The Propaganda War

The struggle against patriarchy and other oppressive structures has been sacrificed to the imperatives of a propaganda war.

It is easy to forget now that through much of the 20th century it was not the “Taliban” or “al-Qaeda” that imperiled “civilization” and “freedom.” Until only two decades ago, communism rather than terrorism constituted an existential threat to the world and its people. Neither the New York Times nor the Reagans and Thatchers of the world seemed too worried about the Taliban then. As Reagan, referring to the forefathers of today’s terrorists, the mujahideen, triumphantly declared in 1985, “The gentlemen are the moral equivalents of America’s founding fathers.”

One should, of course, give those who acknowledge their mistakes the benefit of doubt. Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton, among others, have reluctantly acknowledged that western governments are at least partly responsible for the phenomenon today called “terrorism.” These governments, it is claimed, will not abandon Afghanistan and the wider region again.

The irony is that obscurantism has hardly been banished to the dustbin of history by the tens of thousands of NATO forces that have been fortifying Kabul and its environs for a decade, bestowing freedom and democracy upon the common hordes, and particularly long-suffering womenfolk. These uniformed guardians of civilization do their bidding alongside thousands of “democracy promoters” in plainclothes; yet the Taliban and others of their ilk just don’t seem to go away.

So, it is indeed important to inquire, “Is there a way to safely support women’s rights in Taliban-heavy areas?” What can the US and its allies do to either work with the Taliban on reform initiatives, or stop it from terrorizing civilians?”

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3 Responses to The Propaganda War

  1. […] is parasitic on the violence about which liberals and war apologists have little to say. Akhtar examines how progressive struggles more generally have been sacrificed to propaganda. Ashfaq urges us not […]

  2. javed siddique on Nov 2012 at 1:27 AM

    World is in a perpetual state of war for nearly 100 years,with little periods of relative calm.Unless people all around the world realize and rise against the1% ruling elite, who in there un satiable greed for power will keep doing what they have been doing.

  3. Ahmad on Jan 2013 at 9:26 PM

    I think I need to retake my TOEFL to understand this difficult vocab.

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