I have lost all faith in the veracity of The New York Times. Therefore I would not normally comment on much of anything that they say. I have not read the original op-ed, just the rebuttal.
However, I know someone is going to claim that they learned something from the Op-Ed piece. My reason for this post is to keep a record of the link to the rebuttal just in case I need it.
Follow this link to what The New York Times Public Editor wrote about Edward N. Luttwak’s Op-Ed. The following paragraph introduces the piece by the Public Editor:
On May 12, The Times published an Op-Ed article by Edward N. Luttwak, a military historian, who argued that any hopes that a President Barack Obama might improve relations with the Muslim world were unrealistic because Muslims would be “horrified” once they learned that Obama had abandoned the Islam of his father and embraced Christianity as a young adult.
The following paragraphs are the conclusion of what the Public Editor wrote:
Shipley, the Op-Ed editor, said he regretted not urging Luttwak to soften his language about possible assassination, given how sensitive the subject is. But he said he did not think the Op-Ed page was under any obligation to present an alternative view, beyond some letters to the editor.
I do not agree. With a subject this charged, readers would have been far better served with more than a single, extreme point of view. When writers purport to educate readers about complex matters, and they are arguably wrong, I think The Times cannot label it opinion and let it go at that.