The New York Times recently published an editorial lamenting the “shameful impunity of the Islamic State” and encouraging the United Nations Security Council to refer the group’s crimes to the International Criminal Court (I.C.C.). The editorial, titled “The Crimes of Terrorists” (4/2/2015), should more accurately be titled “The Crimes of the U.S. and Its Allies Should Go Unpunished.” In the last several months alone, the Times has repeatedly failed to condemn crimes by the U.S. government and its allies in Yemen, Iraq, Syria and the Palestinian territories.
That crimes should be punished is beyond dispute. Condemning the crimes of official enemies of the United States does not take particular moral or political courage. Whether it was the Soviet Union during the Cold War, the Taliban after 9/11, or Iraq before the 2003 invasion, a media organization would be hard pressed to find a less controversial editorial position.
What would take courage is opposition to the criminal actions of the U.S. government and governments and groups it aligns itself with. This is something the Times has failed to do for decades. You don’t have to go back in time to find multiple examples.