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New York Times Style Debates

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New York Times Style Debates

NYT debates present one side only.

by Stephen Lendman

French moralist/essayist Joseph Joubert (1754 - 1824) said it's "better to debate a question without settling it than settle a question without debating it."

He wasn't alone. Debating is an ancient tradition. Socrates and Plato debated political, social, and other issues. The Socratic method involves opposing sides asking and answering questions.

Ideas are freely aired. Beliefs are challenged. Truths are sought. Critical thinking is stimulated. Opinions are formed. Conclusions are reached through free and open dialogue and discussion.

Debates should involve opposing sides given full opportunity to air views and challenge those of others. New York Times editors changed the rules.

Views contradicting state policy are prohibited. Constraints prevent truth and full disclosure. Public thinking and perceptions are manipulated and controlled. 

News and views are filtered. Acceptable residue only is reported. Dissent is marginalized. Government and corporate interests alone matter. Groupthink is sought. It manufactures consent and conformity despite contrary facts proving other conclusions.

On August 8, The Times headlined "How to End the War in Syria." Socratic dialogue was absent. Three similar views were aired.

Former Assistant Secretary of State/current RAND Corporation International Security and Defense Policy Center director James Dobbins headlined "Step Up Opposition Support."

RAND Corporation is a virtual shadow government. It supports militarism, imperial wars, and technocrat run world government. Its ideal world isn't fit to live in. Views Dobbins expresses shows why.

Addressing Syria earlier, he compared it to Gaddafi's Libya. In both countries, he said, "an aroused population" seeks ouster of a "long established dictator, and is being savagely repressed as a result."

America has much to gain from regime change, "even more in Syria than in Libya," he added.

On August 8, he repeated the same theme. He substituted Saddam's Iraq for Libya. He described Syria as "a country divided by religion and ethnicity, held together by a brutal regime that is drawn from a minority element of the population, which has, in turn, profited at the expense of the majority."

Equating Assad to Saddam or current regional despots is like calling hilly terrain Everest, Kilimanjaro, or McKinley. 

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.
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