The Grauniad‘s Taliban-embedded correspondent, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, has delivered his final report from the front line of the holy war against infidel imperialism. In it he conveys his hosts’ view of life following the glorious Taliban victory against the evil forces of crusaderdom.
“I am a representative of the movement and I walk among the people and everyone knows me,” says the Haqqani administrator. “I move between the people and the commanders, watching the commanders’ behaviour. I listen to the people and convey the picture to the supreme leaders.”
Had the Taliban changed? A future administration would be based on Islamic rule, which was what the Afghan people wanted, but it would be different in detail from the Taliban regime that had ruled in Kabul before. “We will not rule based on theory. The people want us to be more pragmatic.”
He quoted the Muslim poet Muhammad Iqbal. “When the painter works on the same old painting again, he will make it much better.”
Now don’t get me wrong. As a journalist and news consumer I have no problem with media in countries with military forces fighting the Taliban and propping up the corrupt and useless but sort-of-elected Afghan government reporting from Taliban-controlled territory, but the language of Abdul-Ahad’s dispatches is not that of journalism. What we have here is melodrama shorn of its comedic element, accompanied by pictures of posing lardy arses bearing RPGs. It’s enough to make your average SWP member come in his pants.