663 posts tagged with afghanistan.
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Sixth generation warfare: boner pills.

The little blue pill goes to war.
posted by mek on Dec 26, 2008 - 74 comments

How Opium Can Save Afghanistan

Poppy For Medicine. "America's drug war in Afghanistan has been a miserable failure. So why not legalize opium production and let Afghanistan become the Saudi Arabia of morphine?"
posted by homunculus on Dec 21, 2008 - 57 comments

Are fortification and foreign aid making Kabul more dangerous?

The Archipelago of Fear. "International surveys show that the more people trust their neighbours, strangers, and their government, the more likely they are to help strangers, to vote, and to volunteer. If better streets, sidewalks, walls, and buildings all improve the ways people engage with one another, then the reverse should also be true: antagonistic architecture can corrode trust and fuel hostility. Kabul just might be a laboratory of toxic urbanity."
posted by homunculus on Dec 5, 2008 - 20 comments

The Economist: The World in 2009

In 2009, a remarkably gifted politician, confronting a remarkably difficult set of challenges, will have to learn to say "No we can't", Guantánamo will prove a moral minefield, economic recovery will be invisible to the naked eye, governments must prepare for the day they stop financial guarantees, we will judge our commitment to sustainability, scientists should research the causes of religion, we will all be potential online paparazzi, English will have more words than any other language (but it's meaningless), Afghanistan will see a surge of Western (read: American) troops, Iran will continue its nuclear quest while diplomacy lies in shambles, the sea floor is the new frontier, we should rethink aging, (non-)voters will continue to thwart the European project -- but cheap travel will continue to buoy it -- though it has some unfinished business to attend to, and a Nordic defence bond will blossom.

The Economist: The World in 2009. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 27, 2008 - 31 comments

Pomegranate dens?

Pomegranate is the Answer. James Brett perhaps has an answer to Afghanistan's Opium issue: On the drive back to Peshawar I saw the same farmer in his fields harvesting his crop. I asked my driver to stop the car. On the card I had previously bought I wrote the words ‘Pomegranate is the Answer’ and ran into the field to go and talk to the farmer. My translator called after me “Don’t go in there you could get shot” but it all happened in a second and I called back to him “come on I need you to translate” . Upon reaching a surprised farmer I asked him many questions and talked to him about the affects of Heroin and also the possibilities of Pomegranates. He explained to me about his family , children, how he lived and why he grew opium. I explained how it was possible for him to change his situation working together with other farmers and how this would help the people of Afghanistan and the rest of the world. He appears to be having some success. (previously 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ...) via Crooks and Liars
posted by caddis on Nov 10, 2008 - 56 comments

Ending Chaos in Afghanistan and Pakistan

From Great Game to Grand Bargain. "The crisis in Afghanistan and Pakistan is beyond the point where more troops will help. U.S. strategy must be to seek compromise with insurgents while addressing regional rivalries and insecurities." A new piece in Foreign Affairs by Barnett R. Rubin and Ahmed Rashid. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Oct 28, 2008 - 35 comments

Who saves the saviors?

In the field of humanitarian aid, personnel decisions are life and death business. The UN knows all too well the costs of poor oversight, but aid worker and blogger Michael Kleinman makes another observation, far more disturbing. In the multi-billion dollar humanitarian aid business, some lives are worth less than others, and not only among the populations served. [more inside]
posted by cal71 on Oct 28, 2008 - 11 comments

NATO war in Afghanistan "Doomed to Fail"

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 - 35 comments

Afghanistan

Return to the Valley of Death. In this Vanity Fair article, Sebastian Junger describes life with the men of Battle Company at their Korengal Valley outpost in Afghanistan. In Rolling Stone, Nir Rosen describes his journey into Taliban-controlled Afghanistan: How We Lost the War We Won.
posted by homunculus on Oct 17, 2008 - 18 comments

looking through old photographs

People sleeping, gently vulnerable and evocative, vintage photographs. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Oct 11, 2008 - 50 comments

The women of Bamian.

"Far away from the Taliban insurgency, in this most peaceful corner of Afghanistan, a quiet revolution is gaining pace. Women are driving cars — a rarity in Afghanistan — working in public offices and police stations, and sitting on local councils. There is even a female governor, the first and only one in Afghanistan." Carlotta Gall writes about promising developments in Bamian. (NY Times; print version.)
posted by languagehat on Oct 7, 2008 - 19 comments

We regret to inform you.

