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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A New Twist in NPR's Lie of Omission About Afghanistan, 1979

Today's Morning Edition had an interview about the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. Like previous discussions of this event on NPR (and other major media), and despite my having written them more than once on the matter, they once again accepted the myth that US aid to the fundamentalist/feudalist/tribalist reactionaries known as the mujahedin began in response to the invasion, when in reality it preceded that invasion by five months.

As I've noted previously, President Carter's national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, admitted as much in an interview he gave Le Nouvel Observateur in 1998. He admitted as well that he knew a Soviet invasion was likely to occur in response, advised the President of this, and was not troubled by the prospect. He still professed no regrets at the time of the interview, notwithstanding the enormous harm done to Afghan women in particular by this policy. Whether he still has no regrets, post-9/11, one can only wonder.

What's new is that, in this interview, we can hear NPR's Steve Inskeep mentioning that the invasion came in response to a request for help from Afghanistan's president. Yet we don't hear what the reason for this request was. Clearly something has been edited out -- either that the US was already aiding the reactionary rebels, or at least that they were already rebelling prior to the invasion. In either case, it's a serious omission, for no apparent purpose except to maintain the myth of US innocence and beneficence in this matter.

I've written NPR's Ombudsman about this, and will report here if I receive any response.

Eric Hamell

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