Aug 20 2010

Hannah Gurman on Iraq, Norman Solomon on Petraeus and Afghanistan


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

Meet the Press features a parade of Afghanistan hawksThe 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 […]

Aug 06 2010

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


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


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


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

Elite papers marginalize public oppositionThe 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 […]

Aug 25 2009

Where Is the Afghanistan Debate?

When public support slips, TV packs in war boosters

When public support slips, TV packs in war boostersWith new polls showing the American public becoming increasingly critical of the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan, the Sunday morning network talkshows turned primarily to Pentagon officials and war boosters to discuss the issue, continuing the media marginalization of critics of the escalation of the war (Extra!, 4/09). The most recent ABC/Washington Post poll (8/13-17/09) found that 51 percent of respondents believe the war is not worth fighting–the first time that position has received majority support. Just 24 percent supported sending more troops to Afghanistan, while 45 percent think the level of troops […]

Apr 03 2009

Mark Weisbrot on the G20, Gareth Porter on the Afghanistan surge


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Barack Obama’s military surge in Afghanistan has caught very little flack in the media, even though experts on the region say it doesn’t make sense and distorts realities on the ground in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan. We’ll talk to journalist Gareth Porter about coverage of the Afghanistan surge, an Obama policy he calls “a stunningly irrational blunder.” Also on CounterSpin today, the G-20 summit in London has attracted a lot of media attention; that this is Barack Obama’s first major sit-down with other world leaders is probably one factor. But looming over the event […]