Op-EdOpinion

BAILEY: Journalists/Propagandists and the Afghanistan Military Evacuation

While watching, listening and reading about events surrounding the Afghanistan evacuation by correspondents, reporters, columnists and editorial writers for MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Washington Street Journal, I often find myself noting that they often came off more like propagandists than journalists.

For instance, many of them repeatedly stated that “thousands” of U.S. military personnel were killed in the war in Afghanistan. The actual number was slightly more than 2,400. It’s for sure that those deaths were a tragedy to the family and friends of the deceased but that number by no means should be reported as thousands. It is repeatedly reported that way to arouse the American public about what the journalists/propagandists consider President Biden’s too early evacuation of U.S. military personnel from the 20-year war in Afghanistan. If they report that thousands were killed and wounded that would have been accurate. Obviously, they didn’t believe just noting 20,000 wounded would have sufficiently aroused the American public so they inflated the number killed.

As the journalists/propagandists rant on and on about President Biden’s decision to remove U.S. military personnel from Afghanistan, I wonder how many of them had served time in military service. I seriously doubt that the number is very high. Though they speak and write reverently about U.S. military adventures to fight for “Justice and Freedom,” it is very doubtful that most of them had volunteered for that noble cause. Their position is best reflected by a statement by Sen. Lindsey Graham who declared, “We will be fighting [in Afghanistan] again soon.” Graham’s “we” is very deceptive. People like him and the journalists/propagandists won’t be fighting anywhere soon; neither will their sons or daughters. The fighters will be the children of low-income and working-class families. Usually from small towns for whom the military is a way to make a living. A recent front-page article in The Washington Post provided photos, names and ages of the 13 U.S. military personnel killed during the Afghanistan evacuation. One of them was 31 years old. The other 12 were between 20 and 25 years old with probably a short time in the military.

Finally, I have thus far not seen or heard a single journalist/propagandist ask American citizens in Afghanistan why they had to be so dramatically evacuated. President Trump had set a May 1, 2021, deadline for removing the U.S. military from Afghanistan. President Biden extended the deadline to Aug. 30. He had long made clear his opposition to the war. So why didn’t the Americans there begin packing and leaving when he was elected? Thus far, I haven’t heard or read about a single journalist asking that obviously question. Instead, they present the American evacuees as noble victims of rash decision by the president for a too early military evacuation. Thus they have earned the title of journalists/propagandists.

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