Common Dreams - Another night-time raid on a housing compound in Afghanistan. Another bunch of innocent Afghans killed. Another round of lies by the US-led forces of the so-called International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Only this time, among the dead are two pregnant mothers and a teenage girl.
And once again the US media remain mute, accepting the official story, which was of ISAF forces responding to an attack which in reality appears never to have happened.
Before I started to write this piece, which once again was broken by the intrepid Jerome Starkey, a reporter in Afghanistan who works for the Times of London, I thought maybe I should read the Sunday edition of the New York Times, to see whether America's "paper of record" had reported on this latest atrocity. But the night before we had suffered a heavy storm that knocked down three large trees in my front yard, and there was currently a thunderstorm underway, with rain pouring down, so I decided, what the hell, I'll just write it. There's no way the Times would cover this story.
I was right, of course. When the rain let up, and I went out and got the paper, and scoured it for word of this latest obscene slaughter by US forces, I found nothing. The Times' reporters in Afghanistan and the reporters in the paper's Washington bureau who cover the Pentagon had ignored it. So, a Google search discloses, did the rest of the servile US media.
So what actually happened?
According to Starkey, US and Afghan Army forces on February 12 launched a pre-dawn assault on the home of a prominent and popular policeman's home just outside of Gardez, the capital of Paktia province in eastern Afghanistan. The first person to die was reportedly the policeman himself, Commander Dawood, who had stood in his doorway protesting the innocence of his family. In the volley of fire directed against him by the brave US-led team, his pregnant wife, another pregnant woman and an 18-year-old girl were also slaughtered.
It is not easy to be an honest reporter in wartime, where sycophancy and blind patriotism are what is demanded. Sadly, the US media are taking the easy way out, accepting the rules of being embedded, which require them to submit articles for censorship, to avoid being critical and to play the game, in return for getting easy human interest stories to send back to the readers and viewers back home. Read more.
That's not journalism. It's PR. It ought to be labeled as such.