Northern Alliance Fighters Enter Kabul.
November 12, 2001 7:13 PM   Subscribe

Northern Alliance Fighters Enter Kabul. It's almost over.
posted by tamim (75 comments total)

 
Its just beginning.
posted by Voyageman at 7:26 PM on November 12, 2001


And how are you defining "it", tanim?
posted by holgate at 7:27 PM on November 12, 2001


What, exactly, is almost over?
posted by judomadonna at 7:29 PM on November 12, 2001


wishful thinking.
posted by shoepal at 7:30 PM on November 12, 2001


It's almost over.

that's either a totally vapid thing to say, or a troll. i can't decide which.
posted by phalkin at 7:31 PM on November 12, 2001


In the words of Mosby, in war you want to "keep the scere in them" - when you get an enemy on the run, keep them in the run. But the experience of Napolean's march on Moscow says, "Don't outrun your supply base." I think these guys have gone too far too fast, without consolidating their gains. They are vulnerable to counter attacks and guerilla actions, and I will not be surprised to see this start right away. Good leadership balances these two ideas, and it looks like the NA is has too much Mosby, and not enough Eisenhower.
posted by wpeyton at 7:33 PM on November 12, 2001


Perhaps "it" is the ability of the Taliban to operate unimpeded, provide logistical support to Al Qaeda, and beat Kabul citizens to death for having insufficient facial hair.
posted by lileks at 7:35 PM on November 12, 2001


With no Taliban to fight, the tribal lords will be at each others throats in no time, fighting for top billing and prime time TV coverage as they march into Kabul. Those Taliban sure are clever. Gives them time to regroup and reload.
posted by Voyageman at 7:38 PM on November 12, 2001


I'd like to know why this war is supposed to last for years, or, as dick cheney said, longer than our lifetimes. I havent' heard a good explanation as to why:

-because you just can't beat the afghans in fewer than 10 years?
- because bin laden is somewhere else, and after we take over afghanistan, we'll still have to go throughout the world to find him and kill him?
-because we'll expand our goals, once we have afghanistan, to include, say, iraq, and then somewhere else?

seriously, I'd like to know what our leaders are thinking.

fwiw, I don't think the people of the US have the stomach for a long, years long war, unless we continue to be attacked here at home.
posted by rebeccablood at 7:41 PM on November 12, 2001


This isn't really good news.

The Northern Alliance aren't exactly spit-and-polish soldiers who'll occupy the city peacefully; there's apt to be a lot of pillage and murder unless the US can rein them in. Further, if they do occupy Kabul, the Taliban are apt to start shelling the city indiscriminately, just as they did in 1996, in order to displace them.

Hopefully the US will be able to keep them out of the city until some kind of orderly transition can be made.
posted by mrmanley at 7:46 PM on November 12, 2001


or, as dick cheney said, longer than our lifetimes

Well, to be fair, he rates a lot lower on the actuarial tables than many of us...probably colors his thinking.
posted by rushmc at 7:47 PM on November 12, 2001


I love the Bushism to the side of the main article: Bush wants "substantially lower" nuclear weapons.

Just how low? Where will he start digging? And just how short is a low nuclear weapon?
posted by Bixby23 at 7:49 PM on November 12, 2001


rebeccablood, the war won't be over, because our nation has pledged a war not simply against the Taliban but a war against terrorism as a whole. After the Taliban is out, our nation will continue to fight off terrorism.
posted by crog at 7:54 PM on November 12, 2001


Holgate, right about now my 'it' is an all encompassing 'it'. From the Taliban, to 'The War'TM, to 24/7 all-Osama-all-the-time-news, to, you know, just about every thing. It ("it's almost over") was just a wishful thinking.

Just to add, after a weekend full of Bush reassuring Musharraf that the NA wont enter Kabul, and NA envoys in US parroting the same sentence:
"We have no intention of going into Kabul,'' Amin said. The United Nations must first come up with a plan for dividing power in Afghanistan after the Taliban falls, he said.1
and the conflicting stories of the death of the three Western reporters:
"I don't think they could have discerned that in the pitch dark, there were six journalists on top of this machine," said McGeough, one of the three journalists who survived.

