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Thomas Wictor

The Golden Age of Duh

The Golden Age of Duh

In some ways it’s a scary time to be alive. A huge number of people will believe whatever you tell them, as long as it fits in with their preconceived notions.

Yesterday Said Tayeb Jawad, the Afghan ambassador to the US from 2003 to 2010 and current Diplomat in Residence at Johns Hopkins University, tweeted the following.

Though he deleted the tweet, he’d linked to a photo.


Global Twitter outrage (twit-rage?) followed.

Pathetic US Soldiers killed a rare breed of lion in Eastern Afghanistan, some say the last one!!
—Dr. Faisal Ranjha

4 US “humen” killed the one last lion left in Kunar Proviince in Eastern Afghanistan.
—Tribal Post

Awful and sickening.

So Sad & disturbing Lone LION killed in Kunar by US soldiers…Pl take against the Killers.
—Lone Ranger

But tax money spent so US troops can kill the last wild lion in Kunar Province, Afghanistan is pretty fucking maddening.
—Ol’ GDB

Brave American soldiers kill a lion in Afghanistan. Apparently, they were so skilled, the lion wasn’t able to react
—ISIS Crimes

US soldiers posing after killing the last lion in Kunar, and one of the last lions in all Afghanistan. DISGUSTING.
—King Samira

I feel sick.
—Sana Rahim

4 US soldiers killed the last lion in Kunar, east Afghanistan. What mighty assholes.
—Suryatapa Mukherjee

I’m no former ambassador to the US or a resident diplomat at Johns Hopkins, but I knew immediately that Kunar Province in Afghanistan doesn’t have cubic clouds that repeat in identical patterns as seen in the upper left corner of the photo. I also know that the ground in Kunar Province doesn’t repeat the same patterns in groups of three, as seen in the foreground of the photo.

It took me less than a minute to find this photo, the original image that a gibbon or house cat manipulated to create utterly crappy propaganda that still fooled a former ambassador and current diplomat in residence at Johns Hopkins. About a minute later, I found this image.

Well I’ll be jiggered! That sleeping African lion looks a heck of a lot like the last Afghan lion that the four American assholes killed!

Jawad later apologized for being an idiot. Strange that he says he stirred up emotions “on both sides.” That’s the usual weasel-apology. Those of us who saw through this pitifully rudimentary fake are lumped in with the buffoons who fell for it.

Sorry, Mr. Ambassador. I’m not a moron. Your apology should’ve been unqualified, but of course your rigidity and pride prevent you from admitting that you and your side lack the ability to engage in critical thinking. I, on the other hand, was aware of a few salient facts.

1. There are no lions in Afghanistan. The Asiatic lion is located in India.

2. Asiatic lions have sparse, dark manes.

3. Asiatic lions are much smaller than African lions.

4. Nowhere in the world do clouds form cubes and panes.

5. The man kneeling on the left has his foot under the lion’s butt or in its rectum. Most hunters don’t pose like that with their trophies.

The questions I’d ask Jawad and all the other foam spewers is this: If there was indeed only one “Afghan lion” left in existence, why would you let it roam free? Are you not intelligent enough to capture it and try to preserve it?

Also, why do you immediately think the worst of Americans? In Afghanistan they cut off women’s noses and ears for disobeying men. When you came to Washington, Mr. Ambassador, did the female members of the State Department cover their noses and ears when they met with you? Or did they assume that you weren’t a Bronze Age savage?

Afghanistan has a massive pedophilia problem, Mr. Ambassador. It’s called bacha bazi. Did the members of the State Department in Washington hide their boys from you? Or did they give you the benefit of the doubt and not insult you by leaping to conclusions?

Why is the knee-jerk reaction of you and your ilk to instantly believe what you’re told, refuse to do even the tiniest amount of research, and then go screeching off half-cocked? It’s a ritual now. I can understand that Dr. Faisal Ranjha and Bina think American troops are bloodthirsty murderers who blow up everything in their path and have transformed Afghanistan into a vast plain of grayish-yellow talcum powder. Those people are mentally crippled due to their culture and tribalism.

But you have no excuse, Mr. Ambassador. You’ve lived here since 1986. Are you hermetically sealed? Have you learned nothing about us? Or are you just another petty, grudge-carrying Third Worlder who grinds his teeth with envy? Were you worried that your peers think you’ve gone native, so you had to smear the people doing everything in their power to keep your pathologically dysfunctional country from falling back into the hands of the Taliban?

Hey, if you want us gone, I say let’s bring the troops home. We’ll start a ghoul pool here on my Website, and I’ll take bets on how long your pot-smoking, barefoot, treacherous, xenophobic ANA can keep the men in black turbans from stringing up Hamid Karzai.

For those of you who can think, here are a few notes that should help you avoid falling for stupid, childish hoaxes such as this one. If you look at the hi-def photo, you’ll see that the man standing on the right wears the shoulder patch of the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (USACAPOC).

That man is also wearing a Ranger tab above his USACAPOC badge. It looks like this. I read somewhere that the data in the dead-lion photo indicates it was taken in 2007. The ostensible Ranger wears the Army Combat Uniform (ACU), introduced in 2004 but not worn in Afghanistan today. Two men are outfitted in Desert Combat Uniform (DCU) trousers; the DCU was discontinued in 2005. The Ranger and the man kneeling on the left wear Interceptor Body Armor (IBA) in the woodland camouflage pattern of the Battle Dress Uniform (BDU), also discontinued in 2005.

Finally, the IBA that all the men wear was discontinued in 2007. Thus anyone with the most basic knowledge of the US Army would know that this is not a recent photo. It’s at least seven years old.

As for whether or not these are active-duty soldiers on the front line, I doubt it. The man kneeling on the right and the man standing on the left appear to hold M16A4 rifles, which have a detachable carrying handle on the top. Both these rifles are missing the carrying handle. The US Army generally issues the M16A4 in training, and then replaces it for combat with the M4 carbine carried by the Ranger standing on the right and the man kneeling on the left. The U.S. Marine Corps uses the M16A4 in combat, but not the army.

So if you want to live in the Golden Age of Duh, have at it. Count me out. My guess is that this is a photo taken during a training course in the US, and then someone put in the lion and the Afghan background as a joke. An angry gibbon or house cat used a cloning tool to clumsily erase the writing, and the image was passed around as anti-American propaganda to gullible, receptive nincompoops like Ambassador Said Tayeb Jawad.

I can’t say it often enough: Knowledge is power. People with agendas try to manipulate you a hundred times a day. If you’re armed with knowledge, they’ll always fail.