A reader noted in the Q Tips section below that Tuesday's ATC featured Pentagon propaganda on the Green Berets. It's no secret that NPR do love it some counterinsurgency, including the Green Berets.
The piece from Jon Kalish was an unabashed, uncritical advertisement for a Green Beret commercial called Why We Fight Now. There was no critique of the Green Berets, just positive comments, an "explanation" of the filmmaker's motives, and a handy link to the 10 minutes of the film on YouTube (watch it if you can stomach it - it's a lazy, stupid, paean to warriorism).
Here's a taste of the NPR feature:
Kalish: The film is titled Why We Fight Now, a nod to the World War II series Why We Fight, produced by Hollywood filmmaker Frank Capra for the U.S. War Department.....Why We Fight Now has no narration and consists mostly of Green Berets talking about their work. It was directed by Mark Benjamin, a 62-year-old Manhattan filmmaker who might seem an odd choice for the job." [Actually there is nothing but narration, provided by Green Berets parroting a simple-minded world view and the worship of war and counterinsurgency which in NPRspeak is "talking about their 'work.' "]
Benjamin: "I've always been anti-war and never thought I would ever work for the military."
Kalish: On the wall in Benjamin's office is a poster of Che Guevara, but there's also a picture of a Green Beret handing a piece of food to a child in Afghanistan. Benjamin's political evolution is due in no small part to the terrorist attacks of September 11. He knew people who died and has made several films dealing with the day's repercussions."
Benjamin: "Because of 9/11, I became this liberal hawk. My own political perspective on global conflicts, democracy, capitalism, human rights everything changed. I certainly became more militant. I think we should go after terror wherever it is."
That's all we get. Not one bit of intelligent information or analysis. There is some chatter from an ex-Green Beret who now is a fellow at NPR-favorite war-tank, Center for New American Security, who liked the film (surprise!) and seemed surprised that the military is airing this pro-special forces rubbish (because it favors the Green Berets over other special forces!)
As always there was no mention of the sordid history of the Green Berets supporting dictators and torture states - such as the disgusting Karimov of Uzbekistan or the torture deaths of Green Beret prisoners in Afghanistan (yawn...) or the usual trail of torture, blood, and repression that US special forces leave in their wake all over the world.
In the comments section below the story Boulder Dude nails it: "So, what does one call Propaganda of a Propaganda film? Double Plus Good news?" Or as I see it propaganda squared.