2002 November 29 Friday
Matthew Leeming: Afghans And The Guardian

Matthew Leeming travels to Afghanistan with a collection of newspaper clips of articles written by assorted British lefties such as George Monbiot, John Pilger and Terry Cook and compares what they said to the facts:

I read this article out to a class I took at Kabul University. I thought that they would find it quite funny, but halfway through I realised it wasn’t getting any laughs. I stopped because the women were angry. The few of them who had received any education during the long night of Taleban rule had done so at secret schools. The mother of one had been beaten with electrical flex because a spy from the ministry for the prevention of vice and propagation of virtue had heard her shoes clicking on the pavement.

‘Who is this man?’ she demanded. I said that he was the Observer’s chief reporter. ‘How can he say such things?’ ‘Because he hates America,’ I said. ‘He also says that all the Taleban did was to make law out of what had always been the case in rural areas.’ There was uproar. Even the men joined in. They thought that this was really impertinent and offensive. ‘He also says,’ I went on, ‘that there is no need to ban television because there aren’t any.’ ‘Who does he think we are. Of course we’ve got television.’ And that’s true. I’ve watched television all over the country, even in a Khirgiz yurt in the High Pamirs.

Reflexive anti-Americanism is a substitute for the much harder job of thinking, research, and learning.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2002 November 29 12:54 AM  Cultural Wars Western


Comments
Erik F. said at November 29, 2002 9:56 AM:

Do you think Fisk (and Pilger and their ilk) would be willing to return to Afghanistan for another beating?

Set up a webcam and make it a pay-per-view event and you could probably buy enough textbooks for most of the schools in Kabul.
-- Erik

Randall Parker said at November 29, 2002 12:23 PM:

Erik, that is an absolutely brilliant idea. It would deliver a needed beating (which might even knock some sense into them - though perhaps that is expecting too much) to those who are ignorant by choice and it would simultaneously help more sensible people who desperately want to emerge from the shadows of enforced ignorance of the Taliban regime.


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