Friday, October 19, 2012

War Propaganda

The shooting of Malala Yousufzai by the Talaban was a terrible evil, so it is not surprising that their has been a huge wave of sympathy and outrage.

What is not nearly as distressing is the way that her life has been turned into war propaganda.

Hundreds, maybe thousands of girls have been wounded and killed in Afghanistan and the Pakistan borderlands since the American led invasion of Afghanistan by NATO forces. The girls who are killed and injured by American drones never get their faces onto our television screens. The girls who were were raped and killed by the warlords of the Northern Alliance, who are now NATO allies in Afghanistan government never their pictures into our newspapers. Girls who are injured during night raids do not get flown to the UK for treatment. Borjan, 12; Sardar Wali, 10; and Khan Bibi, 8, who are all from one family, who were hit by an American missile last Sunday, while collecting dung for fuel, did not get their photos in the New Times .They did not fit the needs of the propaganda machine that the modern media have become, and modern war needs.

The United States invaded Afghanistan to destroy Al Qaida. Once Bin Laden was killed and Al Qaida had been scattered all over the world, a new justification for the war was needed. The next objective was regime change, but once Hamid Karzai and his crony warlords from the Northern Alliance are entrenched in power that objective is no longer realistic, despite many of them being murderers and drug dealers. Hillary Clinton has transformed the war into a mission to liberate the women of Afghanistan and get girls into education. A pretty young women who wants to be educated is the perfect poster girl for that cause.

So its fine to feel sympathy for Malala Yousufzai, but understand that your sympathy is selective, because it is being manipulated.

There is no doubt that the women of Afghanistan are terribly oppressed. A deep change in attitudes and behaviours is essential for the future of the people of Afghanistan. Getting girls, and boys well educated is one of the most important needs. What has been lost in the propaganda is the fact that that war is not a good method for changing attitudes and behaviours. During a war, ruthless men rise to the top, while the women and girls suffer, terribly. War is a man’s game. Losing a battle will not make Afghanistan men treat their wives and daughters better.

The nations of the West once had a powerful method for changing attitudes and behaviours. The proclamation of the gospel in the power of the Spirit can change human hearts and set free people that are oppressed by their culture. The people of the West now seem to have more faith in war than in the gospel for changing hearts and transform cultures.

There is a deep irony here. Islam has a lousy gospel, so it has always had to use military force and warfare to spread its influence. Christianity has a marvellous gospel that is backed by the Holy Spirit, so it spreads best by love and sacrifice. It does not need to use military force to spread. That difference seems to being forgotten.

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