Arnaud de Borchgrave

is the former editor-in-chief of the Washington Times. Currently, he is editor at large. De Borchgrave is also rabidly anti-Israel and a supporter of various Arab interests. The Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz is more than happy to report (and I am more than happy to pass along) the extraordinary lengths to which de Borchgrave went to try and obtain an interview with Saddam Hussein. His efforts included telling Saddam that he hoped an interview “would lead to a reappraisal of American policy toward Iraq.” De Borchgrave used as his intermediary an Egyptian who tried to peddle arms to Saddam (De Borchgrave says he didn’t know about the arms dealing). According to Kurtz, the intermediary touted a de Borchgrave piece in which he defended Palestinian terrorism as “the weapon of the weak against the powerful.”
De Borchgrave is invoking the CNN defense, claiming that he had to pander to Saddam in order to get the interview (which he ultimately failed to land). This isn’t much of a defense, but it’s better than the seemingly more apt Peter Arnett non-defense — i.e., that de Borchgrave was somewhat sympathetic to Saddam. Kurtz concludes his piece with this quotation from de Borchgrave after the war began and there was no hope of an interview: “No one sees the U.S. as a liberating force. America is already being equated with Israel as the colonial occupier.”

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