The headlong rush of the US military (and the coalition of the willing) into Iraq back in 2002 and 2003 was notable for the dismal performance of most of the US media (NPR included) which offered virtually no alternatives to war and invasion.
So you might think that a new grand Pentagon plan for settling into Afghanistan (and Pakistan?) for the long haul might be subjected to at least some oppositional analysis. You'll get nothing of the sort on NPR. Search in vain for any consideration that Obama's "new" strategy is likely to end in more misery, death, and failure. Search in vain for any demands that the US end its occupation of Afghanistan. Instead we hear from all the US generals and politicos running the Afpak strategy, with every interview being generally supportive and sympathetic. If you want to get alternative perspectives you'd better go elsewhere. Here's a sampling of the viewpoints you won't hear on NPR news:
- Ray McGovern compares Obama's Afghanistan plan to Vietnam.
- Don Bacon notices eerie echoes of Nixon in Obama's speechifying.
- John Nichols in The Nation castigates MoveOn for failing to oppose Obama's war plans.
- Katrina van den Heuvel of The Nation says No to war...and to NATO.
- Andrew Bacevich in Newsweek(!) pushes for withdrawal from Afghanistan.
- Robert Dreyfuss of The Nation asks, "Can you spell quagmire?"
God forbid I forget to mention the one big voice of dissent that NPR finds worth featuring: Leslie Gelb (Mr. Former Senior Official in the Departments of State and Defense). Gelb wants to basically get out of Afghanistan after declaring that the US has the right to intervene militarily whenever it deems it necessary. His noble reason for urging withdrawal? Because, as he says of those lazy Afghans, "We can't fight harder for their freedom than they will."