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Kabul – Abbey Gate Attack

The problem in the media coverage of the withdrawal of the allied forces in Afghanistan was not the criticism on the various aspects of it, especially that coming from GOP. Criticism especially constructive is expected function of the press and of the opposition in political democracy, liberty and plurality. I frequently see and read through excellent journalistic works in the press and admire brave acts of political and congressional opposition. So I need not extrapolate here with further comments, theoretical and practical analyses on the value of information, the devotion to the principles of journalism, the compliments due to reporters, the tributes to information veracity (truth) and the virtues of political opposition. Besides, my views and academic notes and my own practices on the themes, I am sure my readers know where they rest. Here I will only add my usual comment, that the respect in the value of journalistic criticism and political opposition is moral as well a technical feature in nature, which specifically refers to debate, discourse and dialogue and which is essential to the function of representative democracy (republic).

The problem of this coverage was the direction and manipulation of the reporting on Afghanistan withdrawal framed within premeditated if not pre-established narratives serving political objectives of media controlling private trusts with profound links to terrorism and organized crime.

In this information controlling process, direction develops to dictation, where the story follows the reportage instead of the reverse. Thus the dictation develops to fabrication technique and then becomes driver of situations where the report is the fact and the fact is only to confirm the (running of the) report according to a preset (artificial) scenario (or policy) in waiting to stage.

To set the record (of history) straight, the international war in Afghanistan was against Al Qaida and against the extremist and terrorist Islamic forces which had organized and staged the most atrocious 9/11 attack against the U.S. The war was also against such forces which harbored this terror group in Afghanistan.

After the killing of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan and over 20 years of war, the withdrawal of the U.S. forces was a profoundly consensual not contentious arrangement. The Taliban and even extremist Islamic groups operating in Afghanistan had in fact celebrated the withdrawal as military, political and even moral victory against the international forces and prominently against the U.S. All they wanted was the foreign forces out as soon as possible and to finish with war. They had also little or no interest for retribution against politically neutralized Afghans alleged to have cooperated with foreign or U.S. forces or appetite for further challenge of the international community while in need for their economic support. The Taliban or even the mainstream extremist Islamic groups had little if any incentive therefore to obstruct or complicate the ordinary withdrawal of the U.S. forces from Afghanistan or conduct terror attack which could protract the U.S. military presence, risk victory or endanger the newly acquired sovereignty.

Obviously the same did not apply with extremist private zealots and trusts with control over international media, which viewed the withdrawal of the U.S. forces from Afghanistan as another opportunity to

  • Revive their campaign for the worldwide propagation of illegal migration and the derivative industrial criminality abetted and organized by trafficking via NGOs and others with the supportive coverage of the controlled media
  • Incite politically a new mass wave – exodus of (illegal) migration from Afghanistan and (hopefully) from the wider Middle East and by extension from Africa (directed against Europe) and Latin America (directed against the U.S.)  
  • Compromise the order and security of the withdrawal and the safety of the troops and the public
  • Jeopardise security conditions, reaggravate the conflict with the Taliban and destabilise the relations with the allies and the region
  • Protract the conflict and pit afresh the Taliban leaders against the U.S. commanders
  • Display to extremist and terrorist groups of the likes of ISIS
    • Unlimited authority, unyielding collaboration and unsurpassed capability for terror strikes
    • Unwavering loyalty to the symbolic revenge of the war and to the retribution for what they commonly perceived as undesirable military opposition to the 9/11 attack
  • Promote unlawfulness, outlawfulness, lawlessness, crisis and chaos
  • Sow insecurity, disruption and disorder to the world public
  • Assert supremacy, impunity, unaccountability and defiance of the law, order and security
  • Embarrass, endanger, harm and humiliate the U.S. Armed Forces

The particularities of the evil media script followed the standard practices of exaggeration, hype and hysteria designed to fuel fear, terror and panic over the “brutal retributions” allegedly expected from the approaching war winning Taliban against collaborators of the “demonic” allied forces coupled by deceitful promises of once in lifetime opportunity for free passage by the U.S. Air Force and naturalisation to Europe and the U.S., mostly of Afghan women in pregnancy.

To this end arrived the world public to listen and view express pronouncements or pre-announcements of terror attack by the media, bolstered by open cries increasingly hysteric as the time passed, calling, clamoring and even constructively complaining for the delay of the expected terror attack by the notorious ISIS while directing this (attack) specifically at the Abbey Gate of the Kabul Airport.

This terror pre-announcement campaign by the media which was novel in the history and practice of terrorism, forced upon the U.S. military commanders on site the dilemma to either

  • Order retreat of the forces in which case the airport fence would collapse, the mobilised masses would further swarm the airfield obstructing withdrawal and endangering the safety of the air traffic or
  • Hold the posts notwithstanding the risk to the safety of the troops which arrived at tolls of thirteen U.S. service men and over one hundred fleeting Afghans after ISIS  eventually complied with the media pressure and finally sent the suicide bomb attacker.

In either case the safety of the operation was at risk or compromised already, so for this added reason the choice of the U.S. military to hold the line was expected and correct, notwithstanding the cries (threats) of the media to the opposite.

For the economy of further technical analyses and for the benefit of the account provided to the U.S. Congress during recent hearings on the Afghan withdrawal, military experts should remind the audience that the U.S. Army Corps are armed forces for the national security and defence of the U.S. which fight battles in combat with enemies. They are not state or federal police forces for crime fighting and law enforcement or National Guard Corps for civil safety, public order or riot control.

Finally, I appreciate the composure of my readers. Writing these lines is sometimes easier than reading them.    

John A. Economides

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