The A-Team Killings
"Last spring, the remains of 10 missing Afghan villagers were dug up outside a U.S. Special Forces base – was it a war crime or just another episode in a very dirty war?"
posted by andoatnp
on Nov 6, 2013 -
"We're just trying to lead normal lives, doing what we want to do.
Why shouldn't we?" The members [of Afghanistan women's national team], who range in age from 16 to 24, are up against widespread resentment from their relatives* and neighbors, and threats from men who disapprove of women playing sports
. They managed to participate in an inclusive tournament in Berlin
and they registered their first official win as they defeated Pakistan national women's team 4-0 and reached the semi-finals of the 2nd SAFF women's championship in 2012 improving on their past performance (rough 2010 SAFF footage
). They're able to practice just three times a week for 90 minutes, occasionally at the stadium
) or in its gym, but more often at a helicopter landing pad on a base for NATO troops, where practices are interrupted by takeoffs and landings.
Players have some outside support from hummel
, the sponsor of the women's
and the men's
team, and have had football clinics in Stuttgart
and with Olympic U.S. player Lorrie Fair in Kabul
. [more inside]
posted by ersatz
on Jan 19, 2013 -
In seventh grade, after school let out, Humaira Mohammed Bachal opened her home in Thatta (Pakistan) to 10-12 friends who weren't allowed to go to school, and taught them what she was learning. By the time she was 16 and ready to take her 9th grade exams, (over her father's objections,) she and four other girls were teaching more than 100 students. Now, her sister Tahira, (age 18,) is principal of the school Humaira founded: with 22 teachers serving more than 1,000 kids in a Karachi slum (yt)
. All in a country where if you are a young girl in a rural area, you are unlikely ever to see the inside of a classroom, and advocating education for young girls can be life-threatening. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jan 6, 2013 -
Freedom to love, tested in Afghanistan.
When Rafi Mohammed, a 17-year-old Tajik
Afghani, met and fell in love with his girlfriend Halima, he did not think about the rage that would erupt in her ethically conservative Hazara
neighborhood, or of the lengths to which the local police and religious leaders would go to protect the couple from an angry mob in a region of Afghanistan which has seen fewer attacks recently
and has been restored to local control. Despite -- or perhaps because of -- the violence that ensued, many of the locals have found themselves opposed to the fundamentalists, unwilling to see another pair of young lovers executed, as happened under Taliban rule
""I feel so bad. I just pray that God gives this girl back to me. I'm ready to lose my life. I just want her safe release. . . It’s the heart. When you love somebody, you don’t ask who she is or what she is. You just go for it.”
posted by markkraft
on Jul 31, 2011 -
A Tragedy of Errors.
On Feb. 21, 2010, a convoy of vehicles carrying civilians headed down a mountain in central Afghanistan and American eyes in the sky were watching. "The Americans were using some of the most sophisticated tools
in the history of war, technological marvels of surveillance and intelligence gathering that allowed them to see into once-inaccessible corners of the battlefield. But the high-tech wizardry would fail
in its most elemental purpose: to tell the difference between friend and foe." FOIA
of US cockpit and radio conversations and an interactive feature
provide a more in-depth understanding of what happened.
posted by zarq
on Apr 10, 2011 -
One Night in Afghanistan
THE PRESIDENT: at a time when too many American institutions have let us down, when too many institutions have put short-term gain in front of a commitment to duty and a commitment to what's right... all of you want to build -- and that is something essential about America. [Al Qaeda and the violent extremists have] got no respect for human life. You see dignity in every human being. That's part of what we value as Americans. They want to drive races and regions and religions apart. You want to bring people together
and see the world move forward together. [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on Apr 4, 2010 -
That afternoon, American signals operators picked up bin Laden speaking to his followers. Fury kept a careful log of these communications in his notebook, which he would type up at the end of every day and pass up his chain of command. “The time is now,” bin Laden said. “Arm your women and children against the infidel!” Following several hours of high-intensity bombing, the Al Qaeda leader spoke again. Fury paraphrases: “Our prayers have not been answered. Times are dire. We didn’t receive support from the apostate nations who call themselves our Muslim brothers.” Bin Laden apologized to his men for having involved them in the fight and gave them permission to surrender.
posted by jason's_planet
on Jan 29, 2010 -
On a reporting trip to Afghanistan in November of 2008, New York Times reporter David Rohde
and two of his colleagues were kidnapped by the Taliban. After being held captive for seven months in the mountains of Afghanistan and Northern Pakistan, David and one of his colleagues escaped in the middle of the night and made their way to freedom. He recounts the story in a five part series: Held by the Taliban
. [more inside]
posted by Merik
on Oct 21, 2009 -
"As US and the UK forces struggle for a way forward in Afghanistan, John D McHugh's unique film from one of the US military's most dangerous outposts shows just how western forces are losing ground to the Taliban." Where are Afghanistan's missing millions?
"Clancy Chassay hears charges of corruption levelled against the UN and aid agencies after millions earmarked for a Kabul hospital disappear."
posted by homunculus
on Feb 19, 2009 -
On the Militant Trail [Most recent of four articles with links to preceding pieces]
Renowned Asia Times correspondent Syed Saleem Shahzad
visits Peshawar, capital of Pakistan's North West Frontier Province and takes a journey with the Taliban through the Swat valley. His four-part series of articles examines the differing natures and strategies of various Taliban groups, describes a government counter-insurgency campaign gone seriously awry and finds indications that "a major battle will be fought in Pakistan before the annual spring offensive even begins in Afghanistan this year."
posted by Abiezer
on Feb 6, 2009 -
Pakistan in Peril.
"The relative calm in Iraq in recent months, combined with the drama of the US elections, has managed to distract attention from the catastrophe that is rapidly overwhelming Western interests in the part of the world that always should have been the focus of America's response to September 11: the al-Qaeda and Taliban heartlands on either side of the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan." [Via]
posted by homunculus
on Jan 21, 2009 -
With election season in the US, it's probably hard to get a less than Gung-ho picture of the war in Afghanistan, but this Spiegel Online article
paints a dark picture. "Pessimism about the situation has never been so high." High level NATO commanders are using phrases like "Doomed to Fail," "We are trapped," "repeating the same mistakes as the Soviets", military victory "neither feasible nor supportable," "downward spiral." For some it is so dark the only beacon of light would be peace talks with the Taliban. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach
on Oct 21, 2008 -