- Jonah Goldberg is the living, breathing embodiment of
virtually all that is pernicious in the malignant socioeconomic and political
structures collectively known as the American Empire. Yet tragically, this
scheming sycophant to the cynical, privileged criminals of the US plutocracy
reaches countless millions through myriad corporate media conduits as he
weaves his sophistic arguments supporting nearly every morally repulsive
aspect of United States foreign policy.
- Rising to his position amongst the US mainstream punditry
elite through vigorous and shameless self-promotion based on his mother's
involvement in the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, young Jonah quickly learned
our culture's ferocious appetite for the sordid, the lurid, and all that
validates our collective pathological narcissism euphemistically called
the American Dream. To this day, he skillfully crafts malevolent agitprop
to convince and reassure us here in the United States that it is our unconditional
right to murder, exploit, invade, and oppress as we preserve and advance
the "American Way."
- To get a sense of the extent of his reach and his penchant
for promoting himself, take a gander at the bio sketch he penned for himself.
(This appears at National Review Online):
- "Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review
Online for which he writes his thrice-weekly column "The Goldberg
File" and a contributing editor to National Review. Goldberg also
writes a nationally syndicated column distributed by <http://www.tms.tribune.com/>Tribune
Media Services, which appears often such newspapers as the Kansas City
Star, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Washington Times, the Orlando Sentinel,
San Francisco Chronicle, the Manchester Union Leader, and others. He also
writes a regular media criticism column for The American Enterprise magazine.
Mr. Goldberg was a contributing editor and columnist for the now-defunct
- Mr. Goldberg is also a CNN contributor and regular panelist
on Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer. He is an occasional guest-host on Crossfire
and has appeared on numerous television and radio programs.
- Since Mr. Goldberg became editor of National Review Online,
it rapidly become one of the dominant players in web journalism, earning
high praise from The Columbia Journalism Review, Vanity Fair, the New York
Times, the Washington Post, and The Christian Science Monitor. The New
York Press concluded that National Review Online is "by far the best
political online operation going today."
- Jonah Goldberg is a former television producer who has
credits in a wide range of productions. He was the senior producer of Think
Tank with Ben Wattenberg, the award-winning public-affairs program and
he has written and produced two PBS documentaries. Prior to his work in
television Mr. Goldberg was a researcher at the American Enterprise Institute
in Washington DC. An award-winning journalist, his writing has appeared
in The New Yorker, Worth, the Wall Street Journal, Commentary, The Public
Interest, The Wilson Quarterly, The Weekly Standard, the New York Post,
Reason, The Women's Quarterly, The New Criterion, Food and Wine, The Street.com,
- It is a tragic indictment of our so-called "Fourth
Estate" that an enabler of egregious war crimes enjoys such a massive
megaphone through which to shout his virulent lies.
- Consider this assessment of Goldberg by Professor Juan
Cole of the University of Michigan, a preeminent expert on the Middle East:
- "Extremist rightwing hawks like Jonah Goldberg used
their privileged position as pundits to terrify the US public that Iraq
was a threat to the US. He repeatedly said in the buildup to the war that
Iraq was a menace to the US, and he repeatedly brought up North Korea's
nuclear weapons as a reason for a preemptive attack on Iraq.
- Iraq never has had nuclear weapons. Iraq never has been
as close as two decades from having nuclear weapons. Iraq dismantled all
vestiges of its rudimentary and exploratory nuclear weapons research in
1991. Iraq did not have a nuclear weapons program in 1992, 1993 and all
the way until 2002, when Jonah Goldberg assured us Americans that we absolutely
had to invade Iraq to stop it from imminently becoming a nuclear power
just like North Korea.
- Jonah Goldberg is a fearmonger, a warmonger, and a demagogue.
And besides, he was just plain wrong about one of the more important foreign
policy issues to face the United States in the past half-century. It is
shameful that he dares show his face in public, much less continuing to
pontificate about his profound knowledge of just what Iraq is like and
what needs to be done about Iraq and the significance of events in Iraq."(1)
- *Now that we have some background on Jonah, let's subject
some of his writings to critical scrutiny:
- On 12/15/06, Goldberg opined in "Iraq Needs a Pinochet":
- "I think all intelligent, patriotic and informed
people can agree: It would be great if the U.S. could find an Iraqi Augusto
Pinochet. In fact, an Iraqi Pinochet would be even better than an Iraqi
- Now consider Chile. Gen. Pinochet seized a country coming
apart at the seams. He too clamped down on civil liberties and the press.
He too dispatched souls. Chile's official commission investigating his
dictatorship found that Pinochet had 3,197 bodies in his column; 87 percent
of them died in the two-week mini-civil war that attended his coup. Many
more were tortured or forced to flee the country.
