November 29, 2001


The Chinese Communists and their friends here in the United States used 
to love the term "running dogs" to describe people they viewed as 
collaborators with the evil capitalists. You don't hear that phrase 
used much anymore, especially because the Chinese themselves have 
embraced something resembling modern American capitalism. Their former 
friends who have remained loyal to the Maoist tradition are now a 
pathetic remnant: life, history, and their former allies have passed 
them by. Now most of the former student radicals and peaceniks are part 
of the Establishment. And they're supporting the Military-Industrial 
Complex as it destroys lives overseas and freedom here at home. It must 
be a bitter pill to swallow even considering that Commies never cared 
about lives or freedom.

So, maybe it's time to haul the running dog expression out of
retirement and put it to constructive use. The U.S. news media, many
members of which come out of the New Left tradition, seem to fit the
bill nicely as our Permanent Regimes informal Ministry of Truth.

None fit the role better than the WASHINGTON POST. The POST's
sanctimonious pose as a watchdog of the government, based on the
exploits of Woodward and Bernstein thirty years ago, becomes 
increasinglyludicrous the longer the American persecution of 
Afghanistan goes on. Today it lacks any credibility as an objective 
source of news. Here's one example, from a story published 
November 15, the day after the Northern Alliance entered Kabul.

From a story with the headline "Afghan Rebels Seize Control of Kabul: 
Political Efforts Are Outpaced by Speed of Conquest"

> . .. Before Northern Alliance units pulled into the streets, looters spent 
> the morning plundering government offices while residents took brutal 
> revenge on the few foreign Taliban supporters -- mainly Pakistanis and 
> Arabs -- who stayed behind after the Taliban pullout. Several were set 
> upon by mobs and shot, stabbed or beaten to death, their bodies left 
> along roadsides or in other public places.
> The entry of black-uniformed Northern Alliance police officers and a 
> military strike battalion in camouflage fatigues halted the violence, 
> which included the looting of the Pakistani Embassy. By afternoon, many 
> Kabul residents -- initially fearful of street fighting and wary of the 
> Northern Alliance presence -- flocked into the streets in apparent 
> relief, celebrating the defeat of the widely resented Taliban and its 
> foreign legion of Islamic militants.
> Trucks carrying alliance soldiers and policemen were showered with 
> confetti and flowers, and residents shouted slogans such as "Long live 
> the Northern Alliance" and "Death to the Taliban."

Aside from a few atrocities by residents of Kabul, taken in revenge, 
which were halted by the fashionably dressed Northern Alliance troops, the 
scene was apparently much like the liberation of Paris as seen in the old 
newsreel footages, with the Northern Alliance troops handing out chewing 
gum and chocolate to cheering crowds. Now children can fly kites and 
women can get jobs again. Liberation!

The subhead, "Political Efforts Are Outpaced by Speed of Conquest," glosses 
over the fact that the Northern Alliance had promised the United States not 
to invade the city, but did anyway.

Meanwhile, the evil Taliban was doing all kinds of evil things before
they were kicked out of the city:

> ... when the Taliban left here in the cover of darkness late Monday, their 
> departure was marked by confusion, panic, looting and wanton vandalism. 
> Taliban troops ransacked offices and stole vehicles. They marauded through 
> currency exchange shops smashing open vaults and stealing cash. They 
> looted the city's museum. In at least one military facility they left 
> behind for the city's new conquerors debris-strewn offices with broken 
> doors and locks.
> "They destroyed all of the facilities here," said Gen. Mohammed Sharif 
> Tawasuli, commander of the Prophet Mohammed Division of the opposition 
> Northern Alliance, whose troops moved into the city early Tuesday and took 
> up position at the site of an old military school. "They took whatever 
> they could. Then they broke all the locks."
>  So while generally glad to see the Taliban gone, many here seemed anxious 
> at the sight of a new Afghan army in the capital  particularly troops from 
> the Northern Alliance, the disparate group whose earlier rule here from 
> 1992 to 1996 was marred by brutal infighting....

