Talking to the Taliban
March 26, 2008 10:57 PM   Subscribe

Talking to the Taliban is a series of 42 interviews with common Taliban soldiers.

Coordinated by Graeme Smith at the Globe and Mail. The interface is somewhat confusing, but it seems to be that along the top is linked a 6 part video series composed of snip-its from the interviews along with commentary. Along the bottom in the flash interface is a series of panels where you can find the unedited interviews as well as a great deal of additional information about the Taliban.

There's a very large amount of information here, and it's worth exploring.
posted by Alex404 (11 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
Rick Mercer's Talking to Talibanis.
posted by limon at 11:44 PM on March 26, 2008


All I heard was, "Blah, blah, blah, we hate freedom."

Really compelling stuff. I also recommend, Robert Kaplan's Soldiers of God
posted by psmealey at 3:26 AM on March 27, 2008


This only reinforces my previous prejudices - these dirt-poor Taliban grunts are led by a murderous asshole into fighting foreigners through manipulation of their religious and nationalist ideology. They seem happy to accept torturing people and killing civilians, and they obviously know NOTHING about the wider world that they live in.

In that context, it's amazing how much we have in common. Do they want to join our war on terror? We are in some serious need of another surge right now, and these boys seem like they'd fit right in. Just sayin'.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 3:33 AM on March 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'd like to see The Onion's version.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 4:48 AM on March 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


In that context, it's amazing how much we have in common.

*surges over to quid's house for a couple of thousand beers*
posted by Wolof at 4:52 AM on March 27, 2008


Infinite thanks for this...despite any issues of balance one may have with the Globe's delivery, this is an impressive body of work. The breakdown of the tribal loyalties is useful, I only wish it would be extended east across the Durand live.

These kinds of first-hand accounts are gold, far as I'm concerned. Their worldview is a finely imposed tunnel of perspective, at once mutually enforced by cohorts and pressed on them from above by the mullahs & maulawis. They live in a environment of tightly controlled information (no TV, limited radio, limited communications w/outside world)..very cult-like. Totally devoted to a limited interpretation of a narrow body of knowledge - hence the 'poetry' and other scholar-warrior moments escaping from behind a veil of batshitinsane.

It's a shame you're unlikely to get them in a position where they can be confronted on their views, or challenged to back up what they say with logic ("okay, but why is it permissible to fight outside Koranic rules of engagement when fighting against Westerners?", etc.) because I wonder what they hell they'd say.
posted by cosmonik at 5:13 AM on March 27, 2008


Good stuff here. Humanizing the face of the enemy is usually a positive thing.
posted by WalterMitty at 6:26 AM on March 27, 2008


What struck me was actually hearing the questions after the initial Globe reporter went on and on about them being so ignorant. I'm sure 95% of our military over there wouldn't know who Steven Harper was either, and I'd love to see the average 20-year old soldier's responses to equivalent questions, e.g., Are there any Christians in Iraq? What can you tell me about Nouri al-Maliki?

If someone did those interviews and placed them side-by-side with these, it would be very interesting.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 6:53 AM on March 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


cosmonik: "It's a shame you're unlikely to get them in a position where they can be confronted on their views, or challenged to back up what they say with logic ("okay, but why is it permissible to fight outside Koranic rules of engagement when fighting against Westerners?", etc.) because I wonder what they hell they'd say."

I'm guessing they'd be a lot like a creationist or whatever. La la la la.
posted by symbioid at 9:53 AM on March 27, 2008


MeTa (in the best possible way).
posted by Dasein at 9:18 AM on March 28, 2008


Thanks, very good information on the war in Afghanistan.
posted by hoskala at 2:05 PM on March 28, 2008


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