Aug
27
2010

Pratap Chatterjee on Task Force 373, Timothy Karr on net neutrality

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The WikiLeaks Afghan War Diaries prompted waves of media coverage, though much of that amounted to "move on, there's nothing to see here." But digging into the documents might reveal more about the Afghan War than we knew—like the existence of something called Task Force 373, set up to capture or kill specific al Qaeda or Taliban figures. What does it really do, though, and where does it fit in with what we know about U.S. war policy? Journalist Pratap Chatterjee will join us to talk about that. Also on CounterSpin today: A few […]

Aug
24
2010

Tell NBC: Debate the Afghanistan War

Meet the Press missing antiwar voices

Thousands have signed on to FAIR's petition--add your voice today and keep the pressure on NBC to have a real war debate! July saw more U.S. troop fatalities in Afghanistan than any month since the war began nine years ago. Gen. Stanley McChrystal was removed from his commanding post amid controversy, and WikiLeaks released a trove of classified documents that paint a picture of a failing war and unreported civilian casualties. How has NBC's Meet the Press responded to these developments? By inviting on guests to defend the war and Obama's Afghanistan policy. Sundays on NBC have been a steady […]

Aug
20
2010

Hannah Gurman on Iraq, Norman Solomon on Petraeus and Afghanistan

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: One war is ending, while the other is the subject of a major PR blitz. Right on schedule, we're told, Operation Iraqi Freedom is winding down, with live TV coverage relaying the images of the final U.S. combat brigades leaving the country. The caveats to the story of the "end" of the war are abundant—tens of thousands of troops and private contractors remain, and some are already suggesting they'll be there longer than we've been told. So how does a war that isn't really ending actually end? Hannah Gurman wrote about the Orwellian state […]

Aug
18
2010

Tell NBC: Sunday Morning Needs a Real War Debate

Meet the Press features a parade of Afghanistan hawks

The war in Afghanistan has re-emerged as a major news story, thanks to the controversies surrounding the removal of Gen. Stanley McChrystal and the WikiLeaks release of classified documents. But on NBC's Meet the Press, the opportunity to engage in a robust debate about the war has taken a back seat to promoting the views of the military and supporters of Obama's Afghanistan policies. The most recent example came on August 15, when Meet the Press devoted the entire episode to a profile of Gen. David Petraeus. Host David Gregory's opening indicated it wasn't going to be a feet-to-the-fire interview: […]

Aug
06
2010

Sonali Kolhatkar on Afghan War & women, Laura Carlsen on Venezuela & Colombia

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The release of the Afghanistan WikiLeaks documents brought the Afghan war back onto the front pages, but much of the attention went to Time magazine's cover, featuring a disfigured Afghan woman and the headline "What Happens if we leave Afghanistan." Suddenly the Afghan War debate reverted back to its 2001 template, with the rescue of Afghan women as the noble rationale for U.S. military action. We'll get a reaction from radio host Sonali Kolhatkar of the Afghan Women's Mission. Also on CounterSpin today: If you've been following the rising tensions between Colombia and Venezuela, […]

Apr
02
2010

Alfred McCoy on Afghanistan, Richard Kim on The Mad Tea Party

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The DEA made a high profile announcement of massive seizures of opium in Afghanistan, reminding us of the centrality of opium production to the country’s economy. But most stories on the occupation and on Afghan ‘hearts and minds’ include marginal mention of the narcotic. How would really understanding the role of opium shift our understanding of US policy in Afghanistan? We’ll hear from historian Alfred McCoy, author of the classic The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia, now updated as The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade. Also on CounterSpin […]

Dec
04
2009

Norman Solomon on Afghan escalation, Robert Naiman on Afghan civil war

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: 30,000 new troops to Afghanistan at the 'fastest possible pace,' President Obama has declared, are in our vital national interest. The Washington Post called it a strong but carefully calibrated to Afghanistan and Pakistan, describing the plan as "a counterinsurgency strategy aimed at protecting the Aghan population." Perhaps some message shifting going on, about whether US actions are aimed at helping Afghans or defending ourselves, (or maybe you can take your pick) but what doesn't seem up for serious discussion is whether the actions will have the effect of doing either. We’ll be talking […]

Nov
01
2009

In Afghan Debate, Few Antiwar Op-Eds

Elite papers marginalize public opposition

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/The U.S. Army

The Obama administration, having increased the number of troops in Afghanistan by 21,000 in March, is engaged in a contentious internal discussion about whether to send an additional 40,000 more. There is growing anger over Afghan civilian deaths, and July and August were the deadliest months for U.S. soldiers since the U.S. invaded in 2001 (AP, 8/28/09). Meanwhile, polls throughout 2009 show a U.S. public divided on whether the war is even worth fighting, let alone in need of escalation. In three surveys since July, the AP/GfK poll has reported that at least 53 percent of respondents say they oppose […]