"Why is the press accepting [Obama Afghanistan policy] at face value?" Good question, and one posed by Richard Haass this morning. The president of the Council on Foreign Relations and Joe Scarborough ripped a "compliant press" on Morning Joe today for failing to ask the tough questions about Pres. Obama's prosecution of the war in Afghanistan.
Scarborough suggested a theory as to why the press is punting: "it goes against a decade-long narrative that George Bush chose the wrong war and that Afghanistan was the right war." True, no doubt. But perhaps the more fundamental explanation of the MSM's current acquiescence is that George Bush was president then, and Barack Obama is president now.
View video after the jump.
Watch Scarborough and Haas go after the lapdog press.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Richard, for years we have had journalists wringing their hands and editorialists lashing out at the profession for not asking the tough questions leading up to Iraq. Ten years from now, won't we be saying the same about Afghanistan? A compliant press that allows Westmoreland-like whitewashes of the horrific situation in Afghanistan?
RICHARD HAASS: Alas, I fear you're right. I think history's going to be brutal on the questions that haven't been asked. Yes, we can make things better in Afghanistan on the ground when you have a lot of American forces acting. But doesn't anyone really think that a day or a week or a month or a year after they leave those gains are going to still be there? Why isn't the press really looking at that question? Why are they essentially accepting this at face value? Why aren't they connecting Afghanistan to the economy? Why aren't they looking at Afghanistan, given the global terrorism threat, and saying why are we putting so much in there? Why aren't they being tougher on the Pakistani sanctuary, which isn't going away. The administration yesterday came out with this policy. It punted on the most immediate question, which is US force levels --
SCARBOROUGH: The New York Times editorial page called out the Obama administration on many fronts. But, that's a rareity. Most people are just quietly and meekly going along with this failed strategy. Because, it goes against a decade-long narrative that George Bush chose the wrong war and that Afghanistan was the right war. And if he had only put more troops in, it would be taken care of, and everything would be wonderful. But Afghanistan always was a near-impossible task once we got past the phase of driving al Qaeda out of there.
HAASS: Even yesterday, the Obama administration was blaming the Bush administration for what they inherited in Afghanistan. But this administration has tripled our force levels, it has changed the mission, it has expanded the mission. And I'm still surprised at the lack of scrutiny that's getting. Why aren't people asking tougher questions about whether this is worth it?