Helmand Afghans want to be governed by Taliban.
Top story on the BBC news last night (30th July 2010) was from Nad-e-Ali in Afghanistan’s Helmand province.
It was about the British Army’s surge to clear this area of Taliban.
There was much talk about difficulties and where this new initiative falls relative to overall coalition strategy, but the astonishing part of the report came when the reporter interviewed a large group of local shopkeepers.
The reporter’s voice-over reported content as the shopkeepers’ spokeman delivered his opinions.
“This man says that the problems should be addressed by negotiation, not war. When I asked the group who they would like to be responsible for running this area they answered, to a man, Taliban.”
When I saw this report on the 6 ‘O’ Clock News I was astonished that these words had made it past the editor.
At 10 p.m. there was (surprisingly) the same report, in full, again.
The thing that made this breathtaking was the knowledge that the BBC is so often, indeed almost invariably, a mouthpiece for government propaganda and lies.