Thursday, May 07, 2009

Enduring Freedom

(click graphic to reveal the featured stenographer)

Take a look at the ICRC report on the recent killing of dozens of civilians in Afghanistan by US air strikes. Among other things, it states,
"The ICRC team was unable to determine the exact number of dead but their impression was that dozens of people, including women and children, had been killed.....We know that those killed included an Afghan Red Crescent volunteer and 13 members of his family who had been sheltering from fighting in a house that was bombed in an air strike,..."
The ICRC report was released on May 5, 2009. Consider NPR's coverage this morning (May 7, 2009).
Inskeep: " Afghanistan US forces are investigating a military operation that MAY HAVE killed dozens of civilians."
Montagne: "Local officials and the Red Cross say that CIVILIANS WERE APPARENTLY killed when US planes struck Taliban targets."
Contrast this heavy handed skepticism with the complete lack of doubt when the source is the US military.

From Inskeep and Montagne's manufactured doubt about whether any civilians were killed, NPR turns to Tom Bowman for cleanup:
Bowman: " at the same time a local police official says the Taliban herded some civilians into a house - so that's one possible explanation for what happened here and now some US military officers are saying the Taliban may have played a larger role here; they may have tossed some grenades at civilians - but again they're still looking into this..."
Montagne signs off the story, telling us, "Tom Bowman is NPR Pentagon correspondent." I think she should have said stenographer.


Porter Melmoth said...

An outrage. The Afghanistan War is the failure that keeps on failing. Denial is the only method its defenders will employ. Afghanistan has more amputees of all ages than any other country. The dead have nothing to add except numbers.

Anonymous said...

Stenographer indeed.

In a nutshell, this is what NPR has become: stenographer for the pentagon, parrot of the White House and Congress, whore for its underwriters.

It's pathetic.

NPR maintains a large listenership for the same reason that Fox news does. People in this country want to feel good about themselves. They don't like to hear things that conflict with their identity as Americans and as Christians.

Bombings in Afghanistan that kill civilians just do not happen. Torture of prisoners by Americans does not happen. The death of a million Iraqis because of a war that America started simply did not occur. NPR is all to willing to reinforce this belief with feel good pieces.

NPR is "No Principles Radio" because they are willing to say anything that will make people feel good about themselves and their country.

larry, dfh said...

I believe the people flying the drones are from the 'agency'. npr will never criticize this group, as it would be aaginst their financial interests. Speaking of financial interests, a delivery guy to my business who builds and flies large R.C. airplanes told me he was asked to audition for a job as drone flyer, from Bagram, for $60,000 per MONTH!

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

The USer military has now got a new excuse for civilians killed by our drone bombers: The Taliban gathered the victims together and then killed 'em with grenades.

Cuz, ya see, wounds caused by exploding ordinance are pretty much indistinguishable: grenade or air-to-ground missile? Can't really tell...

Anonymous said...

large R.C. airplanes told me he was asked to audition for a job as drone flyer, from Bagram, for $60,000 per MONTH!"

In most cases -- ie, if this had to do with the private sector (real world), i would say that he was probably just bragging, but given all the billions of dollars we have basically thrown down a rat hole in Iraq, I find it not only plausible, but likely.

These drone attacks are highly counterproductive.
"Lahore - The top adviser to the US army chief in Afghanistan, David Kilcullen, has observed that the US drone strikes in Pakistan are creating more enemies than eliminating them, and hence, needed to be "called off."

Obama has the ultimate responsibility for the inevitable death (murder) of civilians by these attacks because he could call them off at a moment's notice.

I don't have much hope in the latter regard.

I actually voted for the guy and thought he was genuinely interested in changing things but now believe that I was mistaken in my assessment. I admit it: I bought the con hook line and sinker)

WarOnWarOff said...

Our beautiful mindz iz protected!

miranda said...

Disgraceful. "No Principles Radio" is devastatingly accurate, Anonymous.

Thanks for your vigilance, myt.

bittety-big! (you can guess the rest) said...

Sooo, THAT's why they sometimes slip in that Iggy Pop button (as I believe Ellen remarked on)!

It's their implicit message to the "powers that be."

Here, Fido...

gopol said...

Anon: I voted for Cynthia McKinney - but then, I live in CA where it was safe to vote for her.

Anonymous said...


So messed up I want you here
In my room I want you here
Now were gonna be face-to-face
And Ill lay right down in my favorite place
And now I wanna be your dog
Now I wanna be your dog
Now I wanna be your dog
Well cmon
Now Im ready to close my eyes
And now Im ready to close my mind
And now Im ready to feel your hand
And lose my heart on the burning sands
And now I wanna be your dog
And now I wenna be your dog
Now I wanna be your dog
Well cmon

Three times in the last year they have caught my ear with Iggy.


Anonymous said...

What pisses me off more than anything else is when some quote FDR: "If you want me to do something, MAKE me do it."

I heard someone say this the other day -- someone who represents a "progressive" organization (can't remember which).

What mindless tripe.

I don't vote for someone for President with the idea that if they are elected, I am then going to have to FORCE them to do what they PROMISED they would do (get US out of Iraq, prosecute Bush criminals, make policies that will benefit ordinary Americans rather than the corporations and elite classes).

It's BS to suggest as much.

How did members of the the media in America become so vacuous?

I mean, much of the stuff that they say is just plain stupid.

Anonymous said...

Afghan Students Protest Against Civilian Casualties

Whether the military campaign in Afghanistan is "effective" against Taliban is irrelevant if the political campaign is not working.

And it is not. In fact, the so-called strategy that obama is now pursuing -- "going after the terrorists" (in Afghanistan and Pakistan) -- is extremely counterproductive because it is killing large numbers of civilians and alienating the populations of both countries.

If Vietnam taught anything, it should be that you can not win the war if you alienate the populace.

I don't think Obama was very old when the Vietnam war was going on, but he obviously never learned that lesson in history class at Columbia or Harvard.

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
-- George Santayana

And repeat it Obama will.

Obama will also learn the lesson that Johnson learned --and too late to save his Presidency.

If Obama continues on his current "steady as she goes" course (and there is every indication that he will) Obama is almost certainly looking at a single term.

At the end of his first term, he will be mired in Afghanistan, the economy will be stagnant (he will have blown his trillion dollar gift from the Congress on the banks with nothing left to stimulate the real economy) and people will be pissed that Obama promised change and never delivered (or only delivered to the rich and the corporate classes)

Bill Michtom said...

"I bought the con hook line and sinker."

Don't feel too bad. After Bush, people were desperate for change and desperation makes for delusional thinking.

Here in Oregon, I, too, could safely vote for McKinney. Out in much of the country, the choice was McCain or Obama.

I remember the same wishful thinking about Bill Clinton by so many ... and the same waking up to reality.

Keep Obama's feet to the fire: