Thursday, April 02, 2009

Three Legged Stool Meets Two Legged Stooges

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:
Contrast the divergent range of opinion with the endless pro-Pentagon coverage NPR offers. We get - among others - Admiral Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Petraeus, an unabashed homage to the #3 at the Pentagon, Michele Flournoy, and this winner, National Security Adviser James Jones explaining that a winning strategy in Afghanistan is like a stool with the three legs of security, economic development, and rule of law and government (which the US is going to provide -hee, hee).

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."


Anonymous said...

NPR won't ever interview someone like Ray McGovern because, within a few short minutes, he would basically destroy any and all credibility they might still have on the Iraq war.

Ray McGovern is Steve Inskeep's worst nightmare.

miranda said...

This is the thing that is most loathsome about NPR. Thanks for the excellent post.

Anonymous said...

This is basically a replay of a bad movie: the leadup to the Iraq invasion.

The White House sets the agenda and "tone" and all the parrots like Don Gonyea and Steve Inskeep at NPR (and elsewhere within the MSM) repeat it as if it were gospel truth.

No questions. No challenges. No brains.

Anonymous said...

As Robert Koehler points out in "Saving Obama" Obama has settled into the "green zone" enjoyed by all Presidents after the election is safely behind them and they no longer have to worry about what people think (at least not for a few years, at which point they can crank up the Lie-Maker (TM) again.

Koehler thinks Obama really meant what he said during the campaign and that it's simply a matter of getting too comfortable in the rarefied atmosphere of the White House.

I beg to differ. Obama just got into office. This has everything to do with choosing the right people to surround oneself with so that one does NOT find oneself in an isolation (or echo) chamber.

That's Obama's responsibility and at that he has failed miserably. To advise him on economics as well as on foreign affairs, Obama has chosen the same old people (with the same tired old visions.

Obama was given a clear mandate by the American people and instead has already chosen the easy way out.

He's beyond "saving" at this point, IMHO.

All the evidence you need for this evidence for this is that Obama has wedded himself and the rest of us (swim or sink) to the bank bailout plan (to deal with toxic assets) of Summers/geithner, despite the fact that it has been called "cash for trash" and "robbery of the American people" by two of the world's top economists (Krugman and Stiglitz, both of whom have been awarded Nobel Prizes).

We need to save ourselves (largely FROM people like Bush and Obama) because they sure as hell ain't going to save US.

Porter Melmoth said...

Empires usually think they are immune from their own hard lessons learned.

Anonymous said...

"France — On the eve of the NATO summit, President Barack Obama didn't get what he wanted most from U.S. allies: significant new commitments of combat troops for Afghanistan."

"Faced with stiff public opposition to war, reluctant European leaders on Friday offered only limited aid for civilians and some troops to help train Afghan police and soldiers."
Obama: "This is a joint problem, and it requires a joint effort,">

If Obama actually believes sending more troops to Afghanistan is the answer (what's the question again?), I think he's been smokin' too many joints.