- But on the plus side, Pinochet's abuses helped create
a civil society. Once the initial bloodshed subsided, Chile was no prison.
Pinochet built up democratic institutions and infrastructure. And by implementing
free-market reforms, he lifted the Chilean people out of poverty. In 1988,
he held a referendum and stepped down when the people voted him out. Yes,
he feathered his nest from the treasury and took measures to protect himself
from his enemies. His list of sins - both venal and moral - is long. But
today Chile is a thriving, healthy democracy. Its economy is the envy of
Latin America, and its literacy and infant mortality rates are impressive."
- Here Mr. Goldberg crests the summit of the Everest of
American hubris. Pinochet was the United States' instrument to advance
the "noble" agenda of free market ideology. Under the guidance
of Henry Kissinger (an unindicted war criminal), the CIA and ITT (a major
US corporation with significant business interests in Chile) carefully
orchestrated the coup (including the assasination of the popularly elected
leftist, Salvador Allende) which brought Augusto Pinochet to power.
- Interesting that Jonah boasts that Pinochet "built
up democratic institutions" when Augusto himself once quipped, "Democracy
is the breeding ground of communism."
- Since communism is anathema to Goldberg and his ilk,
Jonah would need to exhaust himself with mental gymnastics to overcome
the gross inconsistency between Pinochet's alleged accomplishments on behalf
of democracy and Augusto's belief that democracy bred communism.
- Even if our master prevaricator managed to overcome such
a hurdle, how could he hope to resolve the glaring contradictions created
by attributing the proliferation of "democracy" to an autocrat
installed by the CIA through assassinating a leader elected by the people
of a sovereign nation?
- To justify and rationalize the perpetual imperialism
necessary to satisfy capitalism's insatiable demand for new markets, cheaper
labor, and inexpensive raw materials, the United States needs adept professional
liars like Jonah. His apologia for Pinochet, a tyrant who had been charged
with over 300 crimes (including egregious human rights abuses and massive
embezzlement) before he died in 2006, demonstrates Goldberg's unswerving
allegiance to the cause of the moneyed elite.
- Penned in October of 2001, Mr. Goldberg's "Time
to Return to Colonialism?" offers a particularly revealing look at
the nature of his character and his agenda:
- "SUDDENLY, serious people are rethinking an old
idea that's time has come again: colonialism.
- For years, colonialism has been discredited. It was considered
racist on the left to point out that many people lived better and more
productive lives under, say, British rule than they have without it (Belgian
rule is another story).
- . But Americans may be willing to listen to a serious
argument for American Empire. And now we have it. Max Boot, the features
editor of The Wall Street Journal, has written a cogent and measured essay
in the Oct. 15 issue of The Weekly Standard explaining that our problems
abroad don't stem from too much American "imperialism," but too
- Boot runs through the litany of American foreign policy
failures in the last decade and, uniformly, he finds our mistakes stemmed
not from an arrogance of power, but from a reluctance to use it."
- Who are these "serious people" who are "rethinking
an old idea that's time has come again?" They are obviously seriously
deranged reactionaries if they truly desire a return to colonialism. Jonah's
attempt to repackage and revitalize Kipling's "White Man's burden"
is the height of arrogance and reeks of racism and totalitarianism.
- Sorry Jonah, but the incredibly sorry state of affairs
in much of post-colonial Africa, the murder of 600,000 Filipinos, the slaughter
of 3 million Vietnamese, and the annihilation of 600,000 plus Iraqis are
but a handful of many poignant examples which demonstrate the abject immorality
of colonialism and reveal the fact that ultimately, human beings are willing
to kill and die before sacrificing their sovereignty to a brutal oppressor.
- Jonah, most of us are now living in the Twenty First
Century. Join us.
- Goldberg delivered a gem in December of 2006 when he
sang the praises of a malefactor of monumental proportions in "Jerry
- "And now we have dear, sweet Jerry Ford. Everybody,
it seems, loves Ford. Ted Kennedy even gave him a Profile in Courage Award
a few years ago. But there's an interesting difference. Ford was Tito Puente-ized
early. His decision to pardon Richard Nixon - the courageous act for which
he later got his Profile award - elicited enormous criticism and, some
argue, cost him the election in 1976. But he quickly rebounded and was
never hated the way Reagan, Goldwater or Nixon were
- .But Ford's legacy is more important than the maneuvering
of ideological partisans. Politics is about moments. The American people
in 1974 yearned for a respite from the ideological clamor of the previous
decade. Ford, by the sheer force of his own character, turned the Oval
Office into the calm eye of a storm the American people had grown all too
- Daniel Patrick Moynihan said Ford was the most decent
man in politics he'd ever met. Ford's 'luminous affability,' in the words
of the National Review, 'enabled him to unite the country instantly, magically,
in a way that would have been impossible for the (men) who had been lining
up for the job. This accidental President was exactly - for the moment
- the right man.'
