Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 17, 2011

Every Soldier A "NATO Official"?

Screencap from today's Washington Post website

According to ISAF:

An individual wearing an Afghan National Army uniform turned his weapon against International Security Assistance Force service members in southern Afghanistan today, killing one service member.

A service member in ISAF speech is just a normal soldier. But the Washington Post is headlining the story as "NATO official". Are we now to take all those anonymous "NATO officials" the Washington Post regularly quotes for propaganda purposes as being just this or that lowly Private First Class?

Posted by b on July 17, 2011 at 06:43 AM | Permalink


Hmmmm that is a weird one alright.

Also of course its the regular wording they used in Iraq during the civil war "An individual wearing an Afghan National Army Uniform". Why don't they just say "a soldier in the Afghan National Army fired on Americans." In Iraq during the height of the civil war it was an "unidentified person wearing Iraqi police uniforms went into a Sunni neighbourhood and abducted." Don't know why it is always phrased like that, maybe not to sully the reputation of the Afghan army. But regardless it is not very effective.

Regarding this dead "soldier" being renamed a "NATO official" I'd imagine it is a transparent attempt to obsure the realities of war. People reading the Washington Post are more likely to go along with its Pro-War agenda if they aren't opening up the papers on a Sunday morning and reading about dead troops. Instead they just get the clinical term "NATO offical".

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jul 17, 2011 8:48:02 AM | 1

Nothing new, just like when every insurgent killed in Iraq was the #2 man in Al-Q.

Posted by: Biklett | Jul 17, 2011 11:51:03 AM | 2

There has to be a new school of journalism or better yet a lack of journalism.........

Posted by: georgeg | Jul 17, 2011 1:56:22 PM | 3

Don't we simply have to wait to discover the individual's identity? That is not normally announced until the person's family has been informed.

Posted by: alexno | Jul 17, 2011 4:30:36 PM | 4

Every ISAF member is a UN official.

Every dead Afghani / Pakistani / Somali / Yemeni is a militant or insurgent.

Every vassal is an ally.

Every opponent is the new Hitler.

Repetition is the essence of propaganda, the more mindless the better.

Posted by: ScuzzaMan | Jul 18, 2011 4:14:44 AM | 5

WaPo, like NATO, is a triumph of style over substance.
We probably shouldn't be surprised when we catch one of these birds of a feather scratching the other's back.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 18, 2011 11:22:11 PM | 6

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