It took a story about a private security firm's fraternity-style hazing at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul for progressives to take notice of Afghanistan again. And only because they thought they were looking at Pride Day photos worth sharing at their next diversity awareness symposium. Once they realized what they were actually viewing, of course, they were shocked, shocked! Richie Maddow would lead with the story that evening. But otherwise, who would even know there was a war going on?
This summer has marked the deadliest three month stretch since the conflict in Afghanistan began and the worst year so far for coalition forces. This year, U.S. and NATO forces have lost a total of 297 soldiers. That's more than the entire number killed in all of 2008 and we still have four months to go. August alone saw 47 Americans die in combat, and that followed a July where 44 Americans sacrificed their lives fighting the war on terror. Whoops, sorry, I mean the overseas contingency operation, as Obama and the White House have decided to rename it. That certainly sounds like a cause worth fighting for.
As you can imagine, given the failing surge and rising death tolls, the anti-war protesters are all over this story. Huge demonstrations have broken out... Wait. What? They haven't? The streets should be filled with protesters, you know, the same ones that spent the last eight years calling the president a baby killer and war criminal. What's changed? Besides the R becoming a D next to the president's name?
Perhaps these war protests don't pay as well as the town hall protests protesting those Americans who dare speak out against the president on health care; the ones organized by Axelrod, ACORN, and the SEIU. Or as I like to call the bussed-in union astroturfers, uneasy riders.
I'm no anti-war expert, but the loss of almost 100 soldiers in 60 days seems alarming and certainly newsworthy, yet the media coverage has been scarce to say the least. I can't find an anti-war protester anywhere. Not a one. Okay, that's not exactly true. I did find one:
While the first family was out enjoying an island bike ride, Cindy Sheehan, an anti-war activist, was peddling complaints about President Barack Obama's foreign policy. Like she has since her son, Casey, was killed in Iraq in 2004, Sheehan is using the backdrop of a presidential vacation to make her pitch for peace. It's an effective way to get her anti-war protests attention, she said. "The only change in foreign policy has been a change for the worse," she said, wearing a pink T-shirt with a peace symbol and the words, "Peace. Love. Vineyard."
In case you missed the coverage of this protest, you're not alone. The mainstream media ignored it completely. And that pink peace t-shirt sounds downright vintage, doesn't it? It's so 2006. Yes, Martha's Vineyard was certainly quiet compared to Crawford, Texas. Cindy Sheehan has been abandoned by the very liberal activists and blogs that used to champion her cause before their Democratic candidate took over the White House and increased our troop presence in Afghanistan. Something Cindy might call "a surge."
I had to dig a while before I even found this article, in the Cape Cod Times of all places. It was only three paragraphs long and they even had to write a descriptor for readers who might have been in a coma for the past four years - Cindy Sheehan, anti-war activist. Isn't that like writing Big Bird, Sesame Street puppet? Or Bill Maher, pothead douchebag? Imagine if the only coverage Sheehan got protesting Bush showed up in the Crawford Ranch Report. Of course, we all remember what the coverage of her anti-Bush protest really looked like:
Sheehan once attracted so much attention that media chasers like Al Sharpton would have skipped their mother's funeral to grandstand by her side. Now she can't even attract Al Roker. From falling all over themselves to tell her story to simply falling away, even Cindy Sheehan admits she was used by the Democrats and kos kids, as Byron York reported last week. Remember when she got arrested for refusing to cover up an anti-war t-shirt in the House gallery? Those were the days. Now she couldn't get arrested if she tried.
Isn't it interesting that the mainstream media has no interest in war protests now that Democrats are running the war? Isn't it interesting that the Left isn't preoccupied with war horror stories or painting soldiers as victims? Turns out all those protesters weren't that anti-war after all. They just suffered from Republican Derangement Syndrome. I'd bet everything I own they'd still be out there demanding a troop withdraw if John McCain had won the election. It's a partisan sickness. But since Barack won, they've moved on, as has MoveOn.org, the left wing organization who once felt compelled to run this ad in the New York Times attacking the general in charge of our troops:
That was exactly two years ago. The month that ad ran, we lost 64 American soldiers in Iraq. Last month, we lost 47 in Afghanistan. Am I to understand that 17 lives are all that separate concerned, full-page, liberal hysteria and ho-hum, don't-sweat-it complacency? I spent an hour on Newsweek's website yesterday, and I couldn't find one story about Afghanistan on the main page. Health care? Check. 2010 election? Check. CEO pay? Check. Michelle Obama's fashion? Check. Michael Jackson? Check. Fallen soldiers? Nope. Cue the crickets.
Can this really be the same Newsweek who published this issue of letters and diaries from dead soldiers, which some left wing media worshippers called "the best issue in 75 years?"
I hate to sound cynical, but why are our soldiers suddenly being ignored? It certainly appears that a soldier's life has more value to the mainstream media when a Republican is the one sending them into combat. Their lives and sacrifice only seem to get publicized when Democrats can use them to further their own cause. A dead soldier that offers no political opportunity to the Left apparently isn't a dead soldier at all. Nothing to see here. Now who's that Mark Sanford sleeping with, because that's front page material.
Of course, if you want to point out hypocrisy, look to the top of the ticket. Senator Obama voted to cut-and-run from Iraq and to cut off funding the troops. It was a focal point of his presidential campaign. Now that he's actually in charge, he acts as if he has no say in the matter. It's like Barack is back in the Illinois Senate voting "present" again. He could cut-and-run tomorrow if he really felt that passionately about it. As Bush would say to Obama, "You're the decider."
I'm certainly glad he hasn't pulled out, and it's one place I'll give President Obama credit. I'm glad he broke that campaign promise. But did he really break it, or he is just tying our soldier's hands behind their backs and waiting for things to get bad enough to shrug his shoulders and start withdrawing troops? After all, he didn't start the war. So don't expect him to hold himself responsible for whatever happens. I bet we'll hear that nugget of spin a thousand times before the next election, even though the changes he's made to the rules of engagement have made our task that much more difficult and put more of our troops in harm's way.
We're not winning in Afghanistan and Barack Obama is the commander-in-chief. Where's the outrage? Where are the tough questions and profiles in courage? If a soldier falls in battle under a Democratic president, does anybody hear?