He said Baryalai's claim was biased "spin" and noted that "it's funny how in war, people want to make the appalling more appalling."2
'it' may also be the 'trusting relationship' between the West and the Northern Alliance.
posted by tamim at 7:56 PM on November 12, 2001


two things.

one, mrmanley has a good point about occupation. the other night, a retired general explained that occupation of a region is different from control. occupying a city does not mean that fighting does not occur within a city; it does not mean that routes of attack are defended or blocked for the opposition.

two, i think someone mentioned (maybe rcb on her website) that the northern alliance aren't necessarily guiltless in their own actions in the past. that is, in fact, the reason why the US wants a broad-based government established in Kabul and asked the Northern Alliance not to occupy the city at first (gee, but they didn't listen).

i don't know where to go from here.
posted by moz at 7:57 PM on November 12, 2001


The war on terror is almost over? No wonder I've noticed a sharp decrease in nightmares lately. And that screening of The Exorcist didn't even make me cringe once! Thanks Dubya! (wink)
posted by Hildago at 7:57 PM on November 12, 2001


Hey, check out a deliciously flustered John Simpson mumbling and stumbling around the centre of Kabul on the BBC World Service! He's obviously had a few but, like the seasoned war correspondent he is, performing wonderfully!

(It's online, req.Real Audio, sorry I couldn't link to it)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:06 PM on November 12, 2001


Northern Alliance troops are amassed around Kabul, ready to take over. The Taliban seem to have abandoned the city. BBC reporters are emoting and gushing amongst cheering crowds: "I've lived in Kabul for 18 months and have never seen them this happy before" says Kate Something of the World Service. Apparently Bin Laden was found in an abandoned Bingo Hall and is demanding to surrender directly to George Bush. (I made that last part up)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:15 PM on November 12, 2001


Finally got through: here is the BBC World Service link.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:19 PM on November 12, 2001


Perhaps "it" is the ability of the Taliban to operate unimpeded, provide logistical support to Al Qaeda, and beat Kabul citizens to death for having insufficient facial hair.

I'll give you the last clause unconditionally, and the first two on this condition: we now have a re-balkanised Afghanistan, and a fired-up Northern Alliance that scares the shit out of Musharraf in Pakistan. Or rather, a bunch of commanders who've won the heavy bombardment lottery. They had better ensure that their fighters damn well behave themselves. (For once.) At least there are enough reporters riding along with them to cast a cold eye. As for Al Qaeda: the Pakistani journalist who interviewed Bin Laden recently described his journey as "five hours bumpy drive blindfolded in the back of a Land Rover from Kabul". So, onwards to Kandahar and environs. Where it's strategically and politically more difficult to use the Uzbeks and Tajiks from the north as proxy ground troops.

Miguel: John Simpson's been on the phone for the past four hours, alternating between radio and TV reports. Asked what the Taliban were doing by a rather inane anchorwoman, he noted, with war-correspondent weariness, that the only ones he'd come across were already dead, summarily shot. To a more measured radio presenter, he said: "It's exhilarating, but it's not pretty."
posted by holgate at 8:22 PM on November 12, 2001


So, if we're all agreed that it's not really almost over, I have a question for all of those people who said that this was a war of last resort. If war is so terrible and should only be used when all other options have failed, what should we be doing now to prevent military action from spreading to more countries? If we all agree that the enemy is terrorism and extreme Islamic fundimentalism, what do we do diplomatically, culturally, and economically to help prevent more war?

Personally, I agree with Bill.
posted by shylock at 8:23 PM on November 12, 2001


To add to holgate's comment, at 11:00 PM ET Reuters adds:
Several bodies of Taliban fighters, distinguished by their mandatory black turbans, lay sprawled on streets. Among the dead were a couple of the much-feared foreign fighters, usually Arabs, Pakistanis or Chechens, who make up the backbone of the al Qaeda network of Saudi-born militant Osama bin Laden.

By Sayed Salahuddin
posted by tamim at 8:31 PM on November 12, 2001


Rebecca, Afghanistan is just the first battle in this war. There are many other struggles yet to fight.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 8:34 PM on November 12, 2001


This is not good. Pakistan cannot abide the NA occupying Kabul creating a political problem for the US. While the NA has been suffering heavy casulties, including the loss of 1000 horseback cavalry, the Taliban have been making an orderly retreat and has about 10% losses.

The NA alliance is overreaching and failing to fortify positions. The Taliban is still there, and the NA has succeeded in doing little more than making themselves sitting ducks in exchange for some bragging rights.

