Sunday, January 09, 2005

You make the call

In another round of "you make the call" the following is a news clipping from Newsweek. Its up to you to decide whether it is from a "news" or opinion column.

Now, NEWSWEEK has learned, the Pentagon is intensively debating an option that dates back to a still-secret strategy in the Reagan administration’s battle against the leftist guerrilla insurgency in El Salvador in the early 1980s. Then, faced with a losing war against Salvadoran rebels, the U.S. government funded or supported "nationalist" forces that allegedly included so-called death squads directed to hunt down and kill rebel leaders and sympathizers. Eventually the insurgency was quelled, and many U.S. conservatives consider the policy to have been a success—despite the deaths of innocent civilians and the subsequent Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages scandal.

Not suprisingly, this was from the "news" section.

Glenn Reynolds from Instapundit has a hilarious rebuttal:

Er, maybe because the Iran-Contra scandal had to do with overthrowing the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, rather than the guerrilla war in El Salvador? I mean, I know all those people look alike to the folks at Newsweek, but this is either inexcusable sloppiness, or simply a stretch to try to bring in more stuff that might make it look bad.

The whole piece is like that, and it's unfortunately typical. I don't know whether this sort of thing is a good idea or not -- I can see arguments both ways -- but this story goes out of its way, as usual, to get the digs in before getting around to mentioning the actual arguments.
I guess I should be glad, though: Usually it's all about Vietnam. At least this story is bringing things 20 years closer to the present.


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