On Tuesday, the New York Times issued a tweet in which they labeled the attackers of the United States Embassy in Baghdad, who support the terrorist group Hezbollah, as “mourners,” triggering a flood of angry responses across social media. The Times also painted the scene unsympathetically toward the United States, referring to the “deadly airstrikes” the U.S. launched against the Iranian-backed groups stationed in Iraq, leaving out the preamble to the airstrikes: the attacks by Hezbollah forces on Iraqi bases that harbor American troops.
Hundreds of Iraqi mourners tried to storm the United States Embassy in Baghdad, shouting “Down, down USA!,” in response to deadly American airstrikes this week that killed 25 fighters https://t.co/jrAtON72eR
— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 31, 2019
On Sunday, the Department of Defense released a statement explaining the airstrikes, reading in part:
In response to repeated Kata’ib Hizbollah (KH) attacks on Iraqi bases that host Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) coalition forces, U.S. forces have conducted precision defensive strikes against five KH facilities in Iraq and Syria that will degrade KH’s ability to conduct future attacks against OIR coalition forces.
The five targets include three KH locations in Iraq and two in Syria. These locations included weapon storage facilities and command and control locations that KH uses to plan and execute attacks on OIR coalition forces. Recent KH strikes included a 30-plus rocket attack on an Iraqi base near Kirkuk that resulted in the death of a U.S. citizen and injured four U.S. service members and two members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF). KH has a strong linkage with Iran’s Quds Force and has repeatedly received lethal aid and other support from Iran that it has used to attack OIR coalition forces.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) had a succinct response to the Times’ tweet:
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) January 1, 2020
U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, reminding the Times of the cynical actions of the Obama Administration when they insisted a video was responsible for the 2012 Benghazi attack launched by terrorists in which four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens were murdered, stated bluntly, “Your ‘mourners’ must be upset about a video. But these attackers are Hezbollah supporters. Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. #fixthis@nytimes.”
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) December 31, 2019
Congressman Lee Zeldin echoed, “Iraqi ‘mourners?’ It’s like @JZarif has become the Managing Editor of the New York Times. These are Iranian backed terrorists attacking U.S. military personnel & diplomats shouting ‘Death to America’ as they try to break into the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad setting fires on the way.
It’s like @JZarif has become the Managing Editor of the New York Times.
These are Iranian backed terrorists attacking US military personnel & diplomats shouting “Death to America” as they try to break into the US Embassy in Baghdad setting fires on the way. https://t.co/plrUF4Giu0
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) December 31, 2019
Author Dinesh D’Souza added, “‘Mourners.’ It’s not hard to see which side the New York Times sympathizes with here.”
“Mourners.” It’s not hard to see which side the New York Times sympathizes with here https://t.co/kjcPW9XTd7
— Dinesh D'Souza (@DineshDSouza) December 31, 2019
The New York Times is not alone among mainstream media in trying to paint deadly opponents of the United States in sympathetic ways; after U.S. forces found and killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was responsible for terrorist murders around the globe and numerous beheadings, The Washington Post referred to him as an “austere religious scholar.” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned the Post, saying on “The Story with Martha MacCallum,” “They’ve lost their way, I must say. It was sick to do that. This is a man who’d killed hundreds … To suggest somehow that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was anything other than a murderous terrorist is truly sick.”