At AP, Josh Lederman Glosses Over Ugly Afghan War Truths, Gets Gooey Over First Couple

December 30th, 2014 4:03 PM

At the Associated Press on Christmas Day, reporter Josh Lederman carried out what might as well be his official administration stenographer duties with special aplomb.

Three paragraphs will illustrate how Lederman glossed over realities relating to the 13-year war in Afghanistan and went all gooey over Barack and Michelle Obama's vacation:


President Barack Obama marked the end of more than a decade of combat in Afghanistan by paying tribute to America's military, telling troops on Christmas Day that their sacrifices have allowed for a more peaceful, prosperous world to emerge out of the ashes of 9/11.

This may be the "end of Afghan combat" for U.S. troops. but someone forgot to tell the Taliban that combat is supposed to be over. Three headlines will make the point:

  • At the Wall Street Journal Monday afternoon — "Afghans’ War Remains Fierce After Coalition Ends Combat Mission"
  • At USA Today, also on Monday afternoon — "Afghans are on their own in fight against Taliban"
  • Finally, this from an (ahem) AP report yesterday carried in The Hindu: "An Afghan official said four soldiers have been killed while repelling a Taliban attack on an Army checkpoint in a volatile region of the southern Helmand province."

Though there are several implications, Lederman never directly indicated that the war presently continues.


Roughly 2,200 U.S. troops were killed in Afghanistan over the last 13 years in a war that cost the U.S. $1 trillion, plus another $100 billion for reconstruction.

How utterly nice of Lederman to fail to note that over 70 percent of those deaths occurred on Obama's watch, and less than 30 percent took place while George W. Bush was president. And although U.S. military deaths in Iraq were higher, U.S. troops achieved victory there in 2008 — since virtually given by feckless U.S. foreign policy — while there has been no victory in Afghanistan.

Finally, there's this insufferable gooiness (brace yourself):

After waking up their rented vacation home in Kailua, Obama, his wife and two daughters opened presents and sang carols before pulling up midday in their motorcade to Bellows Air Force Station, a waterfront post with picturesque views of Hawaii's lush green mountains. With a calm breeze rolling in over the ocean, the Obamas spent roughly two hours with friends on the beach looking out at the piercing aquamarine waters of the Pacific Ocean.

How sweet.

Meanwhile, in the real world, "Iraq's Ministry of Human Rights is claiming that Isis militants have executed at least 150 women in the Western province of Al-Anbar." The women, some of them pregnant, refused forced jihadist marriages.

Next time you're tempted to go so mushy, Josh, tell yourself that you should save it for any attempt you might make at writing a romance novel — and perhaps consider waiting until the ugly, disastrous results of the policies of the sweethearts-in-chief aren't so obvious.

Cross-posted at