It's just the same old story, a fight for love and glory: good triumphs
over evil. And it goes down well with our coffee and bran muffins in the
morning. Of course, the POST did leave a few things out.

According to Robert Fiske, the gimlet-eyed British former war correspondent, 
the Alliance murdered about 300 Taliban stragglers when they entered Kabul. 
And brutal infighting is a slick way to describe the killing of about 
50,000 people during the Alliances reign in Kabul from 1992 to 1996. It was, 
in fact, the killing, raping, and robbery carried out by Alliance thugs that 
enabled the puritanical Taliban to come to power, welcomed by the 
inhabitants of Kabul at the time.

Today comes news that the revolt by Taliban prisoners of war in the dungeons 
of Mazar-i-Sharif has been put down, with the help of American bombing, and 
that the CIA lost one of its minions during the fight.

> The CIA reported yesterday that an agency paramilitary officer was killed 
> Sunday during an uprising by Taliban prisoners in northern Afghanistan and 
> broke with tradition by identifying him as Johnny Michael "Mike" Spann. He 
> is the first known U.S. combat casualty in the war in Afghanistan.
> CIA Director George J. Tenet confirmed Spann's death after days of reports 
> by Northern Alliance commanders that an American intelligence officer had 
> been killed at the start of the prison riot by Pakistanis, Chechens, Arabs 
> and other non-Afghans > who had fought with the Taliban before being 
> captured by rebel forces.....
> Tenet informed CIA employees of Spann's death in a closed-circuit 
> television broadcast yesterday morning before releasing a statement in 
> which he called Spann "an American hero." He said Spann was inside the 
> fortress in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e Sharif interviewing 
> prisoners when the bloody revolt began.

Gosh, another American hero! Exactly why he is a hero we aren't told. Did 
he fight heroically? Did he save or try to save someones life? And I love 
the term "interviewing." Obviously, it means that he sat them down, offered 
them cigarettes and Coca Cola, and asked them if they were being treated 
well before inquiring politely if they knew where Osama bin Laden was 
holing up. But those ungrateful Taliban scum revolted against their 
benevolent captors:

> "Although these captives had given themselves up, their pledge of surrender 
> -- like so many other pledges from the vicious group they represent -- 
> proved worthless," Tenet said. "Their prison uprising -- which had murder as 
> its goal -- claimed many lives, among them that of a very brave American, 
> whose body was recovered just hours ago."
> Spann was the 79th CIA employee killed in the line of duty, and will soon be
> memorialized as the 79th star chiseled into the agency's wall of honor....

And so on (sniff). However, the British Independent has a slightly different 
perspective on the  Mazar-e Sharif revolt. Their reporter, Justin Huggler, 
actually visited the site instead of warming a seat at a press conference:

> General [Abdul Rashid] Dostum [a Northern Alliance commander known for
> brutality and changing sides] striding through the slaughtered yesterday in 
> a long flowing brown shirt and leather jacket, insisted his soldiers had 
> treated the prisoners humanely. As he spoke, a soldier kicked the body of a 
> man who was lying on his side to make sure he was dead. The body rolled 
> over to reveal that the man's arms had been tied together behind his back. 
> Several of the dead men's arms had been tied together above the elbow, some 
> with their own black turbans. General Dostum publicly denied the practice 
> but an Afghan soldier under his command  admitted he and his comrades had 
> been tying the prisoner's hands when the fighting started.

Most of the prisoners were apparently foreign members of the Taliban, 
including Arabs and Pakistanis. The U.S. press has been strangely reticent about 
reporting that the Northern Alliance gave many broad hints that they would show 
no mercy to Taliban foreigners. Could that be why they revolted?

Huggler also reports that the Alliance troops were looting bodies and even 
wrenching gold fillings out of the mouths of dead prisoners, and that 300 
more executed prisoners were found at Kunduz. It was allegations of this 
kind of stuff that made the Serbs the untouchables of Europe.

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