United States ‘liberal’ media pro Afghan war


This video from the USA is called The Myth of the Liberal Media: The Propaganda Model of News.

By Steve Rendall in the USA:

In Afghan Debate, Few Antiwar Op-Eds

Elite papers marginalize public opposition

By Steve Rendall

The Obama administration, having increased the number of troops in Afghanistan by 21,000 in March, is engaged in a contentious internal discussion about whether to send an additional 40,000 more. There is growing anger over Afghan civilian deaths, and July and August were the deadliest months for U.S. soldiers since the U.S. invaded in 2001 (AP, 8/28/09).

Meanwhile, polls throughout 2009 show a U.S. public divided on whether the war is even worth fighting, let alone in need of escalation. In three surveys since July, the AP/GfK poll has reported that at least 53 percent of respondents say they oppose the Afghanistan War (PollingReport.com). In September, 51 percent told the Washington Post/ABC News poll (9/10–12/09) that the war was not “worth fighting”; only 46 percent said it was.

So where’s the wide-ranging Afghanistan War debate in the media?

The need for broad public debate over Afghanistan was echoed in September by Joint Chiefs of Staff chair Adm. Mike Mullen. Citing popular opposition to the war, Mullen called for a broad debate to take a “hard look” at the policy. “I’ve seen the public opinion polls saying that a majority of Americans don’t support the effort at all,” Mullen told an American Legion convention in Louisville, Ky (Washington Post, 8/26/09). “I say, good. Let’s have that debate, let’s have that discussion.”

But according to a new FAIR study of the op-ed pages of the two leading U.S. newspapers, rather than airing a full range of voices on the war, prominent media have downplayed proponents of withdrawal in favor of a debate that reflects the narrow range of elite, inside-Washington opinion.

FAIR’s study looked at all opinion columns in the New York Times and the Washington Post during the first 10 months of 2009 that addressed what the U.S. should do in the Afghanistan War. Columns were counted as antiwar if they called for withdrawal or clearly called into question the need or rationale for the war. Columns that supported continuing the war were counted as pro-war; these were divided into those that endorsed the idea of escalating the war and those that advocated some sort of alternative strategy, including reducing the number of troops.

Both newspapers marginalized antiwar opinion to different degrees. Of the New York Times’ 43 columns on the Afghanistan War, 36 supported the war and only seven opposed it—five times as many columns to war supporters as to opponents. Of the paper’s pro-war columns, 14 favored some form of escalation, while 22 argued for pursuing the war differently.

In the Washington Post, pro-war columns outnumbered antiwar columns by more than 10 to 1: Of 67 Post columns on U.S. military policy in Afghanistan, 61 supported a continued war, while just six expressed antiwar views. Of the pro-war columns, 31 were for escalation and 30 for an alternative strategy.

At times the Post’s editors seemed unaware that an antiwar position even existed. For instance, in an op-ed roundtable (9/27/09) appearing in its recurring “Topic A” feature, the section’s editors, in their words, “asked foreign policy experts whether President Obama should maintain a focus on protecting the population and rebuilding the country, or on striking terrorists.”

Excluding withdrawal from the discussion was a theme echoed by Post columnist Fareed Zakaria, who began a column (9/14/09): “It is time to get real about Afghanistan. Withdrawal is not a serious option.”

The Washington Post and the New York Times are “liberal” media …. at least, in the feverish imagination of the far Right in the USA. The FAIR report does not discuss out and out Rightist media like the Washington Times owned by the Moonie cult, Rupert Murdoch’s empire, etc.

MSNBC’s Anti-War Censorship: A Reminder: here.

The Nation magazine has responded to President Barack Obama’s announcement of an escalation of the Afghan war with efforts at damage control and a new attempt to mislead the US population and keep it within the bounds of the present political setup: here.

Does war make Britain safer from terrorism? Here.

From Cenk Uygur in the USA:

Why I Changed My Mind On Afghanistan

Until about a month ago, I agreed with Barack Obama’s strategy in Afghanistan. I thought we should have concentrated on Afghanistan from the beginning. We should have brought in so many more troops. We owed it to the Afghan people to do the best we could for them since we happened to invade their country. I think the Taliban is the scourge of the earth, and the idea that they might take over after we leave is abhorrent to me. We had to stay and get it right.

So, what happened?

The Afghan elections.

Over one million votes were fraudulent. 1.3 million fake votes were thrown out to be exact. That’s out of only five million votes. That’s ridiculous. Obviously the current government of Afghanistan is a sham. The key to “winning” in Afghanistan is to convince the Afghani people to work with us. They have to side with us over the Taliban. If they don’t, we’re not helping them, we’re fighting them. And that’s just about where we are now. …

The bottom line is that we don’t have a viable partner in Afghanistan and we don’t have the legitimacy that is essential to rebuilding the country. The Afghans don’t view us as their saviors. They view us as the latest intruder in their valley. That is not a visit that is going to work out for us. That’s not a visit that’s ever worked out for anybody.

PBS Just as Corporate, White, Male and Republican as Commercial TV: here.

Messing With Our Minds: The Ever Finer Line Between News and Advertising. Kingsley Dennis, Truthout: “The manufacturing of consent is endemic within modern societies. Throughout history, the need to ‘persuade and influence’ has always been manipulated by those people in power as a means to maintain authority and legitimacy. In more recent years, the overall manipulation of the mass public mind has become less about making speeches and more about becoming a pervasive presence within the lives of each individual”: here.

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5 thoughts on “United States ‘liberal’ media pro Afghan war

  1. http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/afghanistan301109.html

    United Antiwar Movement Tells Obama:
    No Escalation!

    ——–
    “The war must be ended now.”
    ——–

    President Barack Obama
    The White House
    Washington, D.C.

    November 30, 2009

    Dear President Obama,

    With millions of U.S. people feeling the fear and desperation of no longer having a home; with millions feeling the terror and loss of dignity that comes with unemployment; with millions of our children slipping further into poverty and hunger, your decision to deploy thousands more troops and throw hundreds of billions more dollars into prolonging the profoundly tragic war in Afghanistan strikes us as utter folly. We believe this decision represents a war against ordinary people, both here in the United States and in Afghanistan. The war in Afghanistan, if continued, will result in the deaths of hundreds if not thousands of U.S. troops, and untold thousands of Afghans.

    Polls indicate that a majority of those who labored with so much hope to elect you as president now fear that you will make a wrong decision — a tragic decision that will destroy their dreams for America. More tragic is the price of your decision. It will be paid with the blood, suffering and broken hearts of our young troops, their loved ones and an even greater number of Afghan men, women and children.

    The U.S. military claims that this war must be fought to protect U.S. national security, but we believe it is being waged to expand U.S. empire in the interests of oil and pipeline companies.

    Your decision to escalate U.S. troops and continue the occupation will cause other people in other lands to despise the U.S. as a menacing military power that violates international law. Keep in mind that to most of the peoples of the world, widening the war in Afghanistan will look exactly like what it is: the world’s richest nation making war on one of the world’s very poorest.

    The war must be ended now. Humanitarian aid programs should address the deep poverty that has always been a part of the life of Afghan people.

    We will keep opposing this war in every nonviolent way possible. We will urge elected representatives to cut all funding for war. Some of us will be led to withhold our taxes, practice civil resistance, and promote slowdowns and strikes at schools and workplaces.

    In short, President Obama, we will do everything in our power, as nonviolent peace activists, to build the kind of massive movement — which today represents the sentiments of a majority of the American people — that will play a key role in ending U.S. war in Afghanistan.

    Such would be the folly of a decision to escalate troop deployment and such is the depth of our opposition to the death and suffering it would cause.

    Sincerely, (Signers names listed in alphabetical order)

    Jack Amoureux, Executive Committee
    Military Families Speak Out

    Michael Baxter
    Catholic Peace Fellowship

    Medea Benjamin, Co-founder
    Global Exchange

    Frida Berrigan
    Witness Against Torture

    Imam Mahdi Bray, Executive Director
    Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation

    Elaine Brower
    World Can’t Wait

    Leslie Cagan, Co-Founder
    United for Peace and Justice

    Tom Cornell
    Catholic Peace Fellowship

    Matt Daloisio
    War Resisters League

    Marie Dennis, Director
    Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

    Robby Diesu
    Our Spring Break

    Pat Elder, Co-coordinator
    National Network Opposing Militarization of Youth

    Mike Ferner, President
    Veterans For Peace

    Joy First, Convener
    National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance

    Sara Flounders, Co-Director
    International Action Center

    Sunil Freeman
    ANSWER Coalition, Washington, D.C.

    Diana Gibson, Coordinator
    Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice

    Jerry Gordon, Co-Coordinator
    National Assembly To End Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupation

    Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb
    Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence

    David Hartsough
    Peaceworkers San Francisco

    Mike Hearington, Steering Committee
    Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition, Atlanta

    Larry Holmes, Coordinator
    Troops Out Now Coalition

    Mark C. Johnson, Ph.D., Executive Director
    Fellowship of Reconciliation

    Hany Khalil
    War Times

    Kathy Kelly, Co-Coordinator
    Voices for Creative Nonviolence

    Leslie Kielson , Co-Chair
    United for Peace and Justice

    Malachy Kilbride
    National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance

    Adele Kubein, Executive Committee
    Military Families Speak Out

    Jeff Mackler, Co-Coordinator
    National Assembly to End Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations

    Kevin Martin, Exec. Director
    Peace Action

    Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, Chair-Elect
    World Parliament of Religion

    Michael T. McPhearson, Executive Director
    Veterans For Peace

    Gael Murphy, Co-founder
    Code Pink

    Michael Nagler, Founder
    Metta Center for Nonviolence

    Max Obuszewski, Director
    Baltimore Nonviolence Center

    Pete Perry
    Peace of the Action

    Dave Robinson, Executive Director
    Pax Christi USA

    Terry Rockefeller
    September 11th Families For Peaceful Tomorrows

    Samina Sundas, Founding Executive Director
    American Muslim Voice

    David Swanson
    AfterDowningStreet.org

    Carmen Trotta
    Catholic Worker

    Nancy Tsou, Coordinator
    Rockland Coalition for Peace and Justice

    Jose Vasquez, Executive Director
    Iraq Veterans Against the War

    Kevin Zeese
    Voters for Peace

  2. Pingback: Racism in British media | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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  4. Pingback: US veterans against escalation in Afghanistan | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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