“We’ve shot an amazing number of people [in Afghanistan], but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat.”
—fired General Stanley McChrystal

One can only stare at that line in disbelief, or else crack.

As the war drags on brutally—including the deadliest month yet for NATO forces—and the McChrystal debacle subsides or whatever, I am reminded, by looking on the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) website, at just how lap-dog our mainstream media can be; about how little the truly horrific and brutal effects of war on innocent people (and less innocent people) are shown.

I am reminded how, I have read, the televising and publication of the brutality of war against children, innocent civilians, even the invading soldiers themselves in Vietnam, changed popular opinion about the war.

This glossing over in Afghanistan (and elsewhere) is criminal, is it not? Is it not a taste of the methods of, say, Pravda, the USSR’s propaganda paper during the time of the Soviet in Russia, let alone in Afghanistan?

One page of RAWA and my heart strains with a complete unknowing if there is virtually any compassionate truth, and morality, any sanity (with soul) at all in how the war is journalized by mainstream media in Canada and the US, let alone the war itself. RAWA may not see the biggest picture, may not be correct in its assessments—I of course don’t know—but RAWA refuses to allow any glamorization of this undeniably foul reality.

This was the first page I saw, which hammered my heart in and instant, and here are a few quotes.

The so-called ‘new’ strategy of Obama’s administration [and of course Canada too] and the surge of troops in Afghanistan have already dragged our ill-fated people in the danger zone and his 100-day old government proved itself as much more war-mongering than Bush and his only gifts to our people is hiking killings and ever-horrifying oppression. This administration is bombarding our country and tearing our women and children into pieces and from the other side, is lending a friendly hand towards the terrorist Gulbuddinis and Taliban—the dirty, bloody enemies of our people—and holding secret negotiations and talks with such brutal groups.

Perhaps such talks are needed to lessen killings, I don’t know. Historically, there almost always comes a time when one has to, at least tentatively, and with great discernment, talk to terrorists (ie Ireland etc, etc) to finally get some semblance of peace, of cease-fires. But either way, neither are truly fighting on behalf of women and children, civilians and other innocents. There are undoubtedly other dogmas, ideologies and resources utterly absorbed in any dialogue, so-called.

Referring to an Afghan ex-pat in the United States whom I don’t know anything about, who writes:

“this is a price we have to pay if we want security and stability in Afghanistan, the region and the world.”!

…RAWA replies, and the words in bold below are the truest, in my opinion, regardless of the details of other facts:

If his or other ignoble spies like him would lose their children and dear ones like the people of Bala Baluk, would they still become so stone-hearted and remain silent in the face of US/NATO war crimes in Afghanistan?

Isn’t this a question for all of us, where we are somehow tied to inexplicable brutality? It’s a, well, a war, day in, day out, for so many. The courage of the women writing these articles and taking this stance is unbelievable: freedom, democracy and women’s rights.

The RAWA slogan is straightforward:

“Neither the occupiers! Nor the bestial Taliban and the criminal Northern Alliance; long live a free and democratic Afghanistan!”

On an exhale, I remain amazed by the courage of this women’s group in Afghanistan to write such relentless statements against all of the forces in Afghanistan. And I exhale that I may have more courage—to do what, I don’t know, but to at least remember…



One Response to “AFGHANISTAN INC., RAWA”

  1. Karen says:

    Hi Pete,

    Wasn’t it Benjamin Franklin who said, “believe none of what you hear and half of what you see”? I believe he was referring to newspapers at the time.

    I stopped believing what the media slops on our plates a long time ago. I suspect we get some homogenized mushed up version of a kernel of truth, but always spun by someone.

    Remember the film Wag the Dog? Ya gotta wonder…

    Here in the West, we can only vaguely imagine what the rest of the world lives with daily. My neighbor, bless him, was complaining his lawn service cut the lines in his lawn crooked. I kept thinking there are people who would consider it a luxury to sleep on his ill-cut lawn instead of the conditions in which they live. Conditions often caused because we seem to need affordable gasoline and lawn mowers to mow our lawns, not to mention live our privileged lives.

    It is so much easier to ignore groups like RAWA then to face our complicity. But facing complicity is only step one. Where one can go from there is a much more complicated step, no? In that we have posed the real question, but, as you said, where to find the answer?

    Love and what truth we can find to you and those you love,

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