News and Commentary

NY Times Publishes Op-Ed By Afghan Terrorist Leader. Even Their Own Correspondent Roasts Them.
The New York Times building in the west side of Midtown Manhattan.
Photo by Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

On Thursday, The New York Times, which in the past refused to print an op-ed by former senator John McCain in 2008 when he was running for president of the United States, published an op-ed written by the deputy leader of the Taliban who is the chief of the Haqqani network, a U.S.-designated terror group responsible for the savage murder of hundreds of people in Afghanistan. That provoked an outcry from many people familiar with the group’s bloody history and the massacres it has committed.

In the op-ed, titled “What We, the Taliban, Want,” Sirajuddin Haqqani wrote, “The long war has exacted a terrible cost from everyone. We thought it unwise to dismiss any potential opportunity for peace no matter how meager the prospects of its success. For more than four decades, precious Afghan lives have been lost every day. Everyone has lost somebody they loved. Everyone is tired of war. I am convinced that the killing and the maiming must stop.”

Even The New York Times’ Afghanistan correspondent Mujib Mashal was furious about his paper publishing the op-ed, writing on Twitter, “’The piece by Siraj Haqqani in @nytopinion – which’s independent of our news operations & judgment – omits the most fundamental fact: that Siraj is no Taliban peace-maker as he paints himself, that he’s behind some of most ruthless attacks of this war with many civilian lives lost.”

He then linked to a number of articles describing the carnage inflicted by Haqqani and his network:

Mashal was echoed by many others:

Yet The New York Times refused to print McCain’s op-ed in 2008, despite the fact they had run an op-ed by Barack Obama about his plans for Afghanistan only days before. As The Los Angeles Daily News (via AP) reported in 2008:

The New York Times defended its decision not to publish an op-ed article as submitted by Republican John McCain about the Iraq war on grounds it customarily reviews such pieces with the author. McCain’s presidential campaign submitted the op-ed Friday. In it, the Arizona senator describes how the buildup of U.S. forces in Iraq has helped curb violence. He also chides Democratic rival Barack Obama for outlining his plan for Iraq before his current meetings there with commanders and Iraqi leaders.

In an e-mail to the campaign Friday, David Shipley, an op-ed editor at the newspaper, said he could not accept the piece in its current form, but would look at another version. In the e-mail, released by McCain’s campaign, Shipley wrote that McCain’s article would “have to lay out a clear plan for achieving victory – with troops levels, timetables and measures for compelling the Iraqis to cooperate. And it would need to describe the senator’s Afghanistan strategy, spelling out how it meshes with his Iraq plan.”

Commenting Monday on the Times’ request, McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said, “John McCain believes that victory in Iraq must be based on conditions on the ground, not arbitrary timetables. Unlike Barack Obama, that position will not change based on politics or the demands of The New York Times.” 

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  NY Times Publishes Op-Ed By Afghan Terrorist Leader. Even Their Own Correspondent Roasts Them.