To be clear, this attack and this massive loss of airpower happened last week. The reason this information might be news to you over a week later is due to our media’s depraved indifference to reporting any truth that might hurt Barack Obama’s reelection chances.
John Hudson at “The Atlantic” has the story but his angle is entirely wrong. He blames the lack of coverage of this disaster — or at least coverage with the proper perspective — on the fact that after ten years of war, Americans have become desensitized to these kinds of reports. But we all know that’s utter hokum.
The Taliban attack on an air base in southern Afghanistan on Friday drew coverage for the way the insurgents cloaked themselves in U.S. army uniforms to gain a tactical advantage, but few have taken note of the historical proportions of the damage inflicted. John Gresham, at the Defense Media Network, has published a detailed account of the attack on Camp Bastion, in which two Marines were killed, six U.S. Marine Corps jet fighters were destroyed, and two more “significantly” damaged. Those facts were all carried in most reports, but if that just sounds like a typical damage report from a decade-long war, you’re wrong. Gresham explains the devastating damage done to VMA-211, the name of the Marine Corps attack squadron that was most affected last week, noting that it is “arguably the worst day in [U.S. Marine Corps] aviation history since the Tet Offensive of 1968.”
This has nothing to do with “desensitization” — if that’s even a word. If the situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating to this point and to the point where we’re no longer able to protect our servicemen from our supposed Afghan allies during joint operations, I think the American people want to know this. Either we’re there to win this thing or we are not, and if we’re not, let’s get the hell out.
But the way in which the media told the story of this wildly successful Taliban attack isn’t about perspective, it’s about context — context extremely damaging to an Obama Administration that’s puffed out its chest as National Security Heroes.
For the last few years all we’ve heard from the media and Obama is bragging over this so-called “smart power” that allowed us to disengage from the Middle East and welcome the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood to fill the power vacuum that disengagement created. But now that those chickens are coming home to roost in Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, Pakistan, and in dozens of hot spots throughout the region, the media is doing everything in its power to ensure the story isn’t allowed to crystallize into what it truly is — the story of the Obama Administration’s breathtaking failure, incompetence, and fecklessness.
What we have had for four years now is a corrupt media working hand-in-hand with the Obama White House to cover up and downplay every kind of bad news. The media’s behavior in his regard has only gotten impossibly worse since Obama’s reelection campaign began. But over the last few weeks, the media’s shilling has devolved into nothing less than dereliction of duty.
We can’t even sing that old refrain, What would the media do if Bush… because Bush never scapegoated an American citizen in order to take the focus and blame off of his own security failures. Bush never told the American people that the successful assassination of an American ambassador by al-Qaeda was a spontaneous protest over a film gone haywire.
But it’s probably is safe to say that in final days of Bush’s reelection bid, had America suffered its worst airpower loss since Vietnam and an ambassador been assassinated due to unforgivable U.S. security failures, the media would’ve made damn sure the American people knew exactly what happened.
With results that are tragic in both the global and personal sense, an American president’s foreign policy is collapsing all around us, and the only stories the American media will tell are those that will help drag him over the November finish line.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC