Dubbing National Public Radio "The Counterinsurgency Channel," blogger Mytwords (NPR Check, 5/28/09) takes issue with a May 27 All Things Considered report "meant to promote an aspect of U.S. counterinsurgency in Afghanistan–the training of Afghan police as part of Task Force Phoenix (what dumb ass names these operations anyway?)":
The report opens with some great editorializing from Michele Norris:
If American policy is ever to be successful in Afghanistan, it will be because of people like Army Major Jim Contreras; he's the top American police trainer in Helmand province in Southern Afghanistan. Afghan police are key to fighting insurgents: They know the neighborhoods, the people, who is an insurgent and who is not.
In spite of the likely failure of the U.S. "mission" in Afghanistan–and the dismal (and lucrative) history of the U.S. training program for Afghan police forces, Norris assures us that this will be the "key to fighting insurgents." It's striking, too, how apropos of nothing, Norris confidently asserts that they know "who is an insurgent and who is not"?
Aside from the dubious concept that more militancy will somehow bring peace to Afghanistan, NPR is in regrettably large company when faithfully believing U.S. force's claims to the insurgent identities of their victims–nor is it alone among big media when providing "nothing in the report to indicate how disastrous the new Bushama/Obamush War in Af-Pak will be."