My source for this is debka.com and stratfor.com
posted by username at 8:37 PM on November 12, 2001


i heard the northern alliance spokesman talk about a six-plus-two coalition of neighboring central asian states and the US and russia to replace the taliban. here's a reuters article.
posted by kliuless at 8:43 PM on November 12, 2001


Northern Alliance soldiers are arriving at the InterContinental Hotel, reports the great John Simpson, who's just hijacked a taxi to get there. Heading for the bar, holgate?
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:52 PM on November 12, 2001


'This is not the beginning of the end, but it is the end of the beginning'...(another war,some British guy)
posted by Mack Twain at 8:54 PM on November 12, 2001


Winston Churchill is now some British guy, Mack Twain? :(
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:05 PM on November 12, 2001


There are many other struggles yet to fight.

I'll sign up for the struggle that Tony Blair set out last night:

The terrible events of 11 September have made the case for engagement not isolationism as the only serious foreign policy on offer. The atrocities in New York and Washington were the work of evil men. Men who distorted and dishonoured the message of one of the world's great religions and civilisations. Their aim was to stimulate militant fundamentalism; to separate the United States from its allies; and to bring our way of life and our economies to their knees. In those objectives they have already failed. But one illusion has been shattered on 11 September: that we can have the good life of the West irrespective of the state of the rest of the world. Once chaos and strife have got a grip on a region or a country trouble will soon be exported. Out of such regions and countries come humanitarian tragedies; centres for trafficking in weapons, drugs and people; havens for criminal organisations; and sanctuaries for terrorists.

I'm not sure whether it's the same struggle that others have in mind, but that's for them to deal with. (Of course, Tony could help his own case by not reintroducing internment at home.)

And Miguel: if anyone's going to locate the supply of booze in a city held too long by those authoritarian fuckers, it'll be a pack of war correspondents. After all, they don't want any left if General Dostum's en route, since he's renowned for his pursuit of single-malt and young women, while his men make their own entertainment. As for me, it's a little early in the day.
posted by holgate at 9:06 PM on November 12, 2001


I think he was being sarcastic, Miguel. Scratch. I hope he was being sarcastic, Miguel.
posted by Hildago at 9:27 PM on November 12, 2001


Holgate: first LOL, then aghast after reading your link. Never mind Spell Check. Metafilterians should be forced to go through Amnesty International before they made any sort of political comment on international affairs.
( Er, I mean encouraged. No: just informed it's available. Better: gently persuaded that there might be such a useful resource, if they are at all interested, which they're fully entitled not to be, of course...Sorry, even I get a bit authoritarian at this early hour!)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:35 PM on November 12, 2001


Yessir Hildago,you nailed it...Sir Winston had more cool sayings than anyone, even, well you know.
posted by Mack Twain at 9:38 PM on November 12, 2001


rebeccablood, the war won't be over, because our nation has pledged a war not simply against the Taliban but a war against terrorism as a whole. After the Taliban is out, our nation will continue to fight off terrorism.
who gets to deciede what terrorism is?
Is what happens in Ireland terrorism? Is what China does to the tibetens terrorism?

I will be interested to see if those 'areas' ever come under bush 'war against terrorism'... im guessing they wont becuase they dont have any economic effect on America.
posted by Burgatron at 9:41 PM on November 12, 2001


My bad, Mack Twain. It was very well said. That "another war" should have alerted me, right?
*turns up irony detector to full volume and bows to Hildago and Mack Twain*
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:47 PM on November 12, 2001


"I can't believe you people can talk about this as if it's a good thing - what have the civilians of that country you never think about ever done to us? Can't you see that most Germans didn't want this war, just a few who could have been ignored or reasoned with, instead of resorting to bombs and guns?"

- A Metafilter reader, on V.E. Day, if MeFi had existed then.


Not that this is anything like V.E. Day, but I damn well have a pretty good mental picture now of what that might have been like had we all been able to natter at each other on the internet.

I'm A) A raging liberal who dislikes Bush and most of his policy decisions B)Not entirely in favor of what our leaders have done since 9/11, and C) Still in favor of things that weaken or dishearten the people who want to kill you and me because of where we were born. In spite of the well thought-out essays that tell us not to bomb the Taleban because that's just what Bin Laden wants us to do, I'm glad we are.

The famed article that asks us not to bomb-Afghanistan-back-into-the-stone-age-cuz-they're-already-there? I couldn't agree more. Actually, I don't think we're carpet bombing the Afghani people, in fact I'm pretty sure we're scrupulously avoiding civilians. I'm not all that old, but I sure can't remember when, during a war, our secretary of defense had talking points prepared to answer the question "Are you being careful not to hit the civilians?"

