Taliban poised at the gates of Kabul – CNN.com

Taliban poised at the gates of Kabul – CNN.com.

My Dad sent me the link to this story by CNN (Communist News Network) on the security of Kabul and the “Advancing Taliban Hordes.”

The article discusses an attack the Taliban made on a few government buildings a few weeks ago.  Everything they say in the article is true, to the best of my knowledge (I wasn’t there).  It was probably the largest orchestrated attacks the Taliban have committed in the city since the US occupation.  But, the article glosses over the fact that it was Afghan Police officers that eliminated the insurgents and ended the fight, preventing a much greater incident.

Another important factor is that this is one of the only incidents that we have had in the city in a while.

Basically my point is this: although I agree that over the past few years security in Afghanistan has been slipping away from us, we are not in a Vietnam type situation.  The Taliban is not knocking on the doors of Kabul and the city is still a safe haven for peaceful citizens.  With 17,000 more security troops on their way and coalition forces likely to step up as well, we will regain lost ground soon.

Don’t let the media hype scare you.  I predict a large increase of articles like this as the focus is directed away from Iraq and the economy and towards Afghanistan this spring and summer.

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4 Responses

  1. You didn’t just type out “Communist News Network” in good conscience, did you? If you question their journalism, that’s one thing, but don’t go slinging around the word Communist if you mean something else.

  2. I’ve read the article a few times now, and I’m not sure how you took away from it what you did. Your argument seems to focus on media overhyping the threat that the Taliban pose, with this being an example of the scare tactics that the media use.

    Read the article again. I don’t think it is a good example of the point you are trying to make.

    I reject your premise that stories about Afghanistan distract from the focus that should be placed on the economy and on Iraq. If you can show me numbers that stories of Afghanistan are obscuring economic discussions, I would agree with you too. I’ve generally been a news junkie, and newspapers and cable outlets have been hammering the economic stories out more than I’ve ever seen. Regardless, there can be equally important events happening simultaneously, and I think that most people can focus on more than one story at a time. The poll that I’ve linked reflects that.

    You also put into quotes the phrase “Advancing Taliban Hordes,” misleading me into thinking I would read that phrase in the article, or at least something along those lines. No where in the article did they truly sensationalize or overhype the threat coming from the Taliban, except for maybe the headline to grab attention to the article. Also, CNN didn’t compare Afghanistan to Vietnam, at least not in this article, and doing a quick search I couldn’t find anything on their site making a comparison. I agree with you that there aren’t many valuable parallels to be drawn between Vietnam and Afghanistan, but from the hours of network and cable news I watch I very very rarely see that comparison made (it’s more often made with Iraq).

    I didn’t get fearmongering from this article, I actually got the opposite. You’re a bright guy, and I think there are better fights for you to be picking than with the “Communist News Network”. If you’re looking for misleading news stories, might I suggest mediamatters.org?

    I look forward to your thoughts.

  3. I can see you took a lot of time forming this response especially because you mention that you read the CNN article several times. I also read the article, as well as your comment, more than once.You misinterpreted Joe’s premise as being that there SHOULD be a focus on the economy and Iraq rather than Afghanistan. He simply stated his prediction that this will be happening in the future. Beyond that, his comparison to Vietnam is his own words; there doesn’t need to be a Vietnam reference in the article for him to use it. Vietnam simply describes the situation he is referring to. Though the quote “Advancing Taliban Hordes” is not used in the CNN article it certainly is implied throughout.

    With quotes such as; “they [the Taliban] can attack at any minute, at any hour, any time” “With every page, the carnage is laid bare” “gave new authority to claims that the Taliban are isolating the capital” “With low wages comes low morale and an invitation to corruption” (suggesting that those we are preparing to put in charge are not to be trusted) how can you come away from this article without a feeling of fear? If this article gave you an optimistic or hopeful feeling, you must be used to some pretty dismal news coverage. I assume you got this positive feeling because you mention you got the opposite of fear mongering.

    The point is this, Joe clearly was commenting on the fact that this article takes every opportunity to make it seem as though the Taliban are on the verge of taking over Kabul and giving the impression that the Afghan police officers are ill-equipped to handle the situation. The problem with this climate is that it is not true. As Joe says, there has been little activity in the area and the Afghan police successfully eliminated the insurgents.

    Oh, and you are correct, my brother is a very intelligent guy!!

  4. Haha, thanks Niki. You all but took the words right out of my mouth. And she is right, I did not intend to say that “there SHOULD be a focus on the economy and Iraq rather than Afghanistan,” as you put it. Just a prediction.

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