In a recent Op-Ed piece in The New York Times titled The Pentagon Is Not a Sacred Cow, whines about an increase in the defence budget. The piece mentions the actual defence budget, which is currently $643 billion. It points to President Trump’s opening bid for the 2018 defence budget, which was $677 billion. That, NYT says was $54 billion above a budget cap set by Congress in 2011. The piece cites a 2015 Pentagon-commissioned study according to which the Pentagon wastes $125 billion, which is one-fifth of its budget which the paper argues the Pentagon should take care of before any increase should happen. The Pentagon had tried to bury this internal report of wastage of taxpayer dollars.The most interesting part of the piece that drew my attention is about the critique that “The Pentagon had a virtual blank check after the 9/11 attacks, as it went after Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and then turned its attention to overthrowing Saddam Hussein in Iraq.” The American press and NYT particularly played a decisive role in advancing the Bush administration’s propaganda about the existence of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) in Iraq. “To anyone who read the paper between September 2002 and June 2003, the impression that Saddam Hussein possessed, or was acquiring, a frightening arsenal of WMD’s seemed unmistakable. Except, of course, it appears to have been mistaken.” Not my words, but rather written by Daniel Orkent on 30 May, 2004 in The Times. “The Times’ flawed journalism continued in the weeks after the war began when writers might have broken free from the cloaked government sources who had insinuated themselves and their agendas into the prewar coverage.” Again, not my words.Many NYT stories that challenged the government’s claim were either published quietly or its publishing was delayed. Notable among such stories was James Risen’s “CIA Aides Feel Pressure in Preparing Iraqi Reports,” which was completed several days before the invasion but was unaccountably kept from publishing for a week. It appeared three days after the invasion of Iraq and even then it was on page B10, a section dedicated to Business News.Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman in their outstanding book Manufacturing Consent have highlighted how NYT dedicated an enormous amount of space to stories about the crimes of official US enemies in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia but downplayed American crimesThis is not some new incarnation of NYT. Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman in their outstanding book Manufacturing Consent have highlighted how NYT dedicated an enormous amount of space to stories about the crimes of official US enemies in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia but downplayed American crimes.According to the 2013 Costs of War Project by the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University, drawing from actual expenditures from the US Treasury and future commitments, the Iraq war has so far cost the US more than $2 trillion and with interest could swell up to $6 trillion over the next four decades.The study includes human, economic, social, and political costs. But I will stick to the financial cost only since The Times piece in question complained about the dollar increase in defence budget. What did The Times expect to happen when it decided to facilitate an invasion effort or should I say a war crime effort? People were going to die, both the American people and the Iraqi unpeople, to borrow Orwell’s moniker. Money was to be spent without a cap on its limit.The primary role of journalism in a given society is to create an informed citizenry by shedding light on the illegal and unconstitutional actions of the government, thus furthering democracy. If any such thing as a free press exists in this world, I am saddened to conclude by my daily reading of it, that NYT is not fulfilling this role. The undisputed truth that The Times speaks is there daily on top of the front page: All the news that’s fit to print. NYT has hardly created an informed citizenry. Therefore, when the paper whines about Trump’s proposed increase in defence budget, it is acting as an embodiment of textbook hypocrisy. It facilitated the US invasion of Iraq based on total lies. And I must stress that that is just one example. There are numerous other examples of, for lack of a better word, collusion of NYT in whipping up war hysteria and convincing the average American news consumer that America was the saviour of humanity, which defended freedom by delivering hellfire missiles. That narcissistic mindset is deeply rooted in the psyche of NYT.It was specifically the American entanglement in Iraq coupled with the no end in sight to the war in Afghanistan that created a feeling of anxiety in America. Mass feelings of alienation were a direct result of the Iraq war to which more fuel was added by the 2008 financial crisis. This was followed by the period of joblessness, creating mass resentment towards the politicians and bankers. US soldiers’ dead bodies arriving home draped in American flags became unavoidable, culminating in a yearning for someone to lead the country who didn’t belong to the Washington establishment and its crooked politics.The moment was ripe for some leader with Chutzpah to make nationalistic noise. Despite many women coming forward with claims of sexual harassment by Trump and even after listening to his leaked audio recordings where he boasts of attempting to bed a certain woman, the people and especially the white college educated still wanted this outsider. NYT shares responsibility in creating the conditions that lead to his election victory. The paper should not jump on the bandwagon of Trump-bashing by targeting his person. It is too late.The writer is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Houston, and he teaches political science at the Lone Star College in HoustonPublished in Daily Times, December 23rd 2017.