This is an extraordinary article in the Guardian. In reality – it is not ‘extraordinary’; it is simply offering the obvious explanation for why the Taliban was able to defeat the Afghan National army with such ease. The explanation is that the Taliban are a faith-based movement and the US funded army was simply a set of people drawing pay checks, with no motivation beyond that. (Some Afghans may have liked the freedom to wear what they liked, listen to pop music etc. but I doubt many really cared about ‘democracy’ as a value worth dying for). Of course this valueless and artificially created army collapsed when put to the test. The extraordinary thing is that this article has appeared in the Guardian. It is, basically, a correct analysis. It stands out in a sea of narrative journalism – the kind where the preferred narrative of the journalist/editor is superimposed on reality. The clue to this rare level of truth may be that the writer is a science writer and she has consulted serious academics for the article.
The academics mentioned in the article are clearly on the right tracks. You cannot export and impose democracy on tribal societies. Western governments continue with their folly because electoral pressures mean they (any one government) may be reluctant to admit that a mistake has been made. Not everyone around the world wants democracy. It is doubtful as to whether democracy is even clearly understood in the West.
The frightening phrase in this article is the one offered by an Oxford academic whose research forms part of the basis for the article: “It’s strange, we keep being invited [to meetings at high levels of government] yet it all seems to go in one ear and out the other”. In one ear and out the other. One explanation may be that they are paralysed by the pressures of the financial and military forces which surround them. They hear – but they can’t stand up and make independent decisions. The paralysis may be accentuated by the problem that politicians are simply self-interested careerists. I can’t speak about the US but I do observe the UK and it seems to me there isn’t a statesman among them. Not one of them is actually interested in policy or affairs of state. They are just not bothered. They receive the reports, (worst case scenarios from the military), and the lobbying from various sources including arms manufacturers and the military. In a ‘democracy’ politicians always have a compulsive need to be seen to be doing something. With this in mind they look at how their decision will play out in tomorrow morning’s papers. What headlines will this course of action generate? And that is as far as their thinking goes. This is why any serious analysis goes in one ear and out the other.
Most of the media comment on this website is critical of the Western media – mostly UK liberal media.
It should give me pleasure to do a post which extols the Western media. Obviously, given the subject matter it doesn’t. Nonetheless this is an example of good journalism and the role that real journalism can play in a ‘free society’.
It would appear very likely that the last act of the US occupation of Afghanistan was to massacre an entire family on the mistaken assumption that they were ISIS. There is a pattern to this. If terrorists hit the US the US responds basically on the basis that “someone has to die”. It doesn’t really seem to matter who. Indeed this episode is a kind of microcosm of the whole “war on terror” – a process in which hundreds of thousands of mostly entirely innocent people have died to avenge the strikes on the US in 2001.
For clarity; it is 100% evident that there is a cover-up into the origins of Sars-Cov-2. For example; China controlled the first WHO mission by pre-approving its members, denying it access to raw patient data, controlling (apparently) its press conference – and making sure a distracting theory about cold storage was included in its report. Now they have simply refused to cooperate with a second WHO mission. (Then, of course, there is the problem with the Wuhan lab database which was taken offline in September 2019 – and other issues with controlled information – be it removal of other published genetic data about Sars-Cov-2 from the Internet or creation of scientific stories to undermine the lab theory). The fact of a cover-up is suggestive of a crime. Of course; it is possible that there is a cover-up and no crime. This does happen.
This video shows Dr Fauci (Director of a US government agency “National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) claiming to the US Congress that the US (via NIH) did not fund “gain of function” research into Coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in Wuhan China. He is being questioned by Rand Paul – a US Senator.
The issue is that the funding for Dr Shi’s work at the Wuhan lab on coronaviruses came from the NIAID. What was this work? This is a matter of public record. It can be read in the grant application:
Test predictions of CoV inter-species transmission. Predictive models of host range (i.e. emergence potential) will be tested experimentally using reverse genetics, pseudovirus and receptor binding assays, and virus infection experiments across a range of cell cultures from different species and humanized mice. We will use S protein sequence data, infectious clone technology, in vitro and in vivo infection experiments and analysis of receptor binding to test the hypothesis that % divergence thresholds in S protein sequences predict spillover potential 
The science writer (and one time staff writer for Nature magazine) Dr Wade writes: “What this means, in non-technical language, is that Shi set out to create novel coronaviruses with the highest possible infectivity for human cells. Her plan was to take genes that coded for spike proteins possessing a variety of measured affinities for human cells, ranging from high to low. She would insert these spike genes one by one into the backbone of a number of viral genomes (“reverse genetics” and “infectious clone technology”), creating a series of chimeric viruses.” 
Continue reading “The US government and the work on artificial creation of highly infectious coronaviruses in a lab in Wuhan a few Km from where the outbreak started.”
It is amazing that anyone actually reads the Guardian. On significant stories on the international arena they just print fairy-tales. I imagine that some people pick up a newspaper not to be informed but to have their fears and prejudices confirmed. If so – the Guardian is a good choice for you.
This is from an article on the exit of the US army from Afghanistan:
There was no flourishing of Afghanistan under foreign occupation. More than 47,000 Afghan civilians died in the conflict; millions have fled as refugees to other countries. Afghanistan remains the world’s largest supplier of heroin; the country has consistently been ranked among the world’s least peaceful and most corrupt.
Perhaps we should be grateful that the author at least admits that “there was no flourishing of Afghanistan under foreign occupation”. But this line is a major factual distortion: “Afghanistan remains the world’s largest supplier of heroin”. The implication is that Afghanistan heroin was produced in Afghanistan (by the Taliban) before the US invasion in 2001 and that despite US efforts it “remains” a problem. This is 100% the opposite of the truth. In 2000 the Taliban banned opium production and production fell significantly. A UN report states: “In November/December 2000, reports from Afghanistan suggested vigorous implementation of the ban by the authorities”.  After the US invasion in 2001 production restarted – the Taliban were interested in the revenues which they could use to fund their fightback and, apparently, the US did little to stop production and the production of opium flourished under their occupation  (I’ve read that one reason for this was that they didn’t want to alienate local farmers). That Taliban have just declared that they will again ban opium production.  There are a flood of articles in the press of the occupier saying that this won’t happen.  We will see; but we can say that they did succeed last time, according to the UN.
Continue reading “Propaganda in the Guardian on the Taliban”