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Thread: Afghan Patriots - Living with the Taliban (Video)

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    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Default Afghan Patriots - Living with the Taliban (Video)

    Interesting perspective.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwvzDIr8zzE

    Mod's Note: nine minutes
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-27-2010 at 09:55 PM. Reason: Add note
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


    http://i.imgur.com/IPT1uLH.jpg

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Non-visual partner to footage

    Adam G,

    I did post the C4 story accompanying the film two weeks ago, so thanks for locating the working footage and this is the accompanying text:http://www.channel4.com/news/article...ntline/3734447

    A good piece of reporting IMHO, although from my armchair I thought the daily long distance ambush of a road indicated a weakness, not a strength.
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Default Taliban Primp, Sing, Snipe U.S. Troops In Rare Video



    (It's incredible that they survived for so long with their predictability and radio chatter.)

    Mod's note: film is twenty one minutes long
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-27-2010 at 09:56 PM. Reason: Add note

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    comes from Paul Refsdal, a Norwegian documentary journalist who embedded with a Taliban commander named Dawran
    I'm sorry, but does this sound like collaboration to anyone else (of the bad kind)? What would the difference had been if a BBC correspondant had been embedded with the NAZI's while they killed Allied troops? I really don't get the kind of mentality that thinks this is ok. Maybe its just me

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tukhachevskii View Post
    I'm sorry, but does this sound like collaboration to anyone else (of the bad kind)? What would the difference had been if a BBC correspondant had been embedded with the NAZI's while they killed Allied troops? I really don't get the kind of mentality that thinks this is ok. Maybe its just me
    I'd suggest that the information value to be gained from watching his report would clearly outweigh any accusations of collaboration.

    Understanding an enemy is important. Having journalists report on them allows that. The last thing we want to do is to treat them as either invincible or as being inhuman, and this kind of coverage does exactly the opposite. However don't expect me to travel with them - that kind of reporting takes more courage than I'd be able to muster!

    Agreed, Fuchs. Their predictability (firing HMGs from established positions) and radio chatter amazed me. Looking at the footage it's staggering to see the impunity with which that group of Tb were acting. The fact that they were not employing IEDs makes me think this in an unusual situation, with most Tb activities involving a far greater degree of risk. Regardless some very, very valuable food for thought.
    '...the gods of war are capricious, and boldness often brings better results than reason would predict.'
    Donald Kagan

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    Default Moderator at work

    Gents,

    I have merged the last three posts to an earlier thread. Note the film clip originally was nine minutes and that found by Fuchs is twenty one minutes long. So I will watch it another time.
    davidbfpo

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    Dawran survived but two of his children were killed
    ...means what exactly? Without context all that video does is provide valuable propaganda and publicity for a wanabee Taliban warlord or someone who ewants his deeds to to be recgnised so that he might sit at the grown-iups table. I (humbly) submit that there is nothing in that video that isn't already known by Allied forces in theatre. Imagine joe blogs sitting at home watching that, his interpretation is going to differ vastly to that of yours. His interpretative blanks will be filled in with whatever existing narratives he prefers. A Lefty, for instance will interpret the film completely differently to, say, an Amazonian tribeman. Or, indeed, for that matter a young muslim (much betetr to show them the aftermath, then again, wouldn't do much good, just inflame their already monumental inferiority/rage/envy complex).

    Now replace Dawran with...Himmler, now what do you feel.

    Sigfreid Krakauar (sp?) was an early film critic and theorist who advocated the kind of "realism" this film purports to exhibit (i.e., that the camera would strip away human interpretive bias based upon physciology or neruologicial pre-propraggimg/culture) and which was effectively blown out of the water by just about every one else (my favourite was always Christain Metz).. That later word is important. The work is like an exhibit, it provides the semblance of versimmilitude but we forget the subjective decisions that go into its production (i.e., editing). For insatcne, what's up with the geezer staring into the camera with his kohl lined eyes looking like some kind of reject form an 80's electro band? (@ 14.58 approx).

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    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Good decision-making (and I'm aiming at the political decision down to individual voters here) requires good information (or luck).

    It's for this reason why propaganda has been banned in some countries; it biased the information pro-war and was too often about misleading the electorate. That's not acceptable in a democracy.

    We need either neutral information (German media strives for this, and comes close with a relatively limited influence of partisanship on news) or balanced information (the U.S. approach as it seems).


    Now from this point of view, it was an unacceptable imbalance and lack of neutrality to have reporters embedded on one side, but not on the other. It's irrelevant which side has the information advantage here - there shall be no such information advantage.

    Voters shall not be mislead, never be pushed to support a war that's not worth its expenses or probably altogether stupid. On the other hand, they shall not fall prey to hostile propaganda overmatch and cower away from warfare against their interests and values.
    Warfare isn't about winning at all costs; it's about taking the least terrible path. Yes, sometimes it's better to accept defeat than to keep on fighting till an eventual declaration "victory" (or till a more serious defeat).


    It's a good thing to see such a video. The fourth estate does its job (or begins to do it).


    Btw - yes, this reporter has balls of steel. Or he knows he's ill and will die soon anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tukhachevskii View Post
    I'm sorry, but does this sound like collaboration to anyone else (of the bad kind)? What would the difference had been if a BBC correspondant had been embedded with the NAZI's while they killed Allied troops? I really don't get the kind of mentality that thinks this is ok. Maybe its just me
    If you are looking for a collaborator look no further than the decision maker on not to destroy the Afghan poppy cultivation. This video journalist Paul Refsdal is small cheese by comparison.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Good decision-making (and I'm aiming at the political decision down to individual voters here) requires good information (or luck).

