Monday, April 05, 2010

The town they have loved so well

This report on the upcoming offensive against the Taliban in Kandahar is remarkable in that it does not show a background of mud huts and people with donkeys. Is it "bias" for Al Jazeera to show a modern city, or "bias" of other media to consistently depict Afghanistan as a 14th century nation?

I don't know and I don't much care. It's easier to wage war against a people who are nothing like you, but, then, the media for the most part couldn't conspire to order a pizza. Maybe it's a conspiracy, maybe it's incompetence, maybe it's a simple matter of showing what your in-country guides take you to see in the first place.

In any case, it's important to remember that, in whatever country at whatever time, a town in the middle of trouble is still someone's hometown. Here's a song written and sung by Phil Coulter about his hometown, Derry, that I'll bet plenty of people in Kandhahar and Kabul and Baghdad and Fallujah could identify with about now.


Nostalgic for the Pleistocene said...

Amazing what threats people conduct their lives around. The villages and terrain that the media more often show ... i tend to think it's for a much dumber reason. I think it's merely that they think viewers want contrast, are more likely to tune in if they'll see "exotic" living conditions and scenery, etc. I have no basis for attributing it to this, it's just a gut feeling.

ronnie said...

I tend to think along the lines Ruth does... they give the viewers the stereotypes they expect to see. Kandahar isn't a pool hall with English-speaking people, it's a mosque dome with burqa-clad women in the foreground. Completely alien.

On another topic, my word identification for this post is "tution". Is that what you pay when you don't get no learnin'?

Sherwood Harrington said...

No, ronnie, it's what you pay to go here.

Ronnie said...

Other ronnie: I still have my Tut head pin from the last go-round, also. It is very attractive I think and looks just fine on the lapel of a grey jacket.