In Their Boots is a new online "magazine show" about the impact of the wars on US servicemembers and their families. The latest episode features the founder of the American Widow Project, a new documentary and an organization dedicated to helping out other war widows across the country.
posted by lullaby on Sep 13, 2008 - 5 comments

"forward, forward I say"

"Fog of War" cited by United States Ambassador to the United Nations Zalmay Khalilzad. He was speaking to journalists to clarify reports concerning his unauthorised contacts with foreign government officials, among them Asif Ali Zardari; a then contender to succeed Pervez Musharraf as president of Pakistan. Earlier this year he was being touted as a possible successor to Hamid Karzai as President of Afghanistan as seen in these two articles. So who is Zalmay Khalilzad? Neo con and oil businessman. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco on Sep 10, 2008 - 8 comments

Afghanistan Civilian Deaths

Some new and disturbing footage following an air raid on Azizabad seems to be forcing the US military to do a U-turn on civilian deaths in Afghanistan. [more inside]
posted by vodkaboots on Sep 8, 2008 - 37 comments

Documentary about a rescue helicopter crew on their tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Above Enemy Lines (youtube 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) is a BBC Documentary about a RAF Chinook crew on their tour of duty in Afghanistan. Part 4 and 5 of the film deal with the crew attempting to rescue a wounded 19 year-old soldier from a combat zone.
posted by krautland on Sep 8, 2008 - 7 comments

Talibanistan

Right at the Edge. "The Taliban and Al Qaeda have established a haven in Pakistan’s tribal areas along the Afghan border. This is where the war on terror wil be fought – and possibly lost."
posted by homunculus on Sep 5, 2008 - 62 comments

Separating the wheat from the chaff

More than seventy civilians killed in a US attack in afghanistan. Including many women and children. Last month, the US forces put an end to a wedding, and killed 47 persons. Figures are disputed, but Hamid Karzai asks for the Nato strikes to stop. A few days ago, French soldiers suffered from the strikes that were supposed to help them. How is it covered in the US ? I just checked CNN, and there is a small article about this incident. Foxnews page for Afghanistan : I guess it's self-explanatory.
posted by nicolin on Aug 23, 2008 - 62 comments

Ten French soldiers killed in afghanistan

Ten French soldiers killed in afghanistan. A ceremony for the 10 soldiers took place today in Paris.. Caught in an ambush, the soldiers have been fired upon during several hours. Nato strikes are told to have been inaccurate. Survivors' testimonies seem to imply that the situation has been dealt with in an awkward way. The President's decision to send more troops in Afghanistan is discussed.
posted by nicolin on Aug 21, 2008 - 19 comments

Images of Afghanistan

A few hundred photos of Afghanistan by a Canadian photographer. Some from the 1970s, some since 2000. Just a reminder there's more to the country than a testing ground for military technology and terrorist tactics. Some beautiful images and some scenes of everyday life. Accompanied by the photographer's personal commentary.
posted by binturong on Aug 13, 2008 - 14 comments

Kings (and Queens) Of Their Own Domains

Josiah Harlan, first American in Afghanistan, Commander-In-Chief of the Afghan Army, Quaker, and Prince of Ghor; the inspiration for Rudyard Kipling's short story "The Man Who Would Be King" (and thus the John Houston film). The title was gained for himself "and his descendants in perpetuity" and never rescinded, making actor Scott Reiniger (Dawn of the Dead), Harlan's great, great, great grandson, technically a prince of Afghanistan. (previously)
Ursula Graham-Bower, an English archeology student who ventured to India in 1939 "to putter about with a few cameras and do a bit of medical work, maybe write a book" and ended up in the jungle on the Burmese border as "Queen of the Nagas", leading headhunting tribes against the advancing Japanese Army. (Real Audio BBC Radio history segment, extended MP4 video interview from 1985, shortly before her death, online archive).
The "White Rajas" of the Kingdom of Sarawak, a dynasty of the Brooke family, who ruled a region of Brunei for over a century; the progenitor of the family, James Brooke, was likely an inspiration for Joseph Conrad's "Lord Jim". [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Aug 13, 2008 - 18 comments

Battlemind

Battlemind: Armor for Your Mind is a U.S. Army website designed to help, in part, families deal with deployment, including a series of cartoons and videos intended for children whose parents may be sent to or be returning from warzones. Part of the Army's Behavioral Health program, these give intriguing insight into military culture. [more inside]
posted by Rumple on Jul 29, 2008 - 6 comments

Narco-State

Is Afghanistan a Narco-State? "Drug-related corruption pervades the government in Afghanistan, a former U.S. counternarcotics official says."
posted by homunculus on Jul 27, 2008 - 54 comments

