Afghanistan: Who Is to Blame? (Editorial Analysis)

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Afghanistan: Who Is To Blame?

The turmoil in Afghanistan is getting worse with each passing day. Terrorists control many parts of the country. As a result, the Afghani people live in constant fear. In efforts to assist this struggling nation, the US and NATO have tried to strengthen the Afghani national forces. Unfortunately, very little real progress has been made toward securing a solid Afghani government.

This paper analyzes two editorials that discuss the current situation in Afghanistan, and who is to blame for the current disarray in the country. One editorial is from a liberal publication (The New York Times), while the other is from a conservative publication (the Washington Times). Both editorials provide valuable arguments, but neither is effective enough to persuade someone to change their mind about the situation by reading one or the other.

The New York Times’ editorial (“Unfinished Business in Afghanistan” published on June 20, 2008), attempts to persuade their readers that the reason the situation in Afghanistan remains unchanged is because of a lack of action on President Bush’s part. The editorial opens with “Five years after President Bush largely dropped the military operation against the Afghan-based Taliban and Al Qaeda so he could invade Iraq, American and NATO troops are needed as much as ever in Afghanistan to hold back a resurgence of those forces. Yet Washington and its European allies still do not have an effective and comprehensive strategy to combat the threat.” By making such a claim right away, the author automatically tries to persuade readers that President Bush has basically ignored Afghanistan while spending five years in Iraq. The audience of the New York Times consists of upper-middle class urban readers, who are politically liberal. They would not be hard to persuade in this situation. They already have a distrust of President Bush and the situation in Iraq. In terms of trying to persuade someone who is more...
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