Ours is the country where young/old, black/white, hippy/conservative, we all feel warm and fuzzy about winning the second world war, and yet I rarely see anyone come forward and point out that we accomplished that by firebombing civilians in cities like Dresden.

Say what you want about dropping bombs; chant 1-2-3-4 WE DON'T WANT YOUR RACIST WAR all you want, it doesn't change the fact that the US is really hurting a totalitarian regime that behaves loathsomely to its citizens and is supportive and encouraging of people who hate us and our way of life and claim to want us to die because their god told them so, despite the protestations of millions of their fellow believers. What's that you say, we should have done this ten years ago, to Saddam? I agree. But we didn't. Thank the President's dad.

Pointing out with snarky reminders of shitty things the US has done in the past (and we've done a bunch of 'em) doesn't change the reality of the current situation anymore than flying an American flag off your SUV brings back the people who burned and fell to their deaths two months ago. We are right to be bombing the Taleban, and would be right even if the World Trade Center were still standing.
posted by GriffX at 10:05 PM on November 12, 2001


GriffX that was great. You put that so eloquently. The only thing that bothers me more than hearing we deserved the terrorist attacks because of our foreign policy is hearing that the Taleban are people to be reasoned with. I'm sure 90% of the world wanted America to be bombing the Taleban earlier this year just on human rights grounds, and now it's close to 99% because it would be the just thing to do. They truly are the face of evil, as our president puts it, and I'm sure RAWA would concur. The sooner we wipe the fundamentalists out, the sooner the world can begin to repair itself.
posted by MarkO at 10:44 PM on November 12, 2001


GriffX: some of us have been saying that for a while, but well put.

This has just begun. This isn't Gulf War style pre-packaged "it's all done, then?" combat. Where's Osama? His cronies? Osama's backers?

They all need to be up on a lance.
posted by owillis at 11:01 PM on November 12, 2001


It's not over 'til it's over. But there is hopeful news here for the current stage of the conflict:

"...columns of Taliban vehicles could be seen heading south beginning Monday night. The exodus continued after sun rise." [AP]

The scariest outcome would be for Taliban fighters to entrench within the city. But if they're moving, they're dead. US air power can make koubideh out of them, as it did at the end of the Gulf War, on the so-called "Road of Death" where thousands of retreating Iraqi soldiers were systematically killed. The ensuing example could prove instructive for other combatants.
posted by Hieronymous Coward at 11:49 PM on November 12, 2001


Remember the so called Northern Alliance are a bunch of looting, raping and generally lawless thugs. Say what you will about the Taliban - I know I do - but they did bring a semblance of order to Afghanistan. I know, I know...
The NA are probably the least commendable political force the West has ever supported. We must bear this in mind, lest we rejoice stupidly. It's a no-win situation, IMO. I.e., you know a country is in the deepest doo-doo when the return of an old and outrageously senile exiled King is its best hope for the immediate future... :-(
posted by MiguelCardoso at 12:10 AM on November 13, 2001


I wonder is there is some scenario being cooked up in an underground bunker somewhere that leads to the Northern Alliance and the Taliban pretty much wiping each other out.

Of course, no one has beaten the Taliban until they take Kandahar. Kabul is for the most part a moral victory, if that. The Taliban may be letting it fall into the hands of the Northern Alliance in hopes of destabilizing things with Pakistan.
posted by chiheisen at 12:20 AM on November 13, 2001


Here is why the Northern Alliance will not beat the hell out of the Taliban!
posted by Mack Twain at 12:25 AM on November 13, 2001


Sorry, largely from where the URL is from, but for various and should-be-obvious reasons this thread is making me think of the headline, "Area Man Acts Like He's Been Interested in Afganistan All Along."
posted by raysmj at 12:30 AM on November 13, 2001


Oooh good...the Balitan is taking Kabul...
posted by Opus Dark at 12:49 AM on November 13, 2001


MackTwain: That was hilarious.... Thanks!
posted by talos at 2:01 AM on November 13, 2001


Afghanistan is just the first battle in this war. There are many other struggles yet to fight.

The Current Administration's War on Democracy, for example - that oughta last a good, long time...speaking of generally lawless thugs!

