The Scottish Daily Record publication carried an interview with the Taliban in early October. True to the paper's history and culture the piece spewed comic book jingoism and arrogance.
The interview was with a Taliban commander Qari Nasrullah, and was held in the border area between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The interviewer set the scene by telling readers that the Taliban blighter was 'wrapped in an afghan scarf'
and spoke in 'his Pashto tongue of the lawless tribal border between Pakistan’s north west frontier and Afghanistan.' The bastard-saville row attire and BBC English, surely, if he had a shred of humanity.
“What followed” the Record piece tells us:
was an invaluable insight into the twisted logic of an enemy mind. Equally disturbing was the fact this terror veteran is adamant the Taliban will once again rule Afghanistan with an iron fist and return to the dark days of strict Sharia law.
The Record writer it appears is opposed to exclusivist Muslim rule in Afghanistan as expounded by the Taliban, he feels no doubt they wouldn’t want anyone of any other religion “about the place”.
The Record scribbler then eased into his role as Ministry of Defence psych-ops journalist, 'I pressed the "slim rebel” we are told by the interviewer ‘about the terrible toll his comrades have inflicted on NATO troops since the US led invasion of 2001.'
The inversion of the human cost of NATO aggression is straight up shameless. The tens of thousands of Afghans killed are written out of history. It is the poor NATO kittens who have to face the audacity of Afghans hurting them while they maim and murder in Afghanistan who deserve our sympathy. Five afghan children were killed or injured each and every day in 2012 as a result of the NATO war in Afghanistan according to the United Nations.
The Taliban commander pointed out that:
thousands of our men have been martyred and as for your soldiers, we did not go after them to other countries. They came to our country and they have been torturing us and have sabotaged our government.
The Record man tells us the Taliban spokesman 'shows not a shred of remorse over the deaths.’ Later in the article the Taliban man is referred to as a “thug”.
The whole interview must have cost a fair penny, flights to Pakistan, accommodation and all the other attendant costs. If it was religious hatred, calls for sectarian rule, extremism and contempt for the lives of others, Chris Hughes, the interviewer was looking to highlight, a short bus ride from the centre of Glasgow would have sufficed.
To Ibrox stadium in the west of the city, on the 28th of September to be specific. It was “Forces Day” at the home game of the new club playing in the stadium. This was an event endorsed and logistically supported by the British Ministry of Defence. The General Officer Commanding British troops in Scotland Major General Nick Eeles led his troops at the event. Four hundred on duty members of the British army, navy and air force marched on the pitch.
Alex Thompson of Channel 4 wrote about the shameful scenes of the day under a headline of Armed Forces involvement in a sectarian Rangers “party” a PR disaster. Thompson described what happened after the marching ended:
for a prolonged period British armed forces in uniform waved clapped, danced did the “Bouncy” and snapped their selfies as the Ibrox faithful went through their reportie of songs, a number of chants praised the Northern Ireland paramilitary organisation the Ulster Volunteer Force.
The “Bouncy” was a sick ritual that fans of Rangers football club started in the aftermath of the murder of Robert Hamill in Portadown in 1999. Robert was kicked to death by a loyalist gang watched by fully armed members of the RUC/PSNI seated in a landrover a short distance away.
There are also pictures from the Ibrox day showing four uniformed members of the British army holding a scarf with the words “Keep Ulster Protestant” on it.
A song mocking the death of Irish Republican Bobby Sands was repeated during the hate fest.
An official British military event attended by the most senior military figure in Scotland lauding the Ulster Volunteer Force. The silence from the “anti violence” brigade could rupture your eardrums.
The UVF has been responsible for over 500 deaths in recent decades; the British military have lost 444 personnel due to their aggression in Afghanistan.
Many of those who screamed and roared about Malala Yousafzawi will no doubt never of heard of Jemma McGrath. Two days before the British military displayed their support for the organisation in Glasgow, members of the UVF forced their way into McGraths home in East Belfast and shot her in the lower abdomen, left arm and both legs. Threats against Catholic schoolchildren by loyalist paramilitaries in north Belfast the month before went with little comment or condemnation. It is a safe bet that in the leafy suburbs of Dublin and Belfast the “human rights “ brigade will shed bitter tears as they read Ms Yousafzawis new book about her denial of education.
Alex Thompson opened his blog on the issue by stating 'its not about Rangers its about the Ministry of Defence.' Having witnessed the behaviour of his troops Major General Eeles didn’t express regret or guarantee those involved would be disciplined. No, he said 'I very much hope this inaugural Armed forces day at Rangers will be repeated annually for many years to come.'
What did the Daily Record have to say about the troops behaviour, remembering how opposed they are to “twisted logic” ?.
Roy Greenslade in his Guardian piece titled Will mainstream media report on sectarian singing by British troops? gives us the answer. Greenslade states 'two media reports about the events that have been published, one on STV and another on the Daily Record site make no reference to the soldier’s antics.’
The Record did mention that 'the match day experience began in dramatic circumstances' but only because two marines 'abseiled down the Govan stand ahead of kick off, before delivering the match ball to the referee.'
Greenslade continues by asking the question that cry’s out to addressed 'how odd that both outlets missed the story, or do their reporters think soldiers chanting jingoistic sectarian songs in unison with football fans is unworthy of comment?'
The next time you hear someone claiming that wearing a poppy, or laying wreaths at British military graves is in some way an Irish Republican thing to do, remember “Tom Hartley syndrome” is a virulent form of Stockholm syndrome.