Aug
17
2009

The Washington Post's Non-Debate on Afghanistan

The escalationof the Afghanistan war is the "Topic A"discussion on the Washington Post op-ed page on Sunday (it's a regular feature where they ask a panel of Important People to weigh in onan issue of the day).

The title was "How Many Troops for Afghanistan?"–one can already spot the problem with that–but the panel they assembled left a lot to be desired.On the one hand, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (a strong critic of escalation) was given space to make his argument.But hispresenced was 'balanced' by four others, three of whom are definitely pro-escalation(they quibble over the details, perhaps) and onepollsterwho addressed the public opinion problems–i.e., the Afghanistan war isn't popular.

So besides Kucinich, the Post gave readers former Bush and Reagan aide Ed Rogers (escalation"is necessary to avoid the political and security debacle that would arise from an American failure there"), Scott Keeter of the Pew Research Center ("The public opinion climate for sending more troops is difficult–but not impossible"), Harvard professor–and former special assistant to George W. Bush–Meghan Sullivan (Obama "should reject three arguments currently made against accepting a recommendation for more troops"), and Georgetown professor Andrew Natsios (stability in parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan "can not be achieved without substantially more U.S. and allied troops conducting a classic counterinsurgency campaign to take and hold territory and protect the civilian population.")

Some debate.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.