- Considering the ideological clamor of the current moment,
it's tempting to ask who the right man, or woman, today might be."
- "Dear, sweet Jerry Ford" pardoned a man who
ordered secret, illegal bombing campaigns in Cambodia that liquidated 600,000
human beings. How about we give him a posthumous "Profile in Cowardly
Participation in Mass Murder Award"?
- Let's not forget that Ford and Kissinger also green-lighted
and supported Suharto's invasion of East Timor, which resulted in the slaughter
of 200,000 innocent people.
- Jonah reveals his true agenda behind his sickening hosannas
for Ford, an abject war criminal, when he asserts that "it's tempting
to ask who the right man, or woman might be" to give us a "respite"
from the "ideological clamor of the current moment." Who indeed,
Mr. Goldberg, will rise up to provide cover for the current crop of malefactors
in DC and prevent a mass revolt against your precious establishment, which
has been rotten to its very core for years?
- Jonah scribbled, "What Protestors Don't Get: Globalization=More
Democracy," in February, 2002:
- "For example, if multinational corporations threaten
democracy, how come the number of democracies grew simultaneously with
the rise of the multinational corporation? It's hard to pinpoint an exact
date for when the "multinational corporation" or "globalization"
began, but over the last 30 years we've been told that democracy is increasingly
threatened by these diabolical forces. The funny thing is, the number of
democracies has been rising, with occasional fluctuations, pretty much
- Obviously Mr. Goldberg has a unique vision of what democracy
entails. Where are these democracies about which he raves? Would Chile
under the Pinochet regime have qualified as one? We don't even have a democracy
in the United States. In fact, there is very little left of the constitutional
republic which existed before the evisceration of our Constitution.
- Corporations, spawned by a rapacious economic system
driven by selfishness and greed, are structured as tyrannies. Given the
fact that oligarchic corporations wield such immense power in the United
States, and throughout the world, it is lunacy to assert that "the
number of democracies has been rising" in conjunction with the proliferation
of corporate influence. Unfortunately for Jonah, a whole comprised of totalitarian
parts cannot be a democracy. Unless of course one subscribes to Goldberg's
nonsense and defines a plutocratic imperial power and its neo-colonies
- In August of 2001, Jonah graced us with "Americans
Wouldn't Tolerate Terrorism at Home":
- "In fact, it's worse than that because Israel never
intends to kill innocents. When terrorists kill Israeli civilians, Israelis
attack terrorist strongholds, military targets and bomb-making infrastructures.
- Sometimes, they've even used rubber bullets. But even
when the "payback" is unambiguously severe, it is always delivered
to grown-up, declared combatants. Hence, when Palestinian innocents die
it is virtually always an unfortunate byproduct of Israeli action. When
Palestinians kill, innocents are the target."
- The more one reads his work, the more apparent it becomes
that Goldberg's objective is to vindicate as many ruthless oppressors as
his seemingly infinite capacity to lie will allow.
- According to information updated on May 31, 2007 at <http://www.ifamericansknew.org/>http://www.ifamericansknew.org/,
since September of 2000 Israel has killed 934 Palestinian children while
Palestinians have killed 118 Israeli children. A total of 4,098 Palestinians
and 1,021 Israelis have died in the conflict over the last seven years.
Over 31,000 Palestinians have suffered injuries; only 7,600 Israelis have
been wounded. The United States subsidizes Israel to the tune of over $7
million per day while giving the Palestinians nothing. Israel has been
targeted by 65 UN resolutions (each of which, being the rogue state that
it is, it has ignored). The Palestinians have not been censured by the
UN once. Israel is holding over 10,000 Palestinian political prisoners
and the Palestinians hold one Israeli captive. While Israel has demolished
over 4,000 Palestinian homes, the Palestinians have razed zero Israeli
- "Israel never intends to kill innocents." Do
you think the family members of those innocents that Israel has killed
at a 4:1 ratio give a dam about the intent of the IDF, Jonah?
- Israelis pack a wallop with those "rubber bullets,"
don't they, Mr. Goldberg?
- What Goldberg fails to reveal in his commentary is that
the "Israeli action" which causes innocent Palestinians to die
as an "unfortunate byproduct" represents the implementation of
the ultimate Zionist objective, which is to eradicate Palestinians from
Gaza and the West Bank through oppression, economic strangulation, and,
when they can get away with it, direct military action.
