Robert Wright, my arch-nemesis, and an on-line columnist for The New York Times, can't quite bring himself to condemn my Iran piece, which he admits is filled with actual reporting. So instead he resorts to libeling the writer:
"...The author of the article is Jeffrey Goldberg, who has previously been accused of pushing a pro-war agenda via ostensibly reportorial journalism. His 2002 New Yorker piece claiming to have found evidence linking Saddam Hussein to al Qaeda is remembered on the left as a monument to consequential wrongness. And suspicions of Goldberg's motivations only grow when he writes about Israel. He served in the Israeli army, and he has more than once been accused of channeling Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu."
Has there ever been a more passive paragraph written than the previous? "Has previously been accused," "is remembered on the left," "has more than once been accused of channeling Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu." Jesus, Bob, can't you at least cowboy-up and write a direct sentence?
I will explain in a moment why Wright scribbles in bile about me (it has to do with some unfortunate dictator-coddling tendencies he occasionally exhibits), but first, a couple of small points: On this al Qaeda matter, Wright neglects to mention that the Institute for Defense Analyses recently issued a five-volume report that, among other things, confirms, using original Ba'athist documents, that Saddam Hussein's intelligence service funded and influenced a jihadist Kurdish terror group in Northern Iraq that had links to al Qaeda networks (This, by the way, is what I charged in the New Yorker piece, not something as grandiose as Wright suggests). I don't know why Wright hasn't read the report. (You can download it here).
On another of his "arguments," it is true that I served in the Israeli army. It is also true that my service in the army soured me on the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, and that I wrote a book based on my army experience in which I condemned the occupation. (This is a book that, by the way, The Progressive magazine, not known as a neocon rag, named as a best book of the year.)