An ancient tradition
or despicable exploitation? As in ancient Greece and Shakespeare's theatre, boys dress as women
to entertain men. A hint of Afghan homosexuality was included in the movie The Kite Runner
. An Uzbekistan theatre group is presenting two plays
on this theme in Seattle this month. The homosexual element of Afghan culture has waxed and waned depending on who is invading their country at the time.
posted by binturong
on Apr 1, 2008 -
"My name is Captain Doug MacNair, I coordinate the media embedding program from a desk here in Ottawa... I have embedded more than 250 journalists in our program, and no embed has given me more personal satisfaction than yours... Thanks for being handy with a pencil and a piece of paper
. Thanks for writing
so well about the things that are hard to draw. Thanks for leaving your family to do an important job. I know how that feels and it’s never easy. Most of all Richard, thanks for risking your life while you do all those things." Q&A with Richard Johnson
posted by The Loch Ness Monster
on Feb 19, 2008 -
The Losers Cover Gallery
showcases the bold design sense and unique art style of UK comics artist Jock
, who also produced much of the interior art for the VERTIGO
series. Losely based on a WWII comic of the same name it became a fast paced action caper with a political edge under writer Andy Diggle
, and the covers reflect both the themes
and the cinematic style
of the comic.
posted by Artw
on Dec 17, 2007 -
The man who knew too much.
"He was the CIA's expert on Pakistan's nuclear secrets, but Rich Barlow was thrown out and disgraced when he blew the whistle on a US cover-up. Now he's to have his day in court."
posted by homunculus
on Oct 13, 2007 -
The killing of Jamie Dean.
"Police in rural Maryland staged a military stakeout and shot a troubled Army vet. As his family plans to sue, they are asking how a soldier being treated for PTSD could be shipped to Iraq."
posted by homunculus
on Sep 4, 2007 -
War vs. Democracy: Untold Stories from the Lynch / Tillman Hearing
-- ...U.S. soldiers whose injuries or deaths remain mired in secrecy. Pat Tillman's brother and fellow Army Ranger Kevin Tillman advocated strongly for other families still waiting for answers. ... "The family was told, it was -- quote -- 'an ambush by insurgents.' Two years later, they found out that those -- quote -- 'insurgents' happened to be the same Iraqi troops that he was training. Before his death, he told his chain of command that these same troops that he was training were trying to kill him and his team. He was told to keep his mouth shut." ...
Thorough and eye-opening examination of the many ways the military spun, lied, withheld information on soldier deaths and injuries for propaganda purposes (and even delayed action until cameras were present in the Jessica Lynch
posted by amberglow
on May 12, 2007 -
Rugs of War
:: "The traditional knotted rugs made by the semi-nomadic Baluch people of northern Afghanistan are famous for their distinctive designs, their rich yet subdued palette and the quality of their construction and materials, which feature traditional patterns and motifs.
The “war rug” is an evolution of these Baluch rugs through the inclusion of militaria and other references to the experience of war and conflict in the region. These significant changes became apparent almost immediately after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, when rug-makers began incorporating complex imagery of war planes, helicopters, machine guns, maps and texts into their designs."
posted by anastasiav
on Jan 8, 2007 -
Guy Kawasaki interviews Aziza Mohmmand.
What’s the most inspiring story of entrepreneurship that you’ve heard in 2006? My answer does not involve two guys in a garage who sell their company to Google for $1.6 billion. No way...my answer is a woman who runs a soccer-ball factory in Kabul, Afghanistan.
posted by davar
on Jan 8, 2007 -
Thieves, murderers, rapists; and how the Pushtuns' ancient tribal code is fighting for survival against radical Islam. via The Economist. More about Puhktuns and Puhktunistan and some history together with a brief explanation of Afghan ethnic groups. There is an interesting discussion of the main article on Sunni Forum.
posted by adamvasco
on Dec 28, 2006 -
"I" is for "Infidel"
"Associated Press and New Yorker
] writer Kathy Gannon
delivers an intimately observed history of Afghanistan from 1986 to the present. The longest-serving Western journalist in the region, Gannon overturns simplistic understanding of the country's politics in this eye-opening talk."
posted by kirkaracha
on Nov 14, 2006 -
The age of horrorism. On the eve of the fifth anniversary of 9/11, Martin Amis analyses - and abhors - the rise of extreme Islamism. In a penetrating and wide-ranging essay he offers a trenchant critique of the grotesque creed and questions the West's faltering response to this eruption of evil.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese
on Sep 19, 2006 -
Cheney Clarifies Iraq, Afghanistan on Meet the Press.
For the first time in three years, Cheney appears on Meet the Press. Transcript here
. "We’ve never been able to confirm any connection between Iraq and 9/11[,]" but Iraq "...was a state sponsor of terror" and "while they found no stockpiles...[the Duelfer report claimed that] Saddam did in fact have the capability and that as soon as the sanctions were ended—and they were badly eroded—he would be back in business again." "[T]his was the place where, probably, there was a greater prospect of a connection between terrorists on the one hand and a terrorist-sponsoring state and weapons of mass destruction than any place else." "...if we had to do it again, we would do exactly the same thing..."
posted by shivohum
on Sep 10, 2006 -
The Afghan Elvis
(with YouTube clip
), the Soviet Elvis
(played by Tom Hanks
), the French Elvis
(now seeking Belgian citizenship
), the Mexican Elvis
, the Swedish Elvis
, the Filipino Elvis
, the Chinese Elvis
, the Sikh Elvis
, the Japanese Elvis
who became a Prime Minister, and other foreign Elvii
posted by jonp72
on Aug 21, 2006 -
So how's the War on Drugs proceeding in Afghanistan? Barry McCaffrey, former drug czar, trumpets
, "Opium production has been dramatically slashed by 48% just in the past year
.". Oops, actually that's the acreage of opium cultivation; production went down by only 10%
, due to increased yields. In any case, that's so last year
. Instead of the socially detrimental policy
of poppy eradication, wouldn't it be preferable
to allow licensing of poppies
for legitimate medical needs? The Afghan farmers agree
, but some think the idea is flawed
posted by daksya
on Jun 16, 2006 -
Afghanistan: On the Brink
- Ahmed Rashid on Afghanistan's precarious situation. Around three thousand of the 23,000 US troops now deployed in Afghanistan are scheduled to return home this summer and Western intelligence officials say several thousand more may depart before November. The start of an American withdrawal in the midst of a vicious Taliban resurgence naturally infuriates Karzai and his government; it is particularly disillusioning for millions of Afghans who, unlike their Iraqi counterparts, still equate a sizable US military presence with security, continued international funding, and reconstruction. In Iraq practically the entire population wants the Americans to leave, however pleased they are about the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. But the survival of the new Afghan government has depended upon the leadership of the US and its ability to convince the rest of the world to rebuild the country. The US needs to contribute money to carry out its promises and show it is willing to stay the course. It is doing neither. Barnett Rubin
. International Crisis Group
posted by russilwvong
on Jun 1, 2006 -