E. J. Dionne, writing today in the war-loving Washington Post‘s editorial page, perfectly illustrates why the United States is constantly at war, and how even so-called “liberal” columnists opperate under the exact same flawed worldview as the neocons they pretend to despise.
Dionne’s column is not all bad by any means. He correctly points out that many of the most blood-thirsty hawks–who, it should also be noted, have found a comfortable home at the WaPo‘s editorial page–also claim to be VERY concerned with oversized government spending. That is, the Fred Hiatt’s of the world can always find extra money for exciting wars against brown people, but when it comes to providing the most basic of human rights–eg, health care–to citizens, he just doesn’t think there’s enough money for that at all, thank you very much.
Dionne is right to point out that hypocracy–even moreso because his paper is more guilty of it than any other mainstream news outlet. Where Dionne unforgivably veers into neocon territory is in his definition of the conflict itself. He mindlessly reiterates the standard, war-loving talking point that we must fight terrorists over there so-in-as we don’t gots to fight ’em over here:
“[I]n the wake of Sept. 11, [Obama] sees the United States as having vital interests in Afghanistan that it did not have in Vietnam: the need to defeat terrorists in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, and to be mindful of the impact of our choices on the future of Pakistan.” [emphasis added.]
Yes, like the Brookings Institute member that he is–remember that Michael O’Hanlon and Kenny Pollack, two BI lackeys, have been some of the most dependable war cheerleaders one can find–Dionne unquestioningly repeats the incoherent claim that continuing the violent US occupation of Afghanistan is the best way to increase our standing with Afghans specifically, and with Muslims generally.
And, I’ll say again, this column is one of the most “liberal” columns you’ll find in the Washington Post. That, more than anything else, illustrates how far to the right our national discourse has gone. It remains virtually impossible to find anyone in a mainstream news outlet advocating a full withdrawal of American forces. Despite ample documentation that it is the Imperial nature of the American Empire that fuels anti-American sentiment, calling for an actual end to our two occupations (three, counting Palestine) remains on the fringes of the national discourse.
One must go to Robert Greenwald or Nir Rosen to find people willing to challenge the prevailing myth that more troops equals more betterness for American and Afghanistan. If you want an example of what the argument for full withdrawal from Afghanistan looks like when it’s shat from the mouth of America’s Bravest Man, Thomas Friedman, read his column in which he literally calls Afghanistan a baby, thereby participating in the grand tradition of the West infantilizing Muslims to a degree that borders on self-parody.
I’ll end with the crazy words of dangerous lunatic Noam Chomsky, speaking on Democracy Now! back in April:
“When President Obama was elected, Afghan President Karzai sent him a message, which, as far as I know, was unanswered, in which he pleaded with President Obama to stop killing Afghans.”
Don’t look to The Washington Post to say anything that radical any time soon.