Sunday’s New York Times, gearing up for Memorial Day, carries a leading front-page story direct from the Afghan front, complete with photos. Does it tell of the 1,000 Americans who have perished there in America’s longest war, or the unknown number of innocent Afghans to fall, or the many more on both sides gruesomely injured, or the devastation visited on the poor and backward regions of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan by the firepower of the mightiest war machine the world has yet to produce? Absolutely not.
Instead, readers are treated to a feel-good story about female Marines “bonding” with their Afghan sisters, under the headline “In Camouflage or Veil, a Fragile Bond.” Did a Times writer dream up that sappy headline, or did it come from a basement office in the Pentagon or Langley where pro-war psyops against the U.S. citizenry are concocted? Or can such a distinction even be drawn, with journalistic ambition and careerism run wild? In my edition of the paper of record the story is adorned with a photo of a young Marine woman holding an Afghan toddler. How nice these warriors are. No killing for them. Just handing out ibuprofen, “giggling” (sic) with Afghan women, and playing with kids.