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Held by the Taliban

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  • Held by the Taliban

    You may remember a New York Times reporter, David Rohde, who escaped the Taliban this past June after being held as a kidnapped captive for seven months.

    His story is being published in pieces this week and is well worth the read if you are at all interested in learning who some of the Taliban really are:

    Qari unnerved me. Earnestly reciting hugely inaccurate propaganda about the West I had seen on jihadi Web sites, Qari seemed utterly detached from reality. Other guards joked that he had mental problems.

    In my mind, Qari and Atiqullah personified polar ends of the Taliban. Qari represented a paranoid, intractable force. Atiqullah embodied the more reasonable faction: people who would compromise on our release and, perhaps, even on peace in Afghanistan.

    I did not know which one represented the majority. I wanted to believe that Atiqullah did. Yet each day I increasingly feared that Qari was the true Taliban.

  • #2
    Re: Held by the Taliban

    Here's a Newsweek article detailing the Taliban "in their own words".

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/216235

    Fascinating read.

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    • #3
      Re: Held by the Taliban

      Great link Gill, I never saw that. Thanks for pointing that out. It's incredible to see the clear transitions along the timeline, now in hindsight - the Taliban hardly took up arms before scattering in 2002 - mostly to Pakistan - as they felt betrayed by Al Qaeda and the 9/11 attacks. The disrespect by a corrupt Afghan government combined with American pre-occupation in Iraq allowed for an easy return. Now things are much, much more complicated as US (and some international) forces are propping up a potentially unwinnable war against the Taliban, one that was not on the menu in the first place.

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      • #4
        Re: Held by the Taliban

        Yes, the anger towards the "camels" (Arabs) was one of the many interesting parts of the entire article.

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        • #5
          Re: Held by the Taliban

          Also on the Taliban and the American offensive this summer. Fantastic production, outstanding journalism. Americans should be watching this.

          http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/obamaswar/

          One exchange that stood out to me was a 'hearts and minds' conversation between some Marines and the few locals who dared return to the American-patrolled village. The farmers had just finished telling the Marines (via translator) that the Taliban told them if anyone went to the market, they would kill them.

          Farmer: "What do you want us to do?"

          Marine: "Fight with us"

          Farmer: "If you can't beat them with your bombs and helicopters, how are we supposed to beat them?"

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          • #6
            Re: Held by the Taliban

            Frontline produces awesome video articles. I watch their productions whenever possible.

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