Well, okay, thugs who pass laws to support their thuggery. Just doesn't roll off the tongue with such rough familiarity.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:25 AM on November 13, 2001


Well I was woken up this morning by my boyfriend saying the Northern Alliance had taken Kabul and that men were shaving their beards off and women were removing their burkhas for the first time in years. It felt like VE day. I've never totally supported the war (the removal of the Taliban was never the primary motive) and I know it's far from over but this alone made me think it might have been worth it.
posted by Summer at 3:07 AM on November 13, 2001


from the amnesty article (linked above):

'As territory changes hands after long battles, an entire local population can be subjected to violent retaliatory punishments by the victorious forces. The conquerors often celebrate by killing and raping women and looting property.'

Only the taliban would do such things, right?
posted by asok at 4:00 AM on November 13, 2001


Further, if they do occupy Kabul, the Taliban are apt to start shelling the city indiscriminately, just as they did in 1996, in order to displace them.

How are they going to accomplish that if the U.S. and allies continue to bomb Taliban positions?
posted by rcade at 4:15 AM on November 13, 2001


Those Taliban sure are clever. Gives them time to regroup and reload.

Yes, clearly the Taliban has the U.S. right where they want us.
posted by mikewas at 5:55 AM on November 13, 2001


No problem. If Musharraf gets his F-16s, he can use them to bomb the Northern Alliance back north of Mazar-e Sharif again and we can start over again.
posted by mmarcos at 6:29 AM on November 13, 2001


It's clearly a trap.
posted by djacobs at 6:36 AM on November 13, 2001


Say what you will about the Taliban - I know I do - but they did bring a semblance of order to Afghanistan.

One should never accept a semblance in place of the real thing....
posted by rushmc at 7:04 AM on November 13, 2001


Sorry about the double post on the front page.

Anyhow. It reminds me of the single threat to the late Philippine President Marcos' martial law of the mid-70's -- the equally late, assassinated Benigno Aquino, who at that time had the second largest army in the country. Widely held as nothing more than one evil exchanged for another. His widow Corey served as a his benign replacement during the peaceful revolution of 1986, a somewhat fortunate turn of events, depending on who you talk to.

posted by mirla at 7:58 AM on November 13, 2001


Good news: Taliban forced to head for the hills.
Bad news: Have you seen a topographical map of Afghanistan?
posted by sacre_bleu at 8:23 AM on November 13, 2001


*grin* Sacre Bleu, that was funny.

Everyone needs to go download Moxy Fruvous' "Gulf War Song" and listen to it.
posted by SpecialK at 8:26 AM on November 13, 2001


One should never accept a semblance in place of the real thing....

Actually, rushmc, I was being hypocritical with that "semblance" so I deserved that. The Taliban did bring order. Bad, repressive order. Crime, formerly rife, was reduced to almost nothing. I'm just frightened that pillaging and senseless cruelty and mayhem in Afghanistan will now resume. Poor, poor, proud Afghan people - it looks like they can't win. I only hope the U.N. has the balls and support to move in - as they did with such life-saving success in(admittedly much smaller, but way more menaced) East Timor - and take care of things for a while. Like mirla, I'm truly worried. :( Plus the Americans and the British - who did try to persuade the NA not to move into Kabul - will, once again, be unfairly(not so sure, actually...) blamed. :(
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:31 AM on November 13, 2001


Miguel, the Taliban didn't reduce crime, they just substituted one kind for another. Instead of rampant property crime the Taliban substituted beatings and torture and arbitrary imprisonment.

Let's make something clear: there was little good about the Taliban's reign, and the people in the liberated areas are immensely better off now that they're gone.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 9:11 AM on November 13, 2001


Hear hear Steven. There can't be many regimes where a power vacuum and tribal in-fighting are preferable to the rule of law, but the Taliban is surely one of them. It's telling that the ones on the receiving end of most of the retaliatory violence were Pakistani and arab supporters of the Taliban. Perhaps the Afghans feel the same about another arab immigrant...
posted by Summer at 9:49 AM on November 13, 2001


Same as the old boss...
posted by swift at 10:08 AM on November 13, 2001


The "battle-hardened" Taliban collapse after only 4 weeks of bombing and one week of ground attacks. Thank god for precision munitions.
posted by Zombie at 10:14 AM on November 13, 2001


There can't be many regimes where a power vacuum and tribal in-fighting are preferable to the rule of law, but the Taliban is surely one of them.

