobilizing aid vehicles and private cars alike. Scavengers have already combed over the large numbers of vehicles crushed, overturned or otherwise damaged during the typhoon, siphoning fuel from them.

Think about it for a minute.  By definition, a Filipino service station owner is rich - OK, not Bill Gates rich, but by the standards of a third-world country, definitely in the 1%.  They have to be; gasoline isn't cheap and the next tankfull must be paid for at delivery.

If, as the Times suggests, the place is crawling with guns, wouldn't the gas tation guy have enough money to hire some?  How hard would it be for the service station owner to spread around a few simoleons and equip his locations with a half-dozen guys wielding AK-47s?  Business could be conducted under to watchful eye of private security.

In fact, a little private security would help matters immensely.  Those in need of fuel would be able to buy it.  Yes, the price would be inflated,  but that's because no doubt getting in a refill truck under the current circumstances will be extremely troublesome and costly, involving still more guys with guns to make sure it gets through.

Isn't it better to have expensive fuel than none at all?  Isn't it better to have private security than none at all?  If guns were everywhere as the Times claims, doesn't it seem probable that the rich folks will have the best and the most, or at least be able to round up as many as they think they need?

In keeping with their big-government philosophy, the Times believes that government must have a monopoly on force even in emergency situations when there is no functioning government.  When the choice is between taking personal action to improve your situation or to die sitting on your backside waiting for government help that isn't coming, for the Times, that's no choice at all, the first option doesn't even occur to them.

Of course, it's all the fault of the United States, ten thousand miles away.  Who knew the Times had such overweening faith in the omnipotent nature of the America they so loathe?

Update: Apparently someone at the Times realized it was a bad idea for them to open their bathrobe so completely.  The article has been totally scrubbed from their web site.  Fortunately, that doesn't work on the Internet: here are some other links that repeat the relevant sections of the article and attribute it to the Times.

Read other articles by Hobbes or other articles on Foreign Affairs.
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