Friday, November 13, 2009

Making 2 Dimensions Out Of Afghani Soup

The Morning Joe Rebuttal for November 13th, 2009

Just one observation today:

What clarity service do you think you're providing on your extensive coverage of Afghanistan when you leave so much out of the story and reduce it to a question that Mr. Ed could answer with his hoof?

Throughout the program today, the question of President Obama’s next direction in Afghanistan was unfairly reduced to how many troops to deploy, what's the exit strategy and what's taking so long? This is not a sitcom, and that last question doesn’t count as a dimension to the story.

Where do I start? Oh,


See, that’s 6 dimensions, and that’s at least the starting point of doing fair representation on the story. What instead transpired was even further dumbed-down with a new low in crap polling. How many Americans believe the troop increase should be 40k or more, how many Americans believe we should start to draw down? Based on what, the information you’re providing? To be kind that poll is in the category of self-serving in that it does little to expose the dilution of the story your perpetuating.

But it wasn’t for a lack of time available or spent. You elapsed 40+ minutes on Afghanistan. OK I made that number up, but it was a lot. Here’s some stuff that was never mentioned in that vast amount of time spent:

The kind of government that should be constructed to rule Afghanistan was never meant to be a democracy, it’s a reconstitution of something called a Misak I Milli tribal confederation ruled by a Monarch that was effective ruling the region until the Russians killed the last King prior to their invasion. Every step towards a democracy identifies us as unknowing crusaders.

The DOD is spending 10% of the entire Afghanistan logistics budgets on contract payments to the Taliban so that they won’t attack supply columns. This is more than the Taliban makes in heroin sales. The payments are delivered through proxy Afghan companies with familial ties to Karzai and his Defense Ministers. This is the prime source of revenue for the Taliban to arm themselves against us and why they are growing in size and effectiveness.

The Taliban leaders of the Afghanistan war effort are based in Quetta, Pakistan. Sort've like our command center is in Qatar, they have a command center, although it probably isn’t recognizable as such, from which to operate from. This is denied by the Pakistani government and former leader Musharraf.

The strategy option that many leaders suggest might be part and parcel to the near and medium term operations moves in two directions depending on the demography and topography: population centers get troop deployments, and forward operating bases in rural parts are replaced with drones and remote strategy. To be fair, I’ve heard Joe Scarborough talk about this one once in passing, but if it’s a daily story and a priority today, it can’t just disappear.

Ok, so am I some birther, truth commission wacko? Did I get this stuff from tea party websites or Tom Morello? No, that’s the shows directly adjacent to yours doing their job {credit: Dylan Ratigan, Fareed Zakaria}. I am not an expert at foreign policy, anti-insurgency, tribal governments or Pashtun demographics. Nearly none of your viewers are. But when there is a wall of evidence that you’ve dumbed the story down to this extent, its fair game.

OK, as if you haven’t already clicked to ESPN to try and feel better about your work today, now I have a second observation:

Why on earth did you not mention the swing-state free clinic program that Keith Olbermann devised to make the high drama that unfolded in Inglewood, California come home to roost in Louisiana, Arkansas and Missouri? What’s the opposite of prescient?

Have a great weekend, see you Monday.

No comments:

Post a Comment