I once read that the static one heard on older radios between stations was evidence of the big bang. It was a long time ago and maybe it was misheard, but it was interesting no matter.
Again, possibly a mistake was made, but maybe, just maybe, there was some evidence of the "Deep State" on American media, if one reads not between the stations, but the lines.
Last Saturday, February 2, 2019, on National Public Radio, Scott Simon spoke with the sympathetic feeling that has led him to win all the prizes that are mentioned in his official bio. Scott noted that in the next Afghanistan all the gains women have seen could be erased.
Simon gives an account of the horror that women endured before the US and others invaded.
"Under the Taliban, women couldn’t leave their homes without a male relative. Women couldn’t go to school or work. They couldn’t speak in public. They couldn’t be treated by a doctor. They could be beaten for reading a book.
If so much as an inch of a woman’s flesh was exposed – like a flash of ankle beneath the burqa when they walked – they could be beaten. Many women were beaten, and raped, and stoned to death.
An unknown number of women took their lives. Several women told us how they had tried. They simply couldn’t see an end to the misery of living under the cruel iron rule of the Taliban."
Scott celebrated the changes that have occurred, how women became freer and had parliamentary representation, but sees the negotiations with the Taliban as a problem:
"Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. special representative, told the New York Times the Taliban has agreed not to permit Afghanistan from becoming a home for international terrorists. Khalilzad did not mention any negotiations regarding the rights of women. But I doubt any Afghan woman forgets the terror the Taliban created for women when they ruled the country."
He ends by asking:
"Will the US work for an agreement that will not only let US troops declare victory over terrorism and go home, but also help Afghan women live free from the terror of oppression?"
Here is where some interpretation is necessary. Once we leave, whether it is orderly or with civilians hanging on to the struts of copters a la Saigon, we are gone and will not be going back whether or not the rights of women are respected. Even the most naive NPR junkie knows that.
Your public radio listener is also, more than likely, to some degree, a feminist. They know that the Taliban will, in all probability, take over in Kabul and do what they damn well please as regards anyone’s rights.
Thus, as someone listens to Mr. Soulful, they almost immediately become a supporter of remaining in theater for the next millennium or so.
Trump policy is uneven, but in some places, it recognizes reality and in Afghanistan, that means we have lost. Maybe Scott Simon came up with the theme of his Saturday talk all by himself, but no one was going to stop him and he certainly was not going to opine that it was time to bug out.
This is not to say that Mr. Simon is insincere or he got a message on secret decoder ring. Still, it would never have occurred to him to suggest something like, "Ya know, I hate to say it, but Trump, as much as he is not my cup of tea is right. We are not winning in Afghanistan and leaving is inevitable. Even though the country will backslide, there is nothing we can do to avoid the inevitable. Time to go."
A friend once asked me if I listened to NPR. Where I live, four outlets are available and it is near unavoidable. I jokingly answered her, "Of course I do. Every advanced totalitarian country has a ministry of information so that the inner party can tell the outer party what to believe. Not what to think of course. The last thing they want anyone to do is think." She was not amused.
Not just with NPR, but with most of the media, the decoder ring is unnecessary whether or not there is actually a Deep State GHQ.
Richard Morchoe is a columnist, book reviewer and article writer for a regional monthly magazine in Western Central Massachusetts. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.