Romancing American Media… to Maybe Cover Afghanistan Sometime

by Joshua Foust on 1/1/2008 · 1 comment

Did you hear Mullah Mansoor Dadullah—younger brother of recently slain “military mastermind” Taliban Spokesman Dadullah Akhund—has been sacked as commander of the Taliban? I hadn’t either—while the Financial Times covered it, It barely made a ripple in the American media.

Why does this matter? According to Al-Emerah, the Taliban’s own newsdaily, Dadullah was:

is not obedience to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in his actions and has carried out activities which were against the rules of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, so the Decision Authorities of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan have removed Mansoor Dadullah from his post and he will no longer be serving the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in anyways and no Taliban will obey his orders any more. [Note: AfghanWire notes that this is from the original English, and is not their translation.]

FT ties this to rumors that MI6 has been in secret reconciliation talks with a southern Taliban commander. If that commander was Dadullah, and he was publicly (even if not functionally) sacked for it, that would indicate how willing the Taliban is at this stage for any kind of a negotiated settlement. Which is no surprise—they’ve never been about peaceful settlement.

Even so, shouldn’t the public scorning of a Taliban commander over reconciliation talks, especially in light of Benazir Bhutto’s murder at the likely hands of Pakistani Taliban, matter a great deal? You would think so, but we have primaries to worry about.

Covering the forgotten war.

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This post was written by...

– author of 1848 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Joshua Foust is a Fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from His research focuses primarily on Central and South Asia. Joshua is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a columnist for PBS Need to Know. Joshua appears regularly on the BBC World News, Aljazeera, and international public radio. Joshua's writing has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor. Follow him on twitter: @joshuafoust

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{ 1 comment }

P Scott January 2, 2008 at 8:00 am

Interesting Web Site.As an American contractor who spent 14 months in Kandahar and Kabul it is very refreshing to find SOMEBODY who is also frustrated by the dismal Western Media coverage of “The Forgotten War”.

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