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Published on June 29th, 2010 | by Ali Gharib


Goldberg vs. Greenwald

Corporal Jeffery Goldberg is pissed.

See, on his Salon blog, Glenn Greenwald wrote a scathing critique of Goldberg through the lens of the Dave Weigel-Washington Post affair. The post, on how Goldberg’s rush to judge Weigel is emblematic of flaws throughout his writing, got a lot of coverage (as catalogued by Mondoweiss).

So Goldberg took to his Atlantic blog defending his reporting by citing his most notorious achievement: the Iraq War.

While Greenwald makes many excellent points about peculiar brand of journalism practiced by Goldberg (the Mideast reporter who, despite being an IDF veteran, decries everyone else as “partisans”), he does return to the Iraq War. Curiously, Goldberg, recounting a recent e-mail exchange with an Iraqi pol, runs through justifications for the 2003 invasion — though he insistently refers to it as his “early support for the Iraq war” [my emphasis]. He extends an invite from his e-mail buddy, Iraqi Kurdistan PM Barham Salih, to visit and talk to everyone in Iraq who supported the U.S. invasion:

If [Greenwald] were to meet with representatives of the Kurds — who make up 20 percent of the population of Iraq and who were the most oppressed group in Iraq during the period of Saddam’s rule (experiencing not only a genocide but widespread chemical gassing) — I think it might be possible for him to understand why some people — even some Iraqis — supported the overthrow of Saddam. […] I could also arrange a visit to Najaf or the equivalent, where Greenwald could meet with representatives of the Shi’a, who also took it on the chin from Saddam.

Yes, Corporal Goldberg, Glenn Greenwald could very well travel to Iraq with you and meet all types of people there who supported the war. But there are at least 600,000 Iraqis who, I imagine, are not too thrilled about the way it all turned out and with whom Greenwald will never get a meeting.

One could also dredge up some Iranians — from within and without Iran and, yes, of all political stripes, classes, ethnic groups, and religious affiliations — who might support a U.S. invasion of the Islamic Republic. Does that mean that Goldberg is also ready to lend “early support” to that war?

About the Author


Ali Gharib is a New York-based journalist on U.S. foreign policy with a focus on the Middle East and Central Asia. His work has appeared at Inter Press Service, where he was the Deputy Washington Bureau Chief; the Buffalo Beast; Huffington Post; Mondoweiss; Right Web; and Alternet. He holds a Master's degree in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. A proud Iranian-American and fluent Farsi speaker, Ali was born in California and raised in D.C.

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