Apr
09
2014

No, Putin Isn't Following 'Reagan Playbook' in Ukraine–Thank God

Death squad victims, El Salvador (cc photo: John Hoagland)

When the Washington Post's David Ignatius writes a column headlined "Putin Steals the CIA's Playbook on Anti-Soviet Covert Operations," is that supposed to be a criticism or a compliment?

Mar
21
2014

Hawks Want Obama to Be More Like Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter

Pundits like Charles Krauthammer have fond memories of the Afghan/Soviet war, and want Obama to be more like Jimmy Carter so that the Ukraine crisis can have a similarly happy result.

Mar
18
2014

Obama's Imaginary Foreign Policy 'Caution'

Civilians killed in 2009 in Narang, Afghanistan (cc photo: RAWA)

The NY Times once again advances the idea that Barack Obama's foreign policy is alarmingly noninterventionist. Which is true, when you discount all the evidence to the contrary.

Jan
30
2014

NYT Most Interested in Kids US Killed if US Might Not Have Killed Them

Funeral of Afghan children killed in US airstrike

New York Times journalists do not like being lied to. Unless it's their own government doing the lying; then they tend to be more forgiving.

Jan
21
2014

Erasing Obama's Record on the Afghan War

US Soldier, Afghanistan (cc photo: US Army/ Michael Casteel)

In focusing on how Obama might end the Afghan War–which hasn't ended, of course–media accounts omit the fact that Obama massively increased the number of US troops in Afghanistan

Jan
03
2014

Always Turning the Corner in the Afghan War

Afghanistan (cc photo: Balazs Gardi)

Brookings think tank hawk Michael O'Hanlon is on the Washington Post op-ed page today trying to convince readers that there are reasons to be hopeful about the Afghan War. It's a story he's been telling for a while now.

Dec
04
2013

Why Can't Karzai Be More Blase About US Killing Kids–Like US Press Is?

nyt-afghans-assail

It's not unheard of for journalists to express strong opinions about how the United States should conduct its wars. But sometimes reporters express their opinions by attributing them to others.

Nov
25
2013

How Many Unnamed Officials Does It Take to Deny Civilian Deaths?

Hamid Karzai (cc photo: Smithsonian/Jim Wallace)

What do you do when the president of another country says US forces killed civilians there? You get US and other allied officials to anonymously deny it.

Nov
25
2013

NYT Miscounts Obama's Afghan Troops Numbers

US special forces in Afghanistan (cc photo: US Navy/Clayton Weis)

Most people know that Obama did not take office in 2010. So why offer that as the starting point in an analysis of how Obama is "bring[ing] the troops home" from Afghanistan?

Sep
13
2013

From Time to State PR: A Big Jump?

The latest media-politics revolving door news is that Time managing editor Richard Stengel is leaving the magazine and heading over to the State Department to be the new undersecretary of State for public diplomacy and public affairs. That's PR–or maybe propaganda, if you prefer that term.

Aug
01
2013

The Government Can't Prove Bradley Manning Hurt Anyone–but Joe Klein Knows

JoeKleinHardball

The government isn't having much luck showing the real world harm done by Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks. Perhaps they should call in Time columnist Joe Klein–he knows "for a fact" that bad things happened.

Jul
30
2013

How Do You Get in the NYT? Just Ask–if You're a Top General

nyt-dunford

If you're the commander of U.S. military forces in Afghanistan and you want to send a message that those troops need to stay in the country past 2014, apparently you just tell the New York Times that you're ready to talk.

Jun
19
2013

Michael Hastings, Bridge-Burning Journalist (1980-2013)

Michael Hastings

What Tim Dickinson called Hastings' "enthusiastic breaches of the conventions of access journalism" were what enabled him to report the unguarded assessments of the officers running the occupation of Afghanistan.