|The late former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher|
The New York Times editorial board and most of us live in two alternative worlds.
The fawning editorial on her death managed to omit almost every Margaret Thatcher foible.
Her love for fascists, (granting asylum to Chilean dictator Pinochet, supporting fundamentalist General Zia in Pakistan) is one example.
Another was her attacks on the most inspirational freedom fighter of all (see her description of Nelson Mandela as a terrorist - David Cameron later apologized).
A third foible was in Ireland where she showed utter disregard for human and civil rights in Northern Ireland (the government sanctioned murder of Pat Finucane the nationalist lawyer and allowing ten hunger strikers to starve to death.)
What’s a love affair with a dictator or two, or ignoring the ANC or seeking a true solution in Ireland, when compared with her overall record, says The Times?
Maybe The New York Times should have read this following article about Thatcher’s foreign policy from Time Magazine writer Ishaan Taroor rather than planting wet kisses on Thatcher’s posterior.
“Her almost atavistic approach to foreign policy—shaped by naked British nationalism and a hawkish Cold War-era paranoia—appears today, at best, anachronistic and at worst deeply hypocritical.”
Don’t tell The Times that!
No mention either of her support for the Khmer Rouge, those darling Cambodian hot heads. Instead we had palaver such as the following.
“With her powerful, plain-spoken approach to issues large (like Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait) and relatively small (the brief war over the Falkland Islands) she reawakened Britain’s taste for military engagements.”
Ah yes, the “taste for military engagements,” - you mean Northern Ireland? Oh no, oh you mean the Malvinas/Falklands War where she went half way round the world to prove that British imperialism still lived, even if it was a handful of sheep farmers on an island in the middle of nowhere?
Truth is Thatcher’s foreign policy was mostly a disaster, which utterly escapes the Times’ besotted wonders.
The Times wunderkinds wrote: “Mrs. Thatcher knew how to stand up to Ronald Reagan when she needed to, for example, over the ill-considered United States invasion of Grenada...and in general managed Britain’s global role more deftly than her successors.”
Now Grenada, there was a massive world issue to stand up on. Have The Times heard of Thatcher’s role in Pakistan?
As Taroor noted in Time magazine, her support of General Zia in Pakistan led to the Muslim radicalization in that country.
He writes, “Lost in a Cold War fog, Thatcher, along with the U.S., supported the military government of General Zia-ul-Haq in Pakistan, helping prop up a South Asian generalissimo now seen as one of the chief architects of the Islamist radicalization of his country.”
Of course The Times sees no reason to include Northern Ireland in the debate about Thatcher. Shoot to kill, assigned assassinations, allowing hunger strikers to starve to death, none of those issues were remotely important when compared to sheep farmers in The Falklands and the 110,000 Grenadians.
Finally The Times argues that, “The passage of time has drained much of the old anger and left behind her record of accomplishments.”
No, not so, if you read the press in Britain for even a moment, the parties being held by many British on the announcement of her passing, or see the sheer hatred she engendered among the Irish. Thatcher was and is and always will be hated by many, and with very good reason.