Commentary Magazine


Time (Rhymes with Crime)

In 1977, Time Magazine welcomed the election of Menahem Begin in Israel by offering a helpful guide to pronouncing the new leader’s name with a reference to one of the most hostile literary depictions of Jews: “Begin (rhymes with Fagin)”. Five years later, Time Magazine claimed falsely (according to a New York jury) that Ariel Sharon had effectively encouraged the massacre of Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Beirut. Time Magazine has a history, is what I’m saying. And the latest example of Time’s repugnant and ridiculous coverage of Middle Eastern matters comes in a gobsmacking note on the car-bombing death of Imad Mughniyah. After detailing Mughniyah’s 25-year career of slaughter and destruction, and noting that his death was devoutly desired from Israel to Saudi Arabia, Time suggests that perhaps Iran and Syria killed the man who was, without question, their greatest external asset:

In the John Le Carre world of Middle East terrorism and politics, however, it’s impossible to rule out the wildest of conspiracy theories, including that Mughniyah’s friends in Syria or Iran may have found his continued existence to be an inconvenience. Or, they may have believed it was politically useful to demonstrate that they can be relied on to control terrorism in the Middle East — as long as the U.S. doesn’t try to go after the regimes in Damascus or Tehran.

Get it? Iran and Syria might have killed the terror master they created and ran in order to prove they will take care of bad terrorists — but you know, they won’t be willing to be so noble and charitable should the United States do something against them. This is one of the most embarrassing pieces of geopolitical analysis ever published. And in Time’s glorious tradition of doing everything it can to think the best of tyrannical Arab states. Well done, Time (rhymes with crime).