Silence on Afghanistan: If Only It Were a Joke
It's April Fool's Day week and my inbox is full.
My favorite prank posting so far comes from the London- based Guardian newspaper which announced (via Twitter): "The Guardian scraps print version for all-Twitter format"
The newly Twittered 140-character-only archive was said to include the following articles: "OMG Hitler invades Poland, allies declare war see [link]," and "JFK assassin8d@Dallas, def. heard second gunshot... WTF?"
What I wish was a joke was some of the rest of what's been coming in...
Like all the mail from supposedly anti-war groups who worked hard to elect Barack Obama on an anti-Iraq war platform, but now, when it comes to escalation in Afghanistan, are lining up in support.
After the president announced the deployment of 4,000 more troops (on top of the extra 17,000 he's already sent) Jon Soltz, an anti-Iraq war organizer with VoteVets wrote in the Huffington Post: "With today's announcement President Obama has shown that he 'gets it.' That's why we at VoteVets.org are supporting the plan." They even have a rah-rah petition going.
Americans United for Change ran hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of anti-Iraq war ads in 2007. But they refused to answer a Washington Post blogger's question about Afghanistan. Anti-war organizers - and plenty of generals agreed -- there was no military solution possible in Iraq. But many of those who got their head round that idea then, seem to believe the opposite is true in Afghanistan, even though Obama's own advisers say the struggle there can't be won on the battlefield.
On the website of the liberal Center for America Progress there are no fewer than five articles supporting the president's policy, including one headlined "Seven Reasons Why We need to Engage in Afghanistan."
On the Afghanistan deployment, as the Center for Media and Democracy's John Stauber has pointed out, MoveOn has thus far been silent on Afghanistan.
When MoveOn's members were recently polled on their priorities for 2009, the subject didn't apparently make the cut.
I wish I could say APRIL FOOLS. But sadly no. Looking at the history of Afghanistan, I'd have to say, the joke, such as it is, is on us.