Monday, December 04, 2006

Open Thread - Monday

NPR related comments welcomed.


ulf said...

Dianne Rehm is a thinking radio show host and sometimes her program is very informative and interesting. Unfourtunealy, she has a bad habit of only inviting guest from rightwing think tanks and corporate news. I listened to the Friday show via pod cast.

Behold the “News roundup Hour 1” guest list: Fran Senso, CNN, John Dickerson, (Dickerson is right of center) and Jeanne Cummings, The Wall Street Journal.

One caller had the following comment:
“If we don’t go in on the offensive and ready to win the war, which means that there will be civilians killed, we’ll never win a war. If we put the word out that we’re coming in and going through and we’re going to level this place, the [Iraqi] refugees […] would be out in the desert […].”

Dianne Rhem said that the comment represents the idea that we should have gone in with more troops. WSJ’s Cummings said something about the philosophy of winning and McCain. Next someone said “[the caller] is right” and some more non-substantive talk about winning.

Reasonable responses could have been for example “The Lancet study showed that around half a million Iraqis have died already as a result of the war. Is that not awful enough?” or “Leveling an entire country, and turning a population of 30 million into refugees is an absolutely horrific idea.” But no, none of them had any regard for non-American life, it seemed.

ulf said...

Then, in “News Roundup - Hour 2” one of the guest was Sebastian Mallaby, Washington Post:
“[I]n for example a case like El Salvador, the US put military advisers into that country, engaged with a government that was aligned with terrible rightwing death squads. But gradually kicked that government and pushed it to become less disreputable, less allied with these death squads, to win some battlefield victories against the left wing guerillas, and to finally get to a position where after about ten years, there could be a peace deal in El Salvador and a democracy emerged. So there is some president for successful engagement in an incredible messy situation, but it does take a long time.”

The guerilla was fighting an extremely unpopular, brutal and unjust dictatorship. By Washington Post logic, giving support to and prolonging the rule of that same dictatorship, and by training their murderers and rapists, you somehow help democracy emerge. It is madness.

Please think about these things Dianne Rehm, before inviting the Post’s editorial writers again. Their views get plenty of airtime, anyway.

Anonymous said...

I just caught one thing tonight, which I felt was one of the strongest and most interesting NPR pieces that I'd heard in quite a while... tonight's investigation into PTSD victims and their treatment by the Army once back in the States.

Usually I just drop by here to bitch, but Kudos to NPR for a job well done; hope it shames the Army for their shitty behavior.

Also, I've noticed that Juan Cole was on tonight, and was also interviewed this weekend. Which deserves another Kudos, actually.

David said...

Yes, they can have a good story on PTSD. That's because it doesn't have any bearing on the politics of the war, per se. Good journalism is limited to "secondary" issues, not to diminish the problem, of course.