News Media
Afghanistan in the picture, but not in the flesh
By Paul O�Sullivan
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Jul 16, 2010, 00:13

The killing of three more British soldiers by bullets fired by a rogue member of the Afghan Guard turned on his allies was a story indeed.

Interviews with the British prime minister and a member from the MoD ascertained the war room perspective: such incidents are exception rather than rule and focus on strategy is imperative.

International editors speculated on potential damage levels to the overall war effort -- the breakdown in trust between allied and Afghan soldiers, affects on NATO�s exit-strategy of substituting every allied soldier for one Afghan soldier and one policeman.

Another report alluding to poor quality in the native ranks showed British officers ticking off new recruits of the Afghan Army. The hashish smoking troops had wounded some British with friendly-fire, a term usually associated with US military and used in curt reports.

The New York Times an exception: the widowed, children left fatherless or motherless and parents whose lives are riddled with emptiness by war go undocumented. An industry responsible for the truth -- if that is ever possible -- repeatedly shows how terrifically constrained they are by monolithic organisations such the MoD.

If media are interested in raw truth, we would see young, legless NCOs and corporals on stretchers. Gunfire wouldn�t be edited as soon as the bullets found flesh. But as Afghanistan is showing history repeats. We can only expect to see those images when the fighting is done, at photographic exhibitions or in books.

Paul O�Sullivan resides in Ireland. He can be contacted at

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