Although the spokesman for Afghan exiles in Britain (of all ethnic origins) noted on the BBC just moments ago: "The question of ethnicity has nothing to do with our scepticism about the Northern Alliance. It's what they did to the country between 1992 and 1996." Let's just say they're on probation.
posted by holgate at 10:18 AM on November 13, 2001


There can't be many regimes where a power vacuum and tribal in-fighting are preferable to the rule of law, but the Taliban is surely one of them.

(I don't know if I completely agree, but I want to applaud the succinct wit of this sentence. Well done.)
posted by rodii at 10:20 AM on November 13, 2001


Where do you think you are going? Fight, you cowards, fight!
posted by Voyageman at 10:50 AM on November 13, 2001


just an update on post-taliban governance. looks like the UN gets cleanup duties.
posted by kliuless at 11:24 AM on November 13, 2001


Apparently even Kandahar is now falling, so like 'em or demonize 'em, the Northern Alliance seems to be taking over the country.
posted by kokogiak at 12:31 PM on November 13, 2001


The tricky part is still going to be locating and besieging the particular cave with the bin Laden mailbox out front.

The single most important thing that the Northern Alliance have going for them is that they are ready to accept a transitional UN government -- at least according to the political leaders nominally associated with them, rump President Rabbani and his omnipresent Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah. That means that we can put in a UN peacekeeping force that won't get shot at -- and that means that we can get Islamic countries to go in as peacekeepers -- and that means that we don't get tagged as a Christian-crusader occupying force, except by the nutjobs like OBL.
posted by dhartung at 3:05 PM on November 13, 2001


bin Laden? Who cares? That's not the focus of this mission.
posted by mmarcos at 4:20 PM on November 13, 2001


As usual, the CSM provides some objective reporting.
posted by mmarcos at 5:16 PM on November 13, 2001


As usual, the CSM provides some objective reporting.

"This is the first time I listen to this in public in five years," says Hashem, listening to an Iranian tape on a like-new walkman. "I will shave my beard, too. We are so happy - this is a celebration day!"

So, Iranian-level repressive regimes are ok, but Taliban-level ones are excessive.

I wonder if this guy knows that his name is used by religious Jews to refer to God?
posted by ParisParamus at 5:00 AM on November 14, 2001


Hope this looks as good as it appears. My concern is that the lack of resistance = OBL preparing the stage to go down in nuclear flames
posted by ParisParamus at 5:03 AM on November 14, 2001


"This is the first time I listen to this in public in five years," says Hashem, listening to an Iranian tape on a like-new walkman. "I will shave my beard, too. We are so happy - this is a celebration day!"

So, Iranian-level repressive regimes are ok, but Taliban-level ones are excessive.


Gee, Paris, you think maybe he was just happy to be listening to music? Truly, our work is not done until the people of Afghanistan are listening to music from a country we approve of. My old Falco tapes are in the mail.
posted by eckeric at 7:52 AM on November 14, 2001


"...Iranian-level repressive regimes..."

I just read NY Times' senior writer Elaine Sciolino's excellent book "Persian Mirrors: The Elusive Face of Iran." She portrays a country moving, in fits and starts, toward democracy. As for Iran's popular culture, she said recently:
"I mentioned television earlier. Television is one of the guerilla battlefields as well. We hear all the time that television is controlled by the Islamic establishment and that, indeed, the news is. Every sermon by Ayatollah Khamenei and all the Friday prayers are televised in full. But someone let some interesting producers loose on the entertainment side. What you see in Iran are extraordinary soap operas that lay bare day-to-day life. Soap operas that talk about divorce, suicide, unemployment, the inability of young people to go to a university, polygamy -- all of these things are discussed openly on television. In fact, students in the audience may find topics for fabulous doctoral dissertations on sociology or communications on Iranian television."
posted by Carol Anne at 8:05 AM on November 14, 2001


So, Iranian-level repressive regimes are ok, but Taliban-level ones are excessive.

You've really got a fucking redwood on your shoulder when it comes to Muslims, haven't you?
posted by holgate at 8:24 AM on November 14, 2001


That was a great link, Carol Anne. Thank you.
posted by eckeric at 8:53 AM on November 14, 2001


I.e., you know a country is in the deepest doo-doo when the return of an old and outrageously senile exiled King is its best hope for the immediate future... :-(

Huh? Why bring Ronald Reagan into this???
posted by Dirjy at 6:46 PM on November 14, 2001


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