Tuesday, December 11, 2007

where have we heard this before

"It is professed that as soon as we leave [Afghanistan], there will be a slaughter, slaughter, slaughter. My experience in Afghanistan indicates that, probably, there will be a civil war, [and] there will be fighting. This is an internecine war. When I was flying out of Afghanistan last year, I thought that after our withdrawal some part of NDPA would be wiped out by the vengeful Islamic movement." (Prohanov, Mezhdunarodnaya Zhizn [International Affairs] #7, 1988)

This shouldn’t be news to anyone paying attention to the last 100 years or so, but there’s some interesting work coming out of Canada comparing media performance during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the US/UK occupation of Iraq. Surprisingly, malnourished rebels living in caves posed as great a threat to Moscow as a sanction-crippled Iraq (who, as the American Academy of Arts and Science pointed out, was the weakest country in the region, pp. 42-44) did to the US. If anyone needs a refresher on how the mainstream media works in the West, Noam drops it as well as anyone.

Speaking of the US’s similarities to “totalitarian” states, did anyone catch Karl Rove on Charlie Rose? Isn’t this exactly what Winston Smith’s job description was?

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