Made for TV

You see the guy on the right? I call him “fasionable Afghan guy”.

FILE – In this Aug. 19, 2021 file photo, Taliban fighters display their flag on patrol in Kabul, Afghanistan. When U.S. President Joe Biden took office early this year, Western allies were falling over themselves to welcome and praise him and hail a new era in trans-Atlantic cooperation. The collapse of Kabul certainly put a stop to that. Even some of his biggest fans are now churning out criticism. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File)

Let’s talk about “fashionable Afghan guy” for a minute or two.

From the first time I saw fashionable Afghan guy (I will go with the acronym fafg from here out) I smelled a rat. I don’t have any military or police training, but I am extremely observant and have great memory when I apply it. When I first saw fafg I said to myself “doesn’t look like the others”. Very clean. Brand new clothes. Sunglasses new and pretty sporty. Skin pretty clear, not weather hardened. I blew it off, but then I began to see fafg over

Taliban fighters patrol in the Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. The Taliban declared an “amnesty” across Afghanistan and urged women to join their government Tuesday, seeking to convince a wary population that they have changed a day after deadly chaos gripped the main airport as desperate crowds tried to flee the country. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

and over

and over

and over

And in video – fast forward to 2.25

There are innumerable examples of fafg showing up in these stories. I don’t even consume a lot of news but this guy kept showing up in practically every single news piece I watched. So the question is, why?

I can only think of a few reasons.

1) He is the press guy for the taliban and everybody knows that if you need footage of fearsome Afghan warriors armed and ready for combat that’s the “go to”
2) Well, I have no clue. That’s up to you to let me know in the comments.

19 thoughts on “Made for TV”

  1. Are these all from the same reporter? It’s quite possible/likely that the AP reporter has a group of Taliban that he’s “embedded” with, so you’re going to see the same few dudes over and over.
    People have also noted how many of the Taliban hold their weapons, and themselves, in ways that make it quite clear they didn’t just pick things up on the fly in the mountains somewhere, they were obviously trained by real professionals.
    Which again feeds the suspicion that this chaos all is a front for an unannounced deal to hand over power.

  2. Brian: “Which again feeds the suspicion that this chaos all is a front for an unannounced deal to hand over power.”

    If it were simply a deal to hand over power from Biden*’s buddies to the Taliban, surely it would have been much better to have agreed on a non-chaotic extraction of Westerners followed by a rapid take over of Kabul by the Taliban? The chaos argues against a deal — or that Biden*’s team are learning the Taliban don’t hold up their side of a deal.

    Good point about the AP reporter probably hanging out with a particular group of Taliban. Presumably, anyone with a professional camera is at risk in Kabul, and requires the cooperation of the guys with guns.

  3. Interesting point Brian. I’ve seen fafg everywhere so I’m guessing that all of the major agencies/news outlets may get their photos/video from one pool guy hanging out with the same dudes and probably providing cash to them for security? Like Gavin said, walking around there with a fancy camera is probably not wise without security.

  4. “The chaos argues against a deal — or that Biden*’s team are learning the Taliban don’t hold up their side of a deal.”
    Remember any deal would have been negotiated by Ben Rhodes-level geniuses.
    What do you think the odds are that after the CIA chief flew in with our latest offer/payment/etc., the Taliban didn’t call up their Chinese buddies and say, the Americans offered us X, can you beat it? And that China didn’t say, no problem, lol.

  5. “Are these all from the same reporter? It’s quite possible/likely that the AP reporter has a group of Taliban that he’s “embedded” with, so you’re going to see the same few dudes over and over.”

    Amazing how little people paid attention, or remember–We knew from day one that any Western media organizations in Iraq were suborned by the enemy. Christ, we caught the asshole photographer who took those Pulitzer-prize winning pictures of the election monitors that were killed in an insurgent safe-house, with explosives residue on his hands. That was in the news, Brian–Back page, but it was in the news. At the time, that assclown was a renowned stringer for many different news agencies, and they all protested his arrest. He was complicit in the murders of those election monitors, at best.

    He was also a documented member of one of Saddam’s ministries, a former “minder” for Western reporters in Saddam’s Iraq. A fact that was reported by our forces to those media outlets, who went ahead and hired him anyway.

    So, yeah… Your surprise at “embedded” reporters with these creatures is a little late to the game and entirely disingenuous. Or, that you simply haven’t been paying attention for the last 20 years or more…

    “People have also noted how many of the Taliban hold their weapons, and themselves, in ways that make it quite clear they didn’t just pick things up on the fly in the mountains somewhere, they were obviously trained by real professionals.”

    Yeah. Not so much–Case in evidence? Sunglass dude’s insouciant carriage of that M16A2, over the shoulder and held by the barrel. That’s neither evidence of training or professionalism. He’s carrying that weapon like a prop, which I’m sure it is to him.

    Some of the Taliban is very well-trained. That only happened because our genius leadership never, ever addressed the Pakistani support they had, and I suspect that there were major hand-offs of training and materials straight from our stocks to the Pakistani military that were diverted to the Taliban. I heard rumors that there were some rather interesting things to be learned from the serial numbers on things we captured from the Taliban, particularly on night-vision devices.

    Leadership let this happen, pure and simple. It’s been a travesty since day one, and the fig leaf that we were “taking the toy away from the miscreant child” in terms of removing Afghanistan from Pakistani influence was never effectively carried out–That much was evident once they shut down the Central Asian rail routes to us, and we stayed on.

