Monday, June 05, 2006

'The Real News': "Perfect storm" gathering in Afghanistan

This is the latest news from Paul Jay, Chair of The Real News, formerly IWT News (Independent World Television) , about new items of interest posted on their website. One presents glimpses into the "perfect storm" gathering in Afghanistan: the chillingly eye-opening article "Return to Kandahar", explored in a way the mainstream-corporate media fails to do, detailing the rise of the Taliban and the narco-state, and the tragic consequences of the lack of real reconstruction efforts in that shattered country, while violence continues to escalate.

""The international community now faces the disturbing prospect of the new insurgency embedding itself in communities and spreading to other weak districts, and a progressive de facto dismantling of Afghanistan," said a report last month by the Senlis Council, a security and development policy group based in Europe. ""

There is part two of their video interview with Eric Margolis, this time focusing on Pakistan, and finally an item about the step-by-step details to the launching of The Real News:

1) "Perfect storm" gathering in Afghanistan

According to Webster's Dictionary, a "perfect storm" is a weather phenomenon that develops maybe two or three times every century. Western policy is creating the conditions for just such a political storm in Afghanistan. And once again, it is the people of that country who will pay the terrible price, while the rest of the world will reap the consequences or "blowback", as it came to be known after 9/11.

TV coverage after the deadly traffic accident in Kabul caused by a US military convoy failed to give necessary context. Now, as the carnage in Iraq reaches even more horrific proportions and with the arrests of an alleged terrorist cell in Canada, the significance of the large demonstrations in Kabul is being overlooked by most television news programs.

The people of Afghanistan are fed up with corruption and the lack of progress in rebuilding their economy. Warlords control poppy fields and the politics of most of the country. Most importantly, the Taliban are back in force.

I shot a documentary film in Afghanistan in the spring of 2002, and at that time a resurgence of the Taliban seemed unimaginable.

Today, we posted two items on The Real News website. The first is "Return to Kandahar", an article I wrote about recent events in Afghanistan that suggests the context we will explore when we launch our world news and documentary service.

We also present part two of our video interview with Eric Margolis, this time focusing on Pakistan. He discusses the significance of pro-Taliban forces in the Pakistani military and intelligence service (ISI) and the growing anger amongst the population with Western foreign policy in the region. Margolis reminds us that Pakistan is a country that has a nuclear arsenal.

2) Step by step to launching The Real News

We are working on a detailed model and budget for our news-gathering operation and for the structure of the website. We will present these plans to you soon. Step by step, we are getting ready for launch.

Our full-time team is collaborating with expert consultants in journalism, broadcasting and the Internet. The Real News is also benefiting from those working on fundraising with foundations and major donors. We expect a major piece of our seed financing to be confirmed soon.

But we need your help now. We must cover our current monthly expenses and we need to prove to major seed funders that the membership model works.

Only your support makes this possible. Please tell your friends and help us build our email list. If you have not done so already, make a contribution. Remember, in the final analysis, The Real News will succeed when thousands of people like you pay for membership.

As Bob McChesney, founder of Free Press, said about The Real News: “The power’s in our hands. If everyone writes a check who cares about this issue, we’d have enough money to create the greatest TV network that’s ever been known.”

You will find the article "Return to Kandahar" here

The Eric Margolis interview is here

Once again, thank you for your support and please let us know what you think of our plans, our work and our vision.

Donations, including small monthly contributions, make all the difference in the world.

Best wishes,

Paul Jay

Chair, The Real News

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