Just a couple of points to add.
Younge says: We are supposed to believe that there is no link between the American shooting of an Italian intelligence agent on a rescue mission and Rome’s decision to withdraw its troops 10 days later
Regardless of what we are supposed to believe, Rome has made no such decision. Berlusconi was playing one of his games and just hours after suggesting that some troops might start to return from September made clear that he was not talking about a Spanish-style pull-out. Its not hard to find stories on the issue and it happened over a week ago so why is Younge not aware of it?
On March 8 2005, 500,000 pro-Syrian protesters took to the streets of Beirut to oppose US and European interference. The demonstration was backed by Hizbullah, which the US has branded a terrorist organisation. People carried banners saying “Death to America”. It was several times bigger than the first anti-Syrian protest. They too waved Lebanese flags. But editors didn’t find them pretty. They did not appear on the front pages of the news magazines. Their protest was not hailed in the White House. In fact, its existence was barely acknowledged.
Leaving aside the question as to why Younge thinks it unusual that the White House and American news magazines didn’t hail Hizbullah’s demo, the Guardian journalist’s insinuation of media spin and self-censorship looks a bit pathetic given that he himself fails to mention that a few days later a far bigger pro-independence and pro-democracy demonstration took place that dwarfed that of the ‘Death to America’ brigade. Why was Younge not aware of that?
I can’t really do much better than Younge’s own words: In the meantime, the department of irony will keep moulding its own version of reality until it is sufficiently warped to fit its own agenda.
Hirsh’s response is here.