    It's for this reason why propaganda has been banned in some countries; it biased the information pro-war and was too often about misleading the electorate. That's not acceptable in a democracy.

    We need either neutral information (German media strives for this, and comes close with a relatively limited influence of partisanship on news) or balanced information (the U.S. approach as it seems).


    Now from this point of view, it was an unacceptable imbalance and lack of neutrality to have reporters embedded on one side, but not on the other. It's irrelevant which side has the information advantage here - there shall be no such information advantage.

    Voters shall not be mislead, never be pushed to support a war that's not worth its expenses or probably altogether stupid. On the other hand, they shall not fall prey to hostile propaganda overmatch and cower away from warfare against their interests and values.
    Warfare isn't about winning at all costs; it's about taking the least terrible path. Yes, sometimes it's better to accept defeat than to keep on fighting till an eventual declaration "victory" (or till a more serious defeat).


    It's a good thing to see such a video. The fourth estate does its job (or begins to do it).


    Btw - yes, this reporter has balls of steel. Or he knows he's ill and will die soon anyway.
    Why would the Taliban allow a journalist to embed? They must be learning from the coalition how to manipulate the media. What we saw was not combat it was a game (maybe deliberately he was kept away from the real action). I have read articles on my little war written by so-called unbiased journalists and will say that the terms independent and unbiased are not words that should be used to describe journalists (any journalists) and as such journalists should be considered biased until THEY prove otherwise.

    Show me one of your independent German journalists and I'll show you a liar. (I'm being serious on this challenge)

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    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Why would the Taliban allow a journalist to embed? They must be learning from the coalition how to manipulate the media. What we saw was not combat it was a game (maybe deliberately he was kept away from the real action). I have read articles on my little war written by so-called unbiased journalists and will say that the terms independent and unbiased are not words that should be used to describe journalists (any journalists) and as such journalists should be considered biased until THEY prove otherwise.

    Show me one of your independent German journalists and I'll show you a liar. (I'm being serious on this challenge)
    The Taliban would (if at all) allow embeds for the same reason as Western forces allow embeds (if at all) - pursuing their advantage. It's about symmetry.


    I don't really care about journalist names - instead I judge every text anew, we have very few really famous journalists anyway.
    Every human lies sometimes, so I don't really care about occasional lies and I have no real hope that all reporting can ever become accurate.
    I do see a huge difference between journalist ethics in Germany and the U.S., though. Most readers here are from the U.S. and used to the "balanced" approach of journalism. I mentioned the "neutral" approach (attempted but not really mastered by CNN, too) as the other conceptually relevant one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tukhachevskii View Post
    ...means what exactly? Without context all that video does is provide valuable propaganda and publicity for a wanabee Taliban warlord or someone who ewants his deeds to to be recgnised so that he might sit at the grown-iups table. I (humbly) submit that there is nothing in that video that isn't already known by Allied forces in theatre. Imagine joe blogs sitting at home watching that, his interpretation is going to differ vastly to that of yours. His interpretative blanks will be filled in with whatever existing narratives he prefers. A Lefty, for instance will interpret the film completely differently to, say, an Amazonian tribeman. Or, indeed, for that matter a young muslim (much betetr to show them the aftermath, then again, wouldn't do much good, just inflame their already monumental inferiority/rage/envy complex).

    Now replace Dawran with...Himmler, now what do you feel.
    What did you see in the movie? I would say that there we had a showing of a religious family man surrounded by young men and kids trying to protect his country from the invaders who drive up and down that road far in the distance. That the insinuation is that either/or or both of those little kids were killed by US bombing will never draw approval from a sane person. So would one be left with the feeling that perhaps the Taliban are not the devils that the western media depict them to be and maybe we should just leave them to live their own lives in that far away country? (The man did not even kill that traitor - so the Taliban must be human after all). Its not how soldiers will react on seeing the video but rather the civilian reaction which is critical.

    McCuen listed this as one of the three critical success factors:

    Winning and maintaining support for the war on the home front(s) and in the international community. Doing so means maintaining legitimacy and avoiding losses through incompetence.
    So what do you think? Will videos like this maintain international support of for the war?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    The Taliban would (if at all) allow embeds for the same reason as Western forces allow embeds (if at all) - pursuing their advantage. It's about symmetry.


    I don't really care about journalist names - instead I judge every text anew, we have very few really famous journalists anyway.
    Every human lies sometimes, so I don't really care about occasional lies and I have no real hope that all reporting can ever become accurate.
    I do see a huge difference between journalist ethics in Germany and the U.S., though. Most readers here are from the U.S. and used to the "balanced" approach of journalism. I mentioned the "neutral" approach (attempted but not really mastered by CNN, too) as the other conceptually relevant one.
    Is there really an American that does not know that the reporting on Iraq and now Afghanistan is controlled to a remarkable extent by the military/US government.

    I watch Aljazeera to compare the news and get other insight into Iraq and Afghanistan (and elsewhere). Does that help yes. After all I want to know the truth.

    A neutral media? That is a fiction so lets not spend time talking about it.

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