Afghanistan gripped by worst fighting since 2001

This report is mainstream media journalism at its very worst. Mixing up facts, half-truth and outright lies to provide a story that serves another agenda altogether. See if you can spot the deliberate disinformation embedded in the following which will be highlighted in the footnote.

Afghanistan gripped by worst fighting since 2001
The Independent – May 21, 2006

Two French special forces troops and a US soldier were among 34 combatants killed in Afghanistan in a fresh upsurge of the deadliest fighting since the removal of the Taliban in 2001. In the worst clash, militants hiding in a vineyard ambushed an Afghan army convoy, shooting dead four soldiers but losing 15 of their own.

Fears of a resurgence of the Taliban have been fuelled by a sharp rise in violence during recent weeks, much of it in Helmand province, where 3,300 British troops are deploying. Some 120 people died in 24 hours last week before a brief respite, but attacks resumed on Friday, claiming another 34 lives by Saturday afternoon.

The two French died yesterday while fighting the Taliban in Kandahar province, the French Defence Ministry said. It gave no further details. France has had 200 special forces officers in south-eastern Afghanistan since 2003 as part of the US-led coalition.

The American soldier was killed and six others wounded on Friday in Uruzgan province, also in the south, when a joint patrol with Afghan forces encountered enemy fighters. Uruzgan had seen some of the heaviest fighting within the past year, but militants suffered high losses in battles with coalition forces.

Helmand, the main opium poppy-growing region, where drug profits are believed to fund the insurgency, has become the main focus of violence, but the past week has also seen attacks in Zabul province and the western city of Heart.


Did you spot the deliberate disinformation?

Under the Taliban, Afghanistan all but eradicated the drugs trade by banning the growth and trade of opium. Now however, the mainstream media is reporting that profits from opium are being used to finance its war against occupation by Coalition forces.

We cannot verify this but even before the recent offensive the opium trade, which had been virtually non-existent under by the Taliban, had begun to revive under Coalition occupation. Now however mainstream media is reporting that the Taliban are exploiting the drugs trade themselves.

That seems like a contradiction but it’s worth noting here that this report, although it originates from the Independent online, is posted under the “Raw Story” banner. Almost as if this mainstream media publication were masquerading as an independent and genuinely alternative publication.

Moreover this deception is not confined to the Independent. British troops have recently been deployed in strength to Helmand, southern Afghanistan. According to the BBC:

“This year Helmand will produce half of Afghanistan’s opium, and the profit it will make for the traffickers and dealers as it moves its way to the UK will top one billion dollars.

“The British government’s commitment to Afghanistan is not just military support and reconstruction – but a pledge to taking on the drugs problem.

“And when you realise that around 90% of Britain’s heroin originates in Afghanistan you can see why it’s an attractive political goal.”

So not only has Afghanistan’s opium trade revived after the Anglo-American invasion, it is now being carried out and thriving under the watchful eyes of British troops. Ed