Media’s ‘Axiomatic’ Warmongering

Recalling that “during the mid-1960s, the conventional wisdom was what everyone with a modicum of smarts kept saying: higher U.S. troop levels in Vietnam were absolutely necessary,” FAIR associate Norman Solomon is distressed to find (, 12/9/08) that “today, the conventional wisdom is that higher U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan are absolutely necessary.” Responding to news that “‘the Pentagon is planning to add more than 20,000 troops to Afghanistan’ within the next 18 months,” Solomon writes that

right now, the basic ingredients of further Afghan disasters are in place–including, pivotally, a dire lack of wide-ranging debate over Washington’s options. In an atmosphere reminiscent of 1965, when almost all of the esteemed public voices concurred with the decision by newly elected President Lyndon Johnson to deploy more troops to Vietnam, the tenet that the United States must send additional troops to Afghanistan is axiomatic in U.S. news media, on Capitol Hill, and–as far as can be discerned–at the top of the incoming administration.

Solomon finds that “bedrock faith in the Pentagon’s massive capacity for inflicting violence is implicit in the nostrums from anointed foreign-policy experts. The echo chamber is echoing: The Afghanistan war is worth the cost that others will pay.”

See the FAIR publication Extra! Update: “â┚¬Ã‹Å“Accidents Will Happen: Excusing Civilian Deaths in Afghanistan” (8/07) by Peter Hart