[HCCN] fw: War Propaganda

Judith Robbins JUDY at ROBBINSandROBBINS.com
Tue Apr 27 21:17:23 EDT 2010

Published on Tuesday, April 27, 2010 by Salon.com
War Propaganda from Afghanistan

by Glenn Greenwald
The New York Times yesterday excitedly declared that the imminent  
Battle of Kandahar "has become the make-or-break offensive of the  
eight-and-half-year [Afghanistan] war" and is "the pivotal test of  
President Obama's Afghanistan strategy."  As Atrios suggests , there  
never is any such thing as "make-or-break" because we never leave no  
matter how completely our war and occupation efforts fail.  That's  
what led to the countless Friedman Units of the Iraq War:  the  
endless proclamations that The Next Six Months will be Decisive, only  
to be repeated at the end of the six-month period of failure as  
though the prior one never happened.

Just consider what's being said now about how the Kandahar offensive  
is the "make-or-break" battle of the war and the "pivotal test" for  
Obama's war strategy by comparing it to what was said a mere two  
months ago about the now clearly failing assault on Marjah:

Times of London, February 13, 2010 :

Allied troops launched a major offensive into Afghanistan's most  
violent province last night, in a key part of President Obama's push  
to seize control of the Taleban's last big stronghold. . . . If it  
fails, many analysts believe that the war will be lost.

The Independent declared on February 9, 2010, that General McChrystal  
wants the Marjah offensive to "be one of the most significant in the  
country since the fall of the Taliban in 2001" and, of Obama's war  
strategy, said that "Marjah looks like being its first major -- and  
possibly decisive -- test."  The BBC quoted a NATO official who  
proclaimed that Marjah "was 'probably the definitive operation' of  
the counter-insurgency strategy" and "this operation could  
potentially define the tipping point, the crucial momentum aspect in  
the counter-insurgency."  Time helpfully informed us that "U.S.  
officials believe it will mark a turning point in the war."

Now that that "make-or-break decisive test" has failed (or, at best,  
has produced very muddled outcomes), did the Government and media  
follow through and declare the war effort broken and the strategy a  
failure?  No; they just pretend it never happened and declare the  
next, latest, glorious Battle the real "make-or-break decisive test"  
-- until that one fails and the next one is portrayed that way, in an  
endless tidal wave of war propaganda intended to justify our staying  
for as long as we want, no matter how pointless and counter- 
productive it is.

* * * * *

Speaking of war propaganda, today is a very proud day for the U.S.:   
the military commission ordered by Eric Holder begins for Omar  
Khadr , a Canadian-born, Afghanistan-residing detainee encaged at  
Guantanamo for seven years -- since he was 15 years old -- on "war  
crimes" and "terrorism" charges that he was involved in a firefight  
with American military forces who, revealingly enough, were using a  
former Soviet military base as their outpost .  Khadr was wounded in  
the battle, imprisoned at Bagram, then at Guantanamo, claims he was  
severely tortured into falsely confessing, and made worldwide news  
when a video of him weeping, begging for medical help, and crying for  
his mother during an interrogation was released.  Apparently, if the  
U.S. Army invades a foreign country, anyone who fights against that  
invading force -- including a 15-year-old boy -- is a "war criminal"  
and a "Terrorist," even the Worst of The Worst, which is, of course,  
all that we're currently holding at Guantanamo.  Now that's some  
robust propaganda.

© 2010 Salon

Article printed from www.CommonDreams.org

URL to article: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/04/27-8
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