Focusing on Handshake, MSM Ignores News of NATO Takeover in Eastern Afghanistan

With one of his inimitable montages, Rush Limbaugh documented today the way in which the MSM got hung up on a handshake - one the media reported didn't come off between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his Pakistani counterpart Pervez Musharraf during their recent White House visit.

Though WH spokesman Tony Snow has reportedly indicated that the pair did shake hands off-camera, the media tea-leaf readers seemingly imbue The Handshake That Didn't Happen with dire implications for the achievement of US goals in the region. Ironically, on the very same day, the MSM has yet to report on a major, positive development in the region - one that would bring a smile to the lips of even a Nancy Pelosi or a New York Times editorialist - were they not solemnly sworn to ac-cen-tu-ate the negative from now till Election Day.

Here's the story, as contained in a bulletin from the American Forces Information Service:

"Defense ministers meeting in Portoroz, Slovenia, have approved the expansion of responsibility for the alliance's International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan to include the eastern portion of the country. ISAF already exercises operational control in the country's other three regions."

A Pentagon official has shared with me these views on the development:

  • The U.S. will remain the largest troop contributor to the overall security mission in Afghanistan, continuing to provide all the air support, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance.
  • US troop numbers will fluctuate in response to conditions and requirements, as they have done since operations began. However, the NATO takeover "certainly sets the stage" for the possibility of US troop reductions in the future.
  • This should be a seamless transition.


On a day when the MSM would rather focus on an elusive pressing of the flesh, the Defense Department has notched a significant achievement with a major extension of allied responsibility in the fight against terror in Afghanistan.

Finkelstein lives in the liberal haven of Ithaca, NY. View webcasts of Mark's award-winning TV show 'Right Angle' here. Contact Mark at mark@gunhill.net

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.