Friday, January 4, 2013

More banal war propaganda

This is a story about women in Afghanistan so dishonest & so vile that the journalist who wrote it & the publisher of the LA Times that printed it should be hung! It’s about the growing popularity of cosmetic surgery in Afghanistan. Nose jobs, tummy tucks, face lifts are in for “an emerging middle class” influenced (our journalist tells us) by Bollywood & Turkish soap opera beauty trends. The reporter tell us: “Just over a decade ago, women were largely confined to their homes & forbidden to work, even if they could find a job in the war-ravaged country. Cut off from the rest of the world under the Taliban's rule, many had never heard of cosmetic surgery.” The young “middle class” woman showcased in the article who got a nose job works in a beauty salon. It must be the one the US Marines set up when they liberated Afghan women. They’ve been talking about it ever since as the hallmark of their achievements.

The article does tell us the plastic surgeon learned his skills in treating victims of “war, poverty, & domestic violence.” His patients include "children born with clubfeet & cleft palates, survivors of gas-lamp fires & gunshot wounds, & girls who have set themselves alight in protest against forced marriages, often to much older men.” How do you cram so much war propaganda into one article!? It may well be true that more Afghan women are getting cosmetic surgery but they’re likely to be the wealthy, or family members of officials & other Afghans cashing in on the war.

The reporter, Alexandra Zavis, is a well-schooled woman whose father was a US diplomat to South Africa. She often reports on war in Africa & elsewhere but she might be more suited to the fashion beat & feel good stories that are a hallmark of US news. Or she could consider writing soap operas.

(Photo by Alexandra Zavis/LA Times is of a 13 year-old Afghan boy being treated for a skin disease)

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