    It’s a sad thing to have to say, but something like this was always in the cards. There’s no way you can really do what we were trying to do in Afghanistan, not out there at the end of the supply chain. It was idiocy to try it, but we’re led by idiots–Afghanistan should have been a punitive expedition with a side-theater in destroying the ISI in Pakistan, whether the government there wanted it or not. The ISI has always been the real adversary, and they’ve never, ever been addressed effectively. Had they been removed or neutered? The story would be a lot different, and we wouldn’t even need to be in Afghanistan in the first damn place.

    Again, we’re led by idiots. Looking back on it, I think most of the professional military knew something like this was a potential, and yet… Nobody really ever did anything to prevent it.

  6. “Your surprise at “embedded” reporters with these creatures is a little late to the game and entirely disingenuous. ”
    Who expressed surprise? Who’s being disingenuous? What are you talking about?
    You need a serious attitude adjustment.
    Have a nice life.

  7. Attitude adjustment? LOL… Dude, you have no idea. You think you’re being shit on, with that? What a deliciously thin skin you have.

    You post like you’ve no idea what’s actually going on in the background, get the reaction that is bound to receive, and then bitch about it. Don’t want to be told unpleasant things? Then don’t act like you don’t know them, already. You got your reaction, and it was deserved.

    Captain Renault played it better in Casablanca, TBH.

  8. What we see is such a tiny slice of the whole that I think it’s easy to make too much of that tiny slice.

    I’ve watched the Beeb mostly, just because (as has been mentioned) the US media all have US-centric filters, and it’s easy.

    I’ve seen a lot of guys spiffed out and a lot who look ragged as hell; some are obviously old campaigners, and some are ali-come-latelys. That some of them look well trained shouldn’t come as a shock–various interested parties have been turning effective guerillas into highly effective light infantry. Those little gun-truck convoys all over the country don’t organize and supply themselves either. (Actually, the logistics of this type of warfare–it reminds me of videos from all over the Greater Middle East for the last 10 years or so–will make some interesting PhD dissertations . . .)

    Even obscurantists with a 7th Century religious ideal can master tools and techniques from outside when they find advantage in them–we use the latest tools and techniques to pursue impossible goals that make no logistic or strategic sense, to say the least.

  9. “get the reaction that is bound to receive”
    No, the normal reaction was from Gavin and Dan. Your reaction was that of a lunatic.
    Now again, have a nice life.

  10. Gee, I wonder if Fashionable Afghan Guy is related to Green Helmet Guy, of the last big show in southern Lebanon?
    Oh, he’s the media relations guy for Western news orgs wanting footage, all right.

  11. Well trained and not pointing his weapon at a comrade with his finger on the trigger? Then not trained in Pakistan, probably in Afghanistan by our own Green Berets. They were signing on anyone with a pulse. It was probably only the least stable that went off prematurely in green on blue incidents. the rest just sucked up the training and disappeared once they were done.

  12. As a quick follow up, I watched the NBC News tonight (I know – it was just for kicks) and saw fafg at least 4 more times, maybe more.

  13. The elite lead the revolution, the peasants throw themselves on bayonets.
    The clean shaven are the sons of the middle and upper class, since the English Revolution. (Revolutions Podcast by Mike Duncan as evidence.)
    The leaders are photogenic, e.g. George Washington on a horse.
    We have lost the perception war. Barbarian rapists have won and we show the cool guy in sunglasses.

  14. Y’know… I gotta feeling that if an Oliver Cromwell showed up on the scene…?

    He’d get a long, long way with a whole lot of support. Hell, if he showed up and was convincing? The number of folks who’d happily join in the mass defenestrations in DC would probably numb the mind.

    Imagine someone in real time livestreaming the “enhanced interrogations” of people running the game right now. “Now, before we get started here by removing your fingers and toes one joint at a time, Prisoner Milley… Do you want to tell us who gave you the orders to turn the Afghanistan withdrawal into a shitshow?” followed by “So, Prisoner Pelosi… Where is the money? What was your plan to pay back all these trillions you’ve borrowed on our good name? No? You have no idea…? Hmmm… Let’s begin with left foot, little toe…”.

    I’m not a huge believer in torture, but I’d damn sure watch–Just to learn the answers to the questions. I’ve got this list of dead friends and soldiers I trained who I would dearly love to have good answers for, when I cross over…

    The really ‘effed up thing, here? I fear that this is the direction we’re heading in, and I also think that a lot of my fellow citizens would be completely up for it. Don’t look for a military coup from the brass, look for it from those guys in the 82nd who’ve been having to swallow shit for the last few weeks. I would not want to be the field-grade having to answer questions to them, right now–And, I suspect that there are probably an awful lot of pissed-off meat-eaters out there right now, who’d be fully up for a spot of ritualistic dismemberment of the oligarchs.

    Which is absolutely terrifying. We’re at that stage where a man on a horse rides in…

  15. Then there is the wrinkle of ISIS-K. The Taliban seem to be happy with their “deal”, but now the “other team” is making their play for power. The Tallies may have a PR man but the ISIS-K has suicide bombers. I am guessing that the Xiden “Sell Out” Team hadn’t planned on the players from the ISIS-K team. The Tallies, and their, Paki “owners” were probably trying to make it look like the Tallies had everything under control. Then they could take the cash and run. But ISIS-K jumped up, “Not so fast”. We may be in for Round #2 of an elimination series, with the Tallies on “our” side.

  16. ISIS-K happened because of the same BS the Obama/Biden crew played in Iraq; the majority of them were under detention at Bagram, just like ISIS in Iraq was led by the career terrorists we had detained at Camp Bucca. Both detention centers wound up releasing the terrorists held in them, at the malfeasant command of creatures like Blinken.

    So, if you were thinking that the Democrats were playing for our side? LOL… SUCKER!

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