Thursday, December 21, 2006

Dead on Arrival

Imagine that a small group of extremists infiltrated the US government and guided it into a war of aggression based on false intelligence manufactured by this group. Imagine that the war turned out to be a complete fiasco creating a ruined country and a vast training ground for terrorists, killing over half a million people, and costing nearly half a trillion dollars. Now imagine that NPR uncovers the fact that this same group of extremists was being consulted by the President for advice on how to continue the war even though a majority of voters had just rejected the war in a national election--that would be quite a scoop!

That's exactly the story that NPR broadcast this morning, but not as a scandal uncovered. Instead Guy Raz presents the new war plans of the far right American Enterprise Institute as something rational and legitimate; he tells us that we, as Americans, "have to give it one more try." This is the same AEI at the heart of the entire Iraq-Middle East War Project referred to above.

Raz gives ample airtime to Frederick Kagan and Eliot Cohen of the AEI as if they and the AEI had nothing to do with the disaster unfolding in Iraq. In their rejection of the Iraq Study Group recommendations, he tells us that it was "dead on arrival in Kagan’s view." This is followed by Eliot Cohen stating, "the truth of the matter is I think the study group is pretty much dead on arrival." I hate to break it to Raz, but what is dead on arrival is his integrity as a reporter.


Porter Melmoth said...

Indeed, Raz is a time-filler reporter, who is as half-baked as his voice sounds. One of the new heavily-used personalities who has about as much depth as Steve Inskeep.

I happened to hear fabulous Fred Kagan on 'On Point' (one of the truly great shows on NPR, in my opinion, out of WBUR, Boston), and he demonstrated that, not only was he a hyper-motorized android piece of slime, but that he was capable of tittering at such a person of substance as Retd. Gen'l William Odom ON THE AIR, simply because he thought he was hotter shit than anyone now alive on this planet, and this was because he and some other think tankers had 'worked very hard' on some rinki-dink 'plan' to surge into Baghdad and claim glory. Kagan and his ilk are representative of the neo-sissyhawks, younger twinkies who combine the shallow and ersatz 'intellectualism' of Wolfowitz-Perle-Frum with the turbo-nerd impatience of the Gen-X crowd, who haven't even masturbated beyond the realms of their keyboards yet. In other words, Kagan and his 'plan' are worthy of little more than contempt. I can understand Tom Ashbrook having him as a guest on 'On Point', so that Gen'l Odom can wipe the latrine floor with him, but having him as an 'expert', supposedly to be taken seriously, on 'Morning Edition' shows that NPR has learned precisely nothing in judging and vetting its guests. Kagan has all the credibility of an Ann Coulter. Both, to my mind, should be relegated to the deepest obscurity possible by any responsible organ of the media. But of course, that doesn't include NPR.

larry said...

Yesterday on TOTN Nelly spent half the show talking about strategies in Iraq with the likes of Gergen, and nobody ever mentioned immediate withdrawal. Continued militarism is obviously the NPR party line.
Also, Darryn, Robert, Fred: are any of these fucked-up Kagans related?

Porter Melmoth said...

Indeed, the Kagans are all one big happy power-crazed family. Helpful profiles of them are in Wikipedia. If anything, Fred is the baby, so his beloved 'plan' for SURGING in Iraq is his bid for the big time. Brother Robert is far more 'accomplished', so it's Fred's turn to make a (bloody) splash. They're obviously inspired by Bush Family Values.

Even if his tinker-toy tactics aren't accepted by the WH, Fred can proudly trumpet his accomplishments in future power grabs. To me it's plain that he and his type are obviously envious of Condi's wild success, so they're positioning themselves for getting a big piece of the action, preferably in a Jebber administration.

William Odom said that the absurdity of Fred's surge plan 'boggles the mind'.

Porter Melmoth said...

Would YOU take orders from this man?,scholarID.99/scholar.asp

Porter Melmoth said...

The last bit of the URL:


Porter Melmoth said...

I have now seen Kagan's much-vaunted 'Choosing Victory: a Plan for Success in Iraq'. It is a Perky and Puffy PowerPoint Peptalk Presentation, something you'd encounter at a Reagan era Get To Know Yourself seminar at the Holiday Inn out by the freeway.