Anti-War and Silencing

Consider it a particular form of gaslighting. One of the most frustrating things about the recent media coverage of Afghanistan (which has received more coverage in the last week in U.S. media than it did in the last five years–when it might have mattered) is that we’re reliving the same stupid shit we did fifteen to twenty years ago. As some asshole with a blog Twitter feed noted, “For any Zoomers or younger Millenials disgusted by the political press corps’ warmongering of the last week, this is what post-9/11 was like. For years.”

So maybe there’s some educational value in it. Snark aside, the people who were right, once again, are simply not being allowed access to mainstream media (boldface mine):

On Wednesday, Popular Information spoke to a veteran communications professional who has been trying to place prominent voices supportive of the withdrawal on television and in print. The source said that it has been next to impossible:

I’ve been in political media for over two decades, and I have never experienced something like this before. Not only can I not get people booked on shows, but I can’t even get TV bookers who frequently book my guests to give me a call back…

I’ve fed sources to reporters, who end up not quoting the sources, but do quote multiple voices who are critical of the president and/or put the withdrawal in a negative light.

I turn on TV and watch CNN and, frankly, a lot of MSNBC shows, and they’re presenting it as if there’s not a voice out there willing to defend the president and his decision to withdraw. But I offered those very shows those voices, and the shows purposely decided to shut them out.

In so many ways this feels like Iraq and 2003 all over again. The media has coalesced around a narrative, and any threat to that narrative needs to be shut out.

The one person who voted against the AUMF, Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee, hasn’t been invited onto the weekend shows or cable news networks other than MSNBC (and even then the focus has been on the withdrawl). Instead, we are treated to a procession of people who, to use that odious and murderous phrase they developed to excuse their idiocy, ‘were wrong for the right reasons.’

Should we investigate the withdrawl? Sure. I think we’ll find a lot of incompetency in our military and foreign policy bureaucracies that needs to be removed. But we’re ignoring much larger questions–and, as multiple people have noted, using the issue of the withdrawl process as a way to avoid any accountability for two decades of foreign policy failure.

At this point, I would settle for these motherfuckers just going away, so we don’t have to continue to clean up their messes.

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