Ignorance or Concealment? Germany’s leading daily News Outlet fails to report on U.S. War Crimes
By Zain Raza
As reported by the daily news show Democracy Now! on Thursday (20th September), “a U.S. drone strike killed at least 30 civilians in Afghanistan. Many of the dead were farmers who were resting in the fields after harvesting pine nuts. At least 40 civilians were also injured in the drone strike”.  On the other hand, earlier in the same week on Tuesday (17th of September), the Taliban also committed war crimes by detonating two explosives, one near the U.S. the embassy in Kabul which killed at least 40 to 50 civilians. 
The Tagesschau only reported the latter event. The consequence of not reporting the former crime and only the latter is that it may give millions of regular followers of the Tagesschau in Germany the impression that there is no cause or effect resulting from the interplay between U.S. military actions or the Taliban’s. To elaborate, it may be perceived that the growth of the Taliban’s base of power and ongoing violence since 2001 has nothing to do with U.S. military occupation and war crimes – including the murder of innocent civilians as cited above – it is simply a byproduct of mindless evil. An impression that propagates the narrative of good versus evil instead of addressing the rationality of all the actions and players that are contributing to the ongoing spiral of violence. Whether the Tagesschau does this intentionally or not, this is the likely outcome of their one sided reporting.
The rise of terrorism and violence, in my opinion, is directly linked to U.S. interventionism as we’ve seen play out throughout the Middle East. According to the United Nations, U.S. and Afghan forces killed more civilians than the Taliban did in 2019 , which has only served to empower and encourage the most radical elements in Afghanistan, as it creates a pool of discontent from which it can harvest anger and resentment. As far as I know, even this fact which was reported by the UN, did not appear in any of the Tagesschau’s prime time segments. There are clear reasons why the U.S. was never able to push back the Taliban with interventionist policies. In fact, the Taliban now controls a record number of districts since the U.S. first arrived in 2001. There are so many that U.S military even decided to stop counting how much territory is under Taliban control in 2019. 
One may think that it is setting the bar too high, to expect contextual reporting that can start to explore cause and effect in these complex matters from a program such as the Tageschau. However, the ARD has a public duty to its citizens to report fairly and accurately as it financed directly by a public tax via the GEZ (Gebühreneinzugszentrale). I believe that it is entirely reasonable to expect a public broadcaster such as ARD and its flagship program to report equally on the actions (or atrocitites) of both parties in order to give viewers the context and, if not complete, the most accurate picture of the situation in Afghanistan that can be provided. We deserve nothing less.
Note: All opinions expressed are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of acTVsm Munich.
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Zain Raza is the Founder and Senior Editor of acTVism Munich. He is a journalist, activist and cultural promoter in Munich. As an activist he co-organized a number of demonstrations in Munich which included “March Against Monsanto”, and as a cultural promoter he brought hundreds of people together with his event “Pakistani on the Menu” that presented food, arts and music from many different cultures. As a writer and journalist, Raza’s research on political and economic issues was featured on the Tribune Express from 2011-2013. In 2013 Raza founded acTVism Munich e.V.- an independent, non-profit, grassroots & bilingual media outlet. Since then Raza has directly overseen and directed the production of over 400 videos. His interviews for acTVism include Edward Snowden, Wikileaks, Noam Chomsky, Rainer mausfeld, Gerald Hüther, Yanis Varoufakis, Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill, Jürgen Todenhöfer, Peter Kuznick, Michael Shermer, Jill Stein, Katja Kipping, Medea Benjamin, Hans-Christian Ströbele, Richard D.Wolff, Lawrence Wilkerson, Ernst Wolff, William Binney, Ray McGovern, Thomas Drake, Abby Martin, Annie Machon and many others. To find out more about Zain’s background, click here.
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