Friday, March 27, 2009


When the armed-and-dangerous (and well funded, and well connected) in Washington cook up their insane (and murderous) ideas for global victory, you can count on NPR to spice up the crock o'crap and serve it up as a perfectly tasty and rational proposal. All that's needed is a quick trip to the pantry of well-funded/connected (and dangerous) think tanks that are soooo... fond of the projection of US power. This morning was a case in point with experienced tank chef Jackie Northam chattering on about a splendid recipe for drone-bombing the Baluchistan province of Pakistan.

The range of opinions Northam puts in the pot is telling:
How's that for a tasty bowl of CSIS, CFR, DOD, NATO, RAND soup....mmm, mmm, good. Anybody have a knife?

In fairness, I have to give Markey a nod. Despite his claim that there appears to be at least passive support for Baluchi Taliban within Pakistan's military, he points out that US bombing in Baluchistan would "cross a red line" and "fuel further unrest" (unrest!!?). Beside that tepid dissent, the rest of the piece features Northam cooking up the apocalyptic alarmism that Juan Cole and other analysts (hee-hee) have derided:
  • "Cordesman and other analysts say the Taliban operates openly in Baluchistan...."
  • "Removing the leadership in Quetta could severely disrupt Taliban operations in Afghanistan. Some analysts say if the Pakistanis won't do it, the U.S. should take action."
Go Jackie, go! Drone on.


Porter Melmoth said...

I guess I had been led to believe that Juan Cole was a voice of reason. Has he shifted...?

I don't trust anything Jacked-up Norad says.

Mytwords said...

Thanks Porter. No, Cole has not shifted (but my typing has!). Should have read Cole has "derided" not "made." I've corrected it.

gopol said...

I once challenged Warren Olney on his incessant reliance on AEI and PNAC and various other repressive Thanktankistans and he wrote back to say (I'm sorry I've lost the email) words to the effect that, "Hey, these are the experts and they're the people the Senators listen to, so of course I'm going to have them on." This was about 10 years ago when the echo chamber was pretty loud, but olney building to the crescendo.

With Obama spewing on about Al Queda (practically said he wanted to smoke them out of their caves, dead or alive) I'm hearing those same echoes again.

miranda said...

This "send more troops" and "kill the terrorists" stuff is mightily depressing. So many people, citizens and media alike, seem to have imbibed the myths/propaganda. They aren't calling it the GWOT anymore, but it's the same Bush-Cheney policy. Do Americans just love endless war, or what?

It's sad to consider that Obama ran as an "antiwar" candidate (oh, that's right, he said he's not against wars, he's just against 'dumb wars' - as opposed to all those smart imperialistic invasions.)

Grimblebee said...

Having recently taken a new job that requires a lengthy commute (which on some days I do by car*), I find myself, against my better judgment, back on the ME/ATC roller coaster.

(Seriously, what are my alternatives? I'm not much of a fan of popular music, and the one classical station is tepid; CDs are about my only salvation but I get tired of those. Maybe books on tape....?)

Anyway, of all the egregious acts of Naked Propaganda Radio that are lovingly detailed on this blog, the most incredible to me is the "panic-creation reporting" that has been in full bloom the last few days. (Also known as "la la la la we hear you but we don't care we're still scared.") In this mode, NPR reporters simply ignore what their talking heads tell them and just go on trying to scare the bejeezus out of us.

I might have mentioned the North Korean "missile" test already, in which the experts clearly said "no threat" but the reporters just kept right on saying it COULD be a missile aimed directly at us.

But the real kicker has been this NPR "exclusive" about Somali-born teenagers living in Minnesota and elsewhere who have been "abducted" to Somalia to be trained as terrorists and then returned to America to do very bad things to us.

Or not. If you listened carefully to the breathless report, it turned out that authorities said the teenagers were "no threat" (where have I heard those words before?) and weren't even sure they'd ever made it to Somalia.

Can NPR devolve any further than this, when they simply run roughshod over the "facts" they themselves are reporting?

*Mea culpa, I know this is not good for the environment, but public transportation takes more than an hour extra each way and saves me virtually no money.

Grimblebee said...

P.S. Shout-out to the person on an earlier thread who demolishes the myth that the economic crash is the fault of ordinary homeowners.

But I have to say to those who criticize This American Life (also on an earlier comment thread) that while I find it sometimes grating and stylized, its stories are often fascinating and moving, IMHO.

Anonymous said...

RE "panic-creation reporting"

This is National Public Radio Tabloid at its best.

NPR did the same thing with its pre-war WMD reporting (though I must say, they usually find think tank wankers -- eg, at AEI and CEI -- who support their scare mongering).

NPR also did the same thing on the financial crisis (ion order to get the original bailout bill passed and since)

NPR also has done this over the past few years with their reporting on "enhanced interrogation". They would never call it torture because their wankers called it "necessary".

biyg!piynk!fuzzyee!bunnyee! said...

Guess it is true 'bout the Prez -all evidence concludes 'e dun sold out to whitey.

Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

Unless the US has at least the connivance of the Pakistani elites, if not their explicit permission, I cannot see how "thePrez" expects to even ever actually get OUT of Afghanistan, much less achieve "victory" against the Talibs...

Anonymous said...

I suspect NY Attorney General Cuomo will have a few questions for Timmy Geithner (under oath, of course) about any knowledge he might have about the "AIG Money Funnel".

Too bad Geithner already testified to Congress. Now he's got to worry about perjury, the poor dear.

Why is it that it's always left up to State Attorney's General to do Congress job in investigating such criminal activity?

While members of Congress (House and Senate) continue to grandstand their outrage over the bonuses, they ignore (try to disract the public from?) the real scandal: that the AIG bailout was used to funnel tens (if not over 100) of billions of dollars to banks like Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and others.

PS (That's a rhetorical question, of course)

“Our investigation into corporate bonuses has led us to an investigation of the credit-default swap contracts at AIG,” Cuomo said in a statement. “CDS contracts were at the heart of AIG’s meltdown. The question is whether the contracts are being wound down properly and efficiently or whether they have become a vehicle for funneling billions in taxpayer dollars to capitalize banks all over the world.”

Porter Melmoth said...

Thanks, Myt, for the J. Cole clearing-up.

Anonymous said...

You just gotta wonder how many billions of US tax dollars have been "funneled" to Swiss Banks (by AIG or by others trying to escape the financial meltdown with their fortunes intact)

You also gotta wonder if there has been a "surge" in Swiss bank accounts to match the surge in Iraq (and the entire post invasion Iraqi "Reconstruction", for that matter)

I suppose one indication of whether (how much?) of this is happening might be how Swiss banks have fared relative to other banks during the recent rash of "bank"-ruptcies

But of course, we will probably never know the actual magnitude of the cash offload, because at least some Swiss banks go to elaborate lengths to hide their customer's banking records.

IRS: Swiss Bank Kept U.S. Accounts Secret
UBS Accused Of Creating Sham Offshore Entities To Conceal Wealthy Americans' Accounts