Magnum Photos' two newest nominees

American-Dutch photographer Peter van Agtmael and English photographer Olivia Arthur are the two newest nominees recently welcomed into Magnum Photos. Agtmael's images of Afghanistan and Iraq are very powerful - he discusses his work in Conscientious. Arthur's recent work has focused on women's experiences in what she calls the Middle Distance. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Jul 8, 2008 - 8 comments

Pakistan’s Phantom Border

Pakistan’s Phantom Border. "Pakistan is often called the most dangerous country on earth. Increasingly, its people would agree. Despite nearly $6 billion in U.S. military aid for the border region since 9/11, the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and homegrown terrorist groups have eroded the border with Afghanistan, inflicting a steady toll of suicide bombings. Going where few Westerners dare—from Taliban strongholds to undercover-police headquarters—the author sees what’s tearing the country apart."
posted by homunculus on Jun 22, 2008 - 24 comments

Anthropomorphising the War on Terror

Afuganisu-tan is a simple and impossibly cute manga illustrating the background and development of conflict in Central Asia. In which we learn that "Afuganisu-tan gets picked on a lot and has bad luck." Also, "Meriken is a superhero fanatic and has a tendency to think her version of justice is right for everyone." [more inside]
posted by hellopanda on Jun 15, 2008 - 34 comments

Khadr judge removed

The military judge presiding over child solider Omar Khadr's case has been replaced. Khadr's lawyer claims the judge, Colonel Peter Brownback, was fired because he “threatened to suspend proceedings in the case of Omar Khadr if prosecutors continued to withhold key evidence from Omar's lawyers.” Defence officials claim Brownback was planning to retire.

Although Khadr was only 15 when he was captured, and is the only Western citizen still being held at Guantanamo Bay, Canada's Conservative government has refused to seek extradition or repatriation for him.
posted by cdmckay on May 29, 2008 - 72 comments

...even after five agonizing years of the Iraq War, a summer blockbuster isn't prepared to say that not only is its action hero is corrupt, he's corrupt because America has become corrupt.

Iron Man, who represents an imperial America, can only win Pyrrhic victories. Spencer Ackerman of Tapped Online has a nice history of the Iron Man comics that reads the character's alcoholism, Civil-War overzealousness, and persistent blundering "into a hell of unintended consequences" as a symbol and subtle critique of American exceptionalism and what Jonathan Schell among others has called "impotent omnipotence".
posted by gerryblog on May 16, 2008 - 123 comments

Michael Bhatia Died in Afghanistan on May 8, 2008

Michael Bhatia, Army social scientist, was killed in Afghanistan on May 8, 2008.
posted by geos on May 10, 2008 - 21 comments

Bamiyan Oil Paintings

Ancient Buddhist Paintings From Bamiyan Were Made Of Oil, Hundreds Of Years Before Technique Was 'Invented' In Europe. [Via MonkeyFilter.] [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Apr 24, 2008 - 23 comments

Commode Communiqué

... I served my time I can speak on it. Fuck this War. American soldiers' latrine graffiti in Kuwait and Afghanistan. A photo essay. [Note: most text and one drawing NSFW]
posted by amyms on Apr 15, 2008 - 30 comments

The Makhmalbaf Film House

The Makhmalbafs are an Iranian family of filmmakers, although Samira tends to get the most press. [more inside]
posted by sciurus on Apr 7, 2008 - 13 comments

Dancing boys of Afghanistan

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 - 109 comments

Winter Soldier

Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan. "Like Vietnam vets did decades ago, a group of soldiers are poised to speak out about atrocities they say the U.S. committed in Iraq and Afghanistan."
posted by homunculus on Mar 13, 2008 - 45 comments

James Hewitt Jr

The 'bullet magnet' is back. I can't believe that the British press kept a secret for so long (10 weeks is a miniature eternity in journalist time). It was supposed to last six months... I also can't believe that the odious Drudge has broken yet another big story. Was it all just a PR stunt? [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin on Mar 3, 2008 - 117 comments

Postings from Afghanistan: A Kandahar Journal

"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. Via.
posted by The Loch Ness Monster on Feb 19, 2008 - 14 comments

The Pritzker Military Library

The Pritzker Military Library, a "public institution for the study of the citizen-soldier as an essential element for the preservation of democracy." Found while doing some after-film research on Charlie Wilson's War, the site is a trove of largely non-partisan, often refreshingly candid military perspectives. Particular highlights are video and audio interviews with Jim Lovell and Congressional Medal of Honor winners.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Feb 11, 2008 - 5 comments

