Thursday, November 13, 2008

Compulsory reading

If you read one thing this week read Terry Glavin in the National Post.

It is a story of hope:
But there is also the new, real-world Kabul, out in the streets, where the bazaars are bursting with life and commerce, and raucous laughter erupts from back alleys where men sit around TV sets watching Afghan talk shows. This is the Kabul the Taliban hates so bitterly. Every morning, the streets are filled with schoolchildren. Even in the dingiest parts of this bomb-blasted metropolis, among the rickety vendors' stalls that sell cow heads and sheep guts, you can't turn a corner without coming upon another newly opened computer school, or a long line of unveiled women waiting for their literacy classes to open for the day.
And of the bitter threat of betrayal:
Among Kabul's human rights activists, student leaders and women's rights groups, the big fear isn't the spectre of Taliban militias rolling back into Kabul. The much greater threat comes from places like Washington, Tehran and Islamabad. It's the clamour for a backroom deal with the Taliban (with President Hamid Karzai's signature on it for the sake of appearances). The stink of a looming betrayal is everywhere, and Kabulis, betrayed so many times before, can smell it a mile away.
Hari, Steele and all the rest of that cosy coterie can sound so reasonable, so civilised, so sensibly pragmatic when they they use words like 'negotiation' and 'peace'. It is such an eloquent way to describe putting the lives of Afghans into the hands of grotesque murderers. Read Terry instead, the truth is much less comfortable.


Anton Deque said...

The BBC and much of the liberal media have been opposed to the western actions in Afghanistan and have had spread defeatism like a rash over all their reports. They can barely disguise their delight in what is unfolding. Taliban 'leaders' are regularly interviewed and it is taken for granted that they are winning because they say they are.

It has even been forgotten that the Taliban were kicked over the border into Pakistan (mentors and current backers) by a largely Afghan and Tadjik led ground force. Voting, women's rights, education for girls, small business start ups are all swamped by stories of bombings of civilians (some must be true, sadly) but reported chiefly by Taliban sources who will play up the anti-west mood music when it is guaranteed to be aired with little or no caveats by the British media.

Meanwhile a succession of passed over majors parade their credentials in the right wing press. Failure is certain they say and we are over stretched. Over stretched? How comes a country which spends a vast sum on defence cannot hold a force of eight thousand in the field?

The Taliban are banking on the western media to do their job for them and it is not a misplaced trust.

Once NATO are out of the country the way will be clear for Pakistani interests to re-assert there hold over the Afghanistan and for the terrorists camps to re-open, sited amongst civilians and well nigh impossible to go after.

Graeme said...

This too:

Graeme said...

Also, needless to say--but it should be said and said again--Terry Glavin is brilliant.