Voltaire Network

Afghanistan: Media Unanimity

The London Conference on Afghanistan was held amidst the relative indifference of the press, since dailies devoted little space to the event. However, we witnessed a media campaign by atlantist circles on «opinion» pages both before and during the conference. The objective of these forums, particularly of a single colour, was to mobilize public opinion in favour of support of the Hamid Karzai government as well as to recall the atlantist version on Afghanistan.

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The London Conference on Afghanistan, held January 30 and 32, 2006, gathered nearly seventy states with the aim of drawing up a five-yearly aid plan for that country, the so-called Afghanistan Compact. The mission was to go ahead with the process defined at the 2001 Bonn Conference, which planned the fall of the Taliban and concluded with an agreement that promised donations calculated at 10,5 billion dollars and the acceptance of a partial withdrawal of US troops that would be replaced by NATO forces. New responsibilities have been entrusted to the Hamid Karzai regime, at least in writing but, its authority continues to be technically limited to Kabul.

The conference took place amidst relative indifference by the media since dailies dedicated little space to the event. However, atlantist circles waged a media campaign on «opinion» pages, both before and during the conference. The objective of these forums, all of a single colour, was to recall the atlantist version on Afghanistan and justify the support of the Hamid Karzai regime.
Then, we were able to prove that the discourse on Afghanistan before the conference follows a specific context and imposed formulas. But we should not forget that life in Afghanistan considerably improved thanks to western actions. However, the merits of the invasion only constitute the prelude to the reminder of the necessary continuation of state mobilization, «since there is a long way to go». Systematically, the aid to Afghanistan is being presented as a double duty: the moral obligation marked by recalling the past and present suffering in Afghanistan and the demand, in terms of security, based on recalling the official version on the September 11, 2001 attacks. As a conclusion, they say stressed serious difficulties linked to drug trafficking, whose responsible ones are not named and when they are, they only appear as «Talibans» or «war lords», despite the fact that everybody knows that it is organized around the brother of President Karzai.

In few words, in no occasion they mention the participation of the United States, NATO y Pakistán in the production of opium, its processing into heroin and its transfer and sale in Europe. They do not speak about the strategic dimension of the Invasion of Afghanistan in terms of the control of oil reserves in the Caspian Sea. They hide the true strategic implications of the invasion of Afghanistan and the appointment of a US employee with UNOCAL to lead the country in order to favour a discourse that mixes the call for good sentiments and the fever of the terrorist threat.
Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, NATO General Secretary addressed the readers of the highly conservative Spanish daily ABC as he tries to convince them of the need for any country to take part in military operations in Afghanistan. He praises the merits of the NATO operation and encourages Spain to keep its troops in that country despite the death of Spanish soldiers in August 2005. As it is logical, we are in the presence of a moral and security need.
In the Boston Globe American-Afghan feminist writer Nasrine Gross favours the mobilization of US citizens. She insists in the democratic progress already achieved and in their fragility before warning threat: the Taliban danger has not yet disappeared and puts at stake the reconstruction of the country and world security.
former US Secretary of State for southern Asia Karl F. Inderfurth; the president of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute Frederick Starr and researcher with the Middle East Institute Marvin G. Weinbaum on their part, try to mobilize the European public in the International Herald Tribune by asserting that the Europeans, since they consume heroin, have the moral duty to get increasingly involved in the fight against the production of opium. Later on they address Washington and urge the United States not to reduce the number of its troops in Afghanistan. They finally ask both parties to contribute larger sums and guarantee the training of officials.
German Scholar Peter Phillip, also counsellor to the German Foreign Affairs Ministry, promotes the assistance to Afghanistan in the Deutsche Welle . He insists in the issue of drugs and though he does not propose any solution he expresses his consternation at the fact that the «war lords» and he «Talibans» exploit opium to fight the Hamid Karzai regime. He suggests that released funds during that conference be used to finance the fight against such a production and in that direction such funds be no longer given to NGOs and the Afghan government.

Along all these arguments focusing on specific countries and public, the international press published far-reaching forums written by the allies of George Soros and by Soros himself and which were spread as expected, by Project Syndicate.
In the Jordan Times, Le Figaro y el Korea Herald, US mulit-millionaire and president of the Open Society Institute calls for an increased international aid. He regrets that the US reduces its military presence and favours the support by world leaders meeting in London of the Hamid Karzai regime, as well as an economic development program and the launching of a program aimed at fighting drugs in the country. Soros also disregards the issue related to the organizers of heroin traffic.
In an article that focuses the production of opium, published by the Korean Herald, the Jordan Times, the Daily Times and the L’Unita, Emma Bonino, in her condition as former general secretary of the Radical Anti-prohibition Coordination, since she yielded to Voltaire Net president Thierry Meyssan, after she became European Commissioner, asks for a detailed revision of the way in which the «war on drugs» operates in Afghanistan. In her opinion this struggle is inefficient, Afghan economy now depends on heroin, which sustains armed groups and encourages corruption. Instead of claims for the replacement of crops, the author says that Afghanistan must be legally authorized to cultivate poppy for the world market of analgesics.

As we can see, the unity of viewpoints is absolute.

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