Saturday, August 21, 2010

"Time" exploits victim to promote Afghan war

The August edition of Time magazine published a shocking cover picture of a young Afghan woman who had her ears and nose cut off, accompanied by the title : ‘What Happens if We Leave Afghanistan’.
The story, Afghan Women and the Return of the Taliban, begins :
The Taliban pounded on the door just before midnight, demanding that Aisha, 18, be punished for running away from her husband's house. They dragged her to a mountain clearing near her village in the southern Afghan province of Uruzgan, ignoring her protests that her in-laws had been abusive ... Her judge, a local Taliban commander, was unmoved.
And then her husband sliced off her ears and nose.

A note from Time's managing editor explains "how Afghan women have embraced the freedoms that have come from the defeat of the Taliban — and how they fear a Taliban revival."

I would rather confront readers with the Taliban's treatment of women than ignore it. I would rather people know that reality as they make up their minds about what the U.S. and its allies should do in Afghanistan.

The much publicized release of classified documents by WikiLeaks has already ratcheted up the debate about the war. ... What you see in these pictures and our story is something that you cannot find in those 91,000 documents: a combination of emotional truth and insight into the way life is lived in that difficult land and the consequences of the important decisions that lie ahead.

About that "emotional truth"...
Here's RAWA, which has been fighting the Taliban a lot longer than Time magazine :
"Time" exploits victim to promote war
In return for allowing Time to publish her photo, Aisha was flown to the US for reconstructive surgery. However, although Time ensured her mutilated face was seen worldwide, they appear less keen for her voice to be heard.

"I heard Aisha's story from her a few weeks before the image of her face was displayed all over the world", Ann Jones, author of Kabul in Winter, wrote in the August 12 Nation. "She told me that her father-in-law caught up with her after she ran away, and took a knife to her on his own; village elders later approved, but the Taliban didn't figure at all in this account."

The Time story, however, attributes Aisha's mutilation to a husband under orders of a Talib commander, thereby transforming a personal story, similar to those of countless women in Afghanistan today, into a portent of things to come for all women if the Taliban return to power ...

Afghan feminist Malalai Joya : "During the Taliban’s regime such atrocities weren’t as rife as it is now and the graph is hiking each day."

The article cites a March 11, 2010 CIA document on spinning the war, published by WikiLeaks : CIA Red Cell

Afghan women could serve as ideal messengers in humanizing the ISAF role in combating the Taliban because of women’s ability to speak personally and credibly about their experiences under the Taliban, their aspirations for the future, and their fears of a Taliban victory. Outreach initiatives that create media opportunities for Afghan women to share their stories with French, German, and other European women could help to overcome pervasive skepticism among women in Western Europe toward the ISAF mission.

Media events that feature testimonials by Afghan women would probably be most effective if broadcast on programs that have large and disproportionately female audiences.

"Emotional truth".

h/t Rabble.


ck said...

Gerald Celente (some New York ?? He predicted a number of things like the housing bubble and things like that) comes on Montreal radio as a commentator from time to time. He called that pic "War Porn". A very apt description, I'd say.

Anonymous said...

New York Times:WikiLeaks Founder Charged in Sweden With Rape

Reuters Sweden has issued rape and molestation charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, whose whistle-blowing website last month published secret U.S. military files on Afghanistan.
"We can confirm that he's wanted. He was charged last night -- the allegation is suspected rape," said Karin Rosander, Director of Communications at the National Prosecutor's Office.

"One is rape and one is molestation," she said. She did not elaborate.

Alison said...

Oh do keep up, Anon. Like no one saw this one coming

BBC : Swedish rape warrant for Wikileaks' Assange cancelled

"Sweden has cancelled an arrest warrant for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange on accusations of rape and molestation.

The Swedish Prosecution Authority website said the chief prosecutor had come to the decision that Mr Assange was not suspected of rape but did not give any further explanation.

The warrant was issued late on Friday."

Kim said...

I wonder if Sweden has defamation of character laws?

I think I'll take RAWA's word over Times, every time!

Kev said...

The warrant has been recinded

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