Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Afghanistan bans coverage of Taliban attacks

Freedom of speech and media are embedded in Afghanistan's constitution. Nevertheless, we should not be too surprised by the news today that the government in Kabul has announced a ban on news coverage showing Taliban attacks and Saeed Ansari, a spokesman for the National Directorate of Security (NDS) spy agency, is not wholly wrong when he says that "live coverage does not benefit the government, but benefits the enemies of Afghanistan," or he is at least right when he says that it does not benefit the government.  After all, with well over $2 billion a year, flowing out of the country and into foreign bank accounts we can certainly be sure that this government still has some unfinished business before it cuts and runs and it might be that reporting on the war as it is and not as Karzai and his friends in the West would like us to believe it is, would lead to some sort of government that might curtail this massive on-going theft a bit too quickly. 

Therefore, forget freedom of speech and content yourself either with pictures of dead Taliban dressed up as civilians or dead civilians dressed up as Taliban or films taken after any Taliban attack, and after the National Directorate of Security has given the journalists permission to take pictures. Perhaps, the spooks will even have time to doctor the scene. Yes, we might begin to speculate that we won't even have a Taliban "Tet Offensive" to inform us of the reality on the ground and the impeding end of a foreign occupation and a corrupt government. Nevertheless, we shouldn't be too disgruntled at not knowing what is really happening on the Hindukush. After all, there is evidence to suggest that the "international community's" Hi-tech soldiers actually think that, apart from the occassional civilian, they are actually killing terrorists.

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