NYT Reassures Afghans That the Troops They Want to Leave Are Going to Stay

The New York Times‘ Alissa Rubin (5/2/12) reports of President Barack Obama’s trip to Afghanistan:

The trip communicated something of vital importance to the Afghans: reassurance that the United States is not in an all-out scramble to get away.

It’s not clear what the basis for Rubin’s claim that “reassurance” that the U.S. is in no hurry to leave Afghanistan is “of vital importance” to Afghans. A poll taken in 2010 on behalf of the Washington Post, ABC, BBC and the German broadcaster ARD found that 55 percent of the Afghan public supported the rapid withdrawal of foreign troops (GlobalPost, 12/9/10). A 2011 poll by the International Council on Security and Development (5/11) found that 76 percent of respondents in the north of Afghanistan believed NATO military operations were bad for the Afghan people, as did 87 percent of respondents in the south. A March 2012 poll by the German Institute for Social Research and Statistical Analysis (PressTV, 4/17/12) reported 60 percent support for early withdrawal of U.S. forces.

Based on available evidence, it sounds like news that Americans plan to stay in their country would be of vital importance to Afghans. But “reassurance” is not the word for it.

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.