Taliban beheadings that weren’t: Behind the Afghanistan headlines – Honest reporting from Afghanistan would tell us there is no prospect of victory for the West, and less and less prospect of an orderly withdrawal leaving a stable state behind.

Taliban beheadings that weren’t: Behind the Afghanistan headlines

28 August 2012
Lindsey German
Afghanistan and Pakistan

Honest reporting from Afghanistan would tell us there is no prospect of victory for the West, and less and less prospect of an orderly withdrawal leaving a stable state behind.


By Lindsey German
Stop the War Coalition
28 August 2012 


 

No charges for US Marines who urinated on the bodies of Afghans they had just killed, chuckling: “Have a great day, Buddy.”

YOU COULDN’T make it up. Or perhaps you could. I heard on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme yesterday that 17 people had been beheaded by the Taliban in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan _ for going to a party with music and dancing.

Who wouldn’t receive that news with fear and revulsion? People executed in the bloodiest way for doing things that millions of people around the world regard as harmless and enjoyable.

The problem is, it wasn’t true. The full facts are still unknown but they suggest that no one was beheaded. Maybe, we’re now told, it wasn’t about going to a party. Some say it was about a dispute between Taliban commanders over the two women killed in the incident. Others that these people were executed because they were spying for Nato forces.

I don’t know what the truth is, so I won’t speculate. But the point is, nor do the headline writers and reporters who tell us these rumours as though they were facts. At one point yesterday the Today programme did report that one source were saying the dead people had been spying but it was not contained in the headlines. I listened for any correction of the report today, but heard none.

Anyway, the damage is done: violent Taliban behead people for partying becomes what people remember.

There is a rather different attitude to crimes committed by Nato troops in Afghanistan. Yesterday too the US authorities announced how they were dealing with US soldiers who burnt the Koran at Bagram airbase, leading to mass rioting throughout Afghanistan, and with a group of Marines who urinated on the bodies of dead Taliban.

None of them will face prosecution, as even the country’s corrupt president Karzai demanded. Instead they have been ‘disciplined’ — hardly an onerous result.

The reporting of these events betrays no outcry at the lenient treatment of these men or any sense of the outrage there must be in Afghanistan.

Double standards in reporting are not new. But those who oppose wars have a duty to look behind the headlines at what is really going on — not just in Afghanistan but in Iraq, Libya and Syria as well.

What the double standards in Afghanistan reflect is the fact that the Nato forces are losing the war. This weekend — less reported than the beheadings that weren’t — the Taliban attacked an Afghan army checkpoint, killing ten soldiers.

Another ‘green on blue’ attack by an Afghan soldier also left two more US soldiers dead. These attacks by the soldiers who are supposed to be US allies are growing, reflecting either Taliban infiltration or more likely widespread distrust of the western troops among the Afghan population as a whole.

The war is unravelling. It is not winding down but continuing its grim course. The failure of the occupation cannot be covered up by horror stories about what will replace the troops.

There is no prospect of victory for the West, and less and less prospect of an orderly withdrawal leaving a stable state behind. Obama’s troop surge has been a failure, even as casualties have escalated.

Honest reporting of the war would tell us that. Don’t hold your breath.

http://www.stopwar.org.uk/index.php/afghanistan-and-pakistan/1810-the-taliban-beheadings-that-werent-looking-behind-the-afghanistan-headlines-

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About ottwf

The capitalistic and imperialistic system and its systematic aims: profit and power over others, still dominates our world and not the aims of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as 1948 agreed! After the world-economic-crisis after 1929 and the following World-War the world hat decided with agreeing the Universal Declaration of Human rights, to create a new world order; conflicts should be solved with peaceful means, not nations and their power, but the dignity of human beings around the world should be the aim of the policies and the economy, of every state and the community of states. But soon after the end of the war, when the victims and destruction were forgotten, all continued as before, with all risks, we had seen before. The split in rich an poor is getting bigger and bigger. We also overuse our global environment already, even if the big majority of mankind still lives in poverty! We are not victims, this world is men-made and be changed from men and women! It will be possible, if those, who do not want or serve (because of system-pressure) profits first, but want for themselves and everybody a life in human dignity unite and develop in a global base-democratic movement a common vision for our world, and learn, how to make this vision real. We need for it a big empowerment of many, many common men and women and their activities. Our chances are because of new communication technologies, of common languages, of the level of education and the mixture of people from different backgrounds better then ever. The occupy-movement is a good start for such a global movement. We support it and try to contribute to its success! We choose news and make comments and so try to unite people for an Occupy-Think-Tank: Its tasks: creating a news-network, self-education, working on global-reform programs and learning to organize projects for those, who are suffering. Join us, so that we can build teams for these aims for all subjects and countries as a base for the unification. We have Wan(n)Fried(en) in our name, because it means When peace and it is a modification of the name of the town our base is, in Wanfried, a small town in the middle of Germany, where we can use a former factory for our activities. Our telefon: 0049-5655-924981, mobil: 0171-9132149, email: occupy-think-tank@gmx.de
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