Paris Match Taliban photoshoot shocks France
Politicians of the right and left blasted the magazine Paris Match today for publishing a photograph of a Taliban guerrilla dressed in the combat uniform of one of the ten French soldiers killed in Afghanistan last month. The defence minister, Hervé Morin, accused the magazine of taking part in a Taliban propaganda exercise.
The Green politician, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, a leader of the French student revolt 40 years ago, said that Match was guilty of abject voyeurism. The photograph was taken by a Paris Match photographer a few miles from the scene of the ambush in which ten French paratroopers were killed 30 miles from Kabul on 18 August. It showed Taliban fighters, who claimed to be part of the force which attacked the French troops. One of them was entirely dressed above the waist in French uniform, helmet, goggles and bullet-proof vest.
Further pictures in the magazines ten-page spread showed Farouki, the leader of the Taliban force amid seven young men holding assault rifles and other trophies taken from the bodies of the French soldiers.
Anger and revulsion in France at the pictures was deepened when the newspaper Le Monde reported this afternoon that Taliban fighters had cut the throats of four of the French soldiers as they lay wounded on the ground.
M. Morin accused Paris Match of taking part in a sophisticated Taliban propaganda war.
“Should we really be doing promotion for people who understand the importance of communication in the modern world?” he asked.
“This is a communications war that the Taliban are waging. They understand that public opinion is probably the Achilles’ heel of the international community that is present in Afghanistan.”
So we should ask WHY public opinion does not understand the war in Afghanistan and whose responsibility is it.
And this again confirms the bad role the media is playing in the fight against terrorism. Once again.