- As for the wounded and dead Israeli civilians, they are
the tragic victims of retail terror carried out in response to the wholesale
terror waged by their government and that of the United States.
- "Wanted: An Iranian Saddam" from January of
2006 offers quite an impressive display of mental contortions and truth
distortions, even for one as ethically limber as Jonah Goldberg:
- "Conventional wisdom holds that there are really
only two options for dealing with Iran: military strikes (by us or Israel)
or the usual bundle of conferences, ineffective sanctions and windy UN
speeches that lead to nothing.
- But there is a third option that, alas, has become less
and less likely in recent years: regime change from within. Pro-democracy
- or at least anti-mullah - sentiment has been building in Iran for over
a decade. In recent years there have been huge protests against the regime.
Soccer stadiums full of Iranians have chanted "USA! USA!" In
2004, polls of various sorts indicated that anti-regime attitudes were
held by up to nine out of 10 Iranians.
- Iranians are a proud, nationalistic people and would
probably rally around their government - or any government - were it threatened
from without. That's one reason Ahmadinejad has been rattling his sabers
so much lately: It's an attempt to bolster his unpopular regime.
- A coup by sophisticated and serious members of the military
would be great news. Even better would be a popular uprising. And best
of all would be a combination of the two.
- An Iran with an old-style military dictatorship charged
with defending democratic institutions would be an enormous, epochal victory
for the West and for the Middle East. That would go a long way toward guaranteeing
success in Iraq and would neutralize the threat of the Iran's nuclear ambitions,
even if they decided to pursue a bomb. After all, the argument about nuclear
weapons is no different than the argument about guns. The threat is from
the people who have them, not from the weapons themselves. Lots of countries
have nukes; we only need to worry about the ones run by whack jobs."
- Writing from an ahistorical perspective so typical of
the corporate media in the US, as Jonah laments that the "third option"
of "regime change" is becoming "less likely," he neglects
to remind readers that the United States has been there and done that in
Iran. In 1953 the CIA installed the Shah to replace Iran's prime minister,
Mohammed Mossadegh. (Mossadegh, elected by the people to serve in parliament
and by parliament to become prime minister, had exhibited the audacity
to nationalize the oil industry to prevent US ally, Great Britain, from
reaping nearly all the profits from Iran's petroleum.)
- By 1976, the Shah's rule had evolved into such a brutal
tyranny that Amnesty International declared that Iran had, "the highest
rate of death penalties in the world, no valid system of civilian courts
and a history of torture which is beyond belief. No country in the world
has a worse record in human rights than Iran."
- It was the blatant US violation of Iranian sovereignty
that catalyzed the 1979 revolution, hostage crisis, and subsequent formation
of an Islamic government, a government which remains understandably hostile
to Western intervention in its affairs. "Regime change" worked
so well the first time. Why not try again, eh Jonah?
- "An Iran with an old-style military dictatorship
charged with defending democratic institutions would be an enormous, epochal
victory for the West and for the Middle East." Wow! Jonah veered way
outside the parameters of rational thought with that bizarre conclusion.
"Old style military dictatorships" and "democratic institutions"
are components of antithetical political structures. His column on Pinochet
and this piece seem to indicate that Mr. Goldberg suffers from the delusion
that the two can somehow coexist. Or perhaps he simply regards the intellect
of his readers with such contempt that he thinks they will swallow his
- As for his assertion that, "lots of countries have
nukes; we only need to worry about the ones run by whack jobs," George
Bush has the largest nuclear arsenal on the planet at his disposal. If
Jonah's statement is true, we have tremendous cause for concern.
- As nauseatingly opportunistic as his mother, Lucianne
Goldberg, a woman who spied on George McGovern for Nixon in the 1972 presidential
campaign and advised Linda Tripp to tape her conversations with Monica
Lewinsky, Jonah has few peers in the punditocracy who can match his mendaciousness
or the degree to which he has prostituted himself.
- May his readers, listeners and viewers recognize that
he is nothing more than a shill for exploitative imperialists who impose
their will on the world through acts of economic extortion and wholesale
- Further, let us hope that one day he reaps the bitter
harvest of the noxious seeds he so eagerly sows.
- * As Jonah has so proudly informed us, his agitprop appears
in numerous media outlets, but the source for each of the excerpts in this
analysis was the online version of the Jewish World Review.
- Jason Miller is a wage slave of the American Empire who
has freed himself intellectually and spiritually. He is Cyrano's Journal
Online's associate editor (http://www.bestcyrano.org/) and publishes Thomas
Paine's Corner within Cyrano's at http://www.bestcyrano.org/THOMASPAINE/.
You can reach him at JMiller@bestcyrano.org