For Real Criticism of Holbrooke, Go Beyond NYT

In the proud tradition of objective journalism, the New York Times included both positive and negative views of Afghan envoy Richard Holbrooke in its December 14 obituary: Some called him a bully, and he looked the part: the big chin thrust out, the broad shoulders, the tight smile that might mean anything. To admirers, however, including generations of State Department protégés and the presidents he served, his peacemaking efforts were extraordinary. On the one hand, the big chin and a tight smile; on the other, the extraordinary peacemaking efforts. The Times leaves it to you, the reader, to decide for […]


Richard Holbrooke and Ending the Afghan War

ApparentlyRichard Holbrooke’s final words were, “You’ve got to stop this war in Afghanistan.”This is being highlighted in a big way on the Drudge Report, which meansmedia people will be talking about it. Revealing, in an entirely different way, was this part of a Washington Post story (12/14/10) about the state of the Afghan War post-Holbrooke: Holbrooke’s death is the latest complication in an effort plagued by unreliable partners, reluctant allies and an increasingly skeptical American public. The war, in other words, is “plagued” by the public’s disapproval of it. For a government to carry out a war that its citizens […]


Press Freedom ‘Lip Service’ vs. ‘de Facto U.S. Policy’

Reporting that “the Obama administration has recently paid a lot of lip service to freedom of the press, particularly around the case of Iranian-American journalist Roxanna Saberi, who was released May 11 from an Iranian prison,” Jeremy Scahill asks (Rebel Reports, 5/26/09) the simple question, “If Iran Freed Roxanna Saberi, Why Won’t the U.S. Release Journalist Ibrahim Jassam?” Part of the answer might lie in a media environment heeding former Col. Ralph Peters’ recent “essay for a leading neocon group calling for future U.S. military attacks on media outlets and journalists” along with “censorship” and “news blackouts.” Of course, Scahill […]