Sentenced to Death

Afghan journalist found guilty of blasphemy by Sharia court and sentenced to death. The decision has been upheld by the Afghan Senate.
posted by butterstick on Feb 2, 2008 - 46 comments

The Highway of Heroes

The body of a Canadian soldier was transported from CFB Trenton to Toronto tonight via Highway 401, one of the busiest highways in North America. Along that 170km stretch of road, citizens gathered at the overpasses to wave flags and pay their respects as the motorcade passed by, as they have been doing since the summer. [Pics of a previous such event, found on a web forum.] Following an online petition, the government officially recognized this stretch of highway as officially designated the Highway of Heroes [pic] . The families appreciate the practice, but some people find the designation overly sentimental.
posted by PercussivePaul on Jan 2, 2008 - 36 comments

I still say it's basically the A-Team

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 - 17 comments

Afghanistan on the brink

Stumbling into chaos: Afghanistan on the brink. A report from the Senlis Council think tank claims that the Taliban has a permanent presence in more than half of Afghan territory and the country is in serious danger of falling back into their hands. The Canadian and British governments disagree.
posted by homunculus on Nov 28, 2007 - 23 comments

The larks, still bravely singing, fly / Scarce heard amid the guns below.

The poppy is bitterly ironic this Remembrance Day. Borrowed from John McRae's classic In Flanders' Fields, the poppy has shifted from a symbolic meaning to the central subject of an ongoing conflict. As international intervention in Afghanistan continues, opium production has reached record-breaking heights, with this single country now producing 90% of the world's total supply (utterly dwarfing global licit supply). Meanwhile, the world suffers a global opiate shortage(pdf), Canada's heroin maintenance project is threatened by politics, and the National Review of Medicine suggests that prescription opiates are far more dangerous than the "usual suspects".
posted by mek on Nov 11, 2007 - 26 comments

geopolitics of opium 2007

The amount of Afghan land used for growing opium is now larger than the combined total under coca cultivation in Latin America - Colombia, Peru and Bolivia. No other country has produced narcotics on such a deadly scale since China in the 19 th century. Opium in Afghanistan: Eradicate or subsidize? [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Oct 16, 2007 - 34 comments

The man who knew too much

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 - 21 comments

The Long War

The Long War Journal. Regardless of your politics, the aggregation of info is useful, and the chief blogger doesn't seem to have been mentioned on MeFi before.
posted by StrikeTheViol on Sep 6, 2007 - 4 comments

The killing of Jamie Dean

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 - 27 comments

Our man in Helmand

From the frontline, Afghanistan. Vaughan Smith is spending time in the thick of it with his old regiment, the Grenadier Guards, on their tour of Helmand (he also looks in on other British Army units and the Afghan National Army they are mentoring). An old friend in Kabul is pessimistic about keeping the Taliban at bay permanently, but troops at a forward operating base are business-like or even cheerful despite regular contact with Taliban fighters.
posted by Abiezer on Sep 3, 2007 - 4 comments

Illegal attacks

Ian Brown, the former lead singer with The Stone Roses has a new single out. Illegal Attacks is an anti-war song featuring Sinead O'Connor urging the US and UK governments to "bring the soldiers back home". The striking thing about the song, to my mind, is its scarcity value. The War in Vietnam brought us anti-war songs by Glen Campbell (Galveston); Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (Ohio); Edwin Star (War!); Donovan (The Universal Soldier); Steppenwolf (Draft Resister); Billy Joel (Goodnight Saigon); Bruce Springstien (Born in the USA); Jimmy Cliff (Vietnam) Nina Simone (Backlash Blues) and many, many more . Why have the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which are as deeply unpopular, not generated a similar body of work?
posted by MrMerlot on Aug 29, 2007 - 86 comments

"Unfortunately, Bin Laden was a really good hider."

The Ongoing Hunt for Osama bin Laden is a comprehensive Newsweek update on the search for Osama. Psychics can't find him. Native American trackers can't find him. As the Daily Show noted in 2004, the dead or alive terrorist mastermind is "a really good hider."
posted by kirkaracha on Aug 26, 2007 - 36 comments

America to the Rescue

Three Generations of “America to the Rescue.”
posted by homunculus on Aug 23, 2007 - 39 comments

One doctor's frontline diary from Kandahar

Talk to Me Like My Father: Frontline Medicine in Afghanistan.
posted by homunculus on Aug 2, 2007 - 23 comments

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