Yesterday the Washington Post reported–and the Drudge Report heavily promoted–the idea that Richard Holbrooke’s final words were, “You’ve got to stop this war in Afghanistan.” Well, maybe not–at least according to Obama officials who have challenged that account. The Washington Post serves up a follow-up today,under the headline “Holbrooke’s War Remark Called Banter, Not Entreaty,” which apparently offers “a fuller account of the tone and contents of his remarks.”
The upshot of the piece is that this was a joke–one that some readers apparently took seriously:
Holbrooke’s statement was seized upon quickly by critics of the Afghan war debate, some of whom interpreted it as a clarion call to end the conflict. Others viewed his comment as a last-breath disavowal of the Obama administration’s war policy, which has involved a troop surge–which Holbrooke publicly supported–to combat the Taliban.
Yes, they “seized upon” something that was reported in the Post. I guess they should be more careful next time around.
The bigger point: We’ve now seen an allegedly bogus call for ending the Afghan War get much more press attention than actual calls for ending the Afghan War.