William Arkin on US media coverage of the US military

William Arkin:

Despite being at “war,” no great wartime leaders or visionaries are emerging. There is not a soul in Washington who can say that they have won or stopped any conflict. And though there might be the beloved perfumed princes in the form of the Petraeus’ and Wes Clarks’, or the so-called warrior monks like Mattis and McMaster, we’ve had more than a generation of national security leaders who sadly and fraudulently have done little of consequence. And yet we (and others) embrace them, even the highly partisan formers who masquerade as “analysts”. We do so ignoring the empirical truth of what they have wrought: There is not one country in the Middle East that is safer today than it was 18 years ago. Indeed the world becomes ever more polarized and dangerous.

In an Intercept article Glenn Greenwald describes Arkin as a “longtime prominent war and military reporter, perhaps best known for his groundbreaking, three-part Washington Post series in 2010″. I know Arkin from 1980 and his book SIOP, which I used in trying to broaden people’s knowledge of the US Single Integrated Operating Plan for nuclear war.

Greenwald’s article is worth reading from beginning to end, I think. Referencing Jack Shafer:

…filling your news and analyst slots with former security state officials as MSNBC and NBC have done is tantamount to becoming state TV, since “their first loyalty — and this is no slam — is to the agency from which they hail.” As he put it: “Imagine a TV network covering the auto industry through the eyes of dozens of paid former auto executives and you begin to appreciate the current peculiarities.”

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