The Burka and the Bikini
"Our war against the Taliban, a regime that does not allow a woman to go to school, walk alone on a city street, or show her face in public, highlights the need to more fully understand the ways in which our own cultural ''uncovering'' of the female body impacts the lives of girls and women everywhere. ... Whether it's the dark, sad eyes of a woman in purdah or the anxious darkly circled eyes of a girl with anorexia nervosa, the woman trapped inside needs to be liberated from cultural confines in whatever form they take. The burka and the bikini represent opposite ends of the political spectrum but each can exert a noose-like grip on the psyche and physical health of girls and women."
posted by Steven Den Beste
on Nov 24, 2001 -
The Taliban's war on art
extended beyond merely blowing apart the two monumental Buddhist statues. Here's a nice little piece about a wrecking party at the Kabul Museum of Art lead by the Taliban Ministers of Information and Finance. Their acts of barbarism against women and people who failed to live up to their religious code was unspeakable, but IMHO this willful destruction of art is also worthy of condemnation. This is nothing less than the destruction of a people's culture.
posted by MAYORBOB
on Nov 23, 2001 -
What's going on?
"A senior Taliban official in Kunduz, whose identity was not revealed, told Northern Alliance officials here in a radio conversation that a Pakistani Air Force plane had landed in Kunduz Tuesday and ferried away several Pakistani and Arab fighters. The Taliban official said the plane was the third to land in the city in recent days." (NYT)
posted by semmi
on Nov 23, 2001 -
from director Saira Shah of Beneath the Veil
fame is appearing several times this weekend. I am very much looking forward to this as I found the first film insightful, thought-provoking and observant. It all leads me to wonder how does one help dimilitarize and rebuild a country where an entire generation knows nothing but war, insecurity and guile?
posted by dness2
on Nov 17, 2001 -
Trouble for Pakistan?
It looks like the Pakistanis have really managed to piss of their Afghan neighbors with their imperialist ambitions
. The foreigners who so eagerly rushed to help the Taliban are getting shot for their troubles, some have wised up and are refusing to surrender
. Should we be trying to stop such behavior, or is this a case of If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen
posted by jaek
on Nov 16, 2001 -
"What do you mean by the destruction of America?"
The plan is going ahead and, God willing, it is being implemented. But it is a huge task, which is beyond the will and comprehension of human beings. If God's help is with us, this will happen within a short period of time; keep in mind this prediction.
Mullah Mohammed Omar, in an interview with the BBC. To me this is not a threat at all, but a prophecy. (Also interesting is the distinction between extremism and conservatism, getting rid of freeloaders.)
posted by rschram
on Nov 15, 2001 -
The Taliban withdrawal is a strategic move, not a sign of retreat.
By strategically handing over key Afghan cities to the Northern Alliance before melting into the mountainsides, the Taliban tossed political hand grenades at the United States.
On the surface, it appears the Taliban were dealt a crushing defeat. Thousands of Taliban fighters switched sides or were captured during the Northern Alliance’s advance, and the remainder melted into the hills having put up almost no fight. However, the Taliban withdrawal was far from a rout. Rather, it reflects abandonment of a strategy that could have led to their destruction, in preparation for a more traditional and effective strategy for combat in Afghanistan — guerrilla warfare.
posted by Davezilla
on Nov 15, 2001 -
Finally, good news
in the war in Afghanistan. The Northern Alliance has captured the city of Mazar-e sharif. "Afghan rebel commanders proclaimed tonight they have captured the provincial capital of Mazar-e Sharif and have routed its Taliban defenders."
Northern Alliance forces entered the city quickly after winning a fierce battle at a bakery(!?) between the two airports that had served as an alliance base until the Taliban took the city three years ago.
posted by rabbit
on Nov 9, 2001 -
Arundhati Roy's latest piece on the war.
This is absolutely devastating. In prose as beautiful as it is powerful, she manages to touch on issues ranging from the definition of terrorism to the inanity of the food drops; from Taliban brutality to the oil cabal. Some will hate it; some (like me) will thank the stars that people like her are in this world.
posted by mapalm
on Oct 25, 2001 -
Come Mr. Taliban
turn over Mr. Bin Laden! Sure, it trivializes human suffering and death... but look it's George Bush with bongos! Funniest animation I've seen come out of this.
posted by geoff.
on Oct 19, 2001 -
America is the Borg, Taliban - some hapless planet:
"Our forces are armed with state of the art military equipment. What are you using, obsolete and ineffective weaponry? Our helicopters will rain fire down upon your camps before you detect them on your radar. Our bombs are so accurate we can drop them right through your windows. Our infantry is trained for any climate and terrain on earth. United States soldiers fire with superior marksmanship and are armed with superior weapons. "
All your base, indeed.
posted by owillis
on Oct 17, 2001 -
has declared the Internet un-Islamic, but elsewhere in the Muslim world, going online is one way to avoid the censors.
posted by KimmishKim
on Oct 16, 2001 -
bomb them with porn
The search didn't turn this up, so here it goes: High brow (hack. cough.) humor at it's finest:
These 'bombs' are made up of the Western civilization's best skin and muff shots ever put into print. Imagine millions of pages of XXX porn carpeting the rugged Afghan terrain. You've seen what the women over there are forced to wear. When the Taliban forces get to see what they are missing, they will be too distracted to fight. They won't be polishing their rifles, they will be too busy polishing something else.
It's the porn bomb. Spread the love. Pass the Playboy.
posted by eljuanbobo
on Oct 12, 2001 -
Berkeley does it again...
The Berkeley City Council is considering condemning the US attacks on Afganistan as acts of terrorism. The best quote: "Berkeley has always been an island of sanity in terms of the war madness that has prevailed in this country," Spring said. "The U.S. is now a terrorist. According to the Taliban these are terrorist attacks."
(Via the WSJ Opinion Page
posted by madreblu
on Oct 10, 2001 -
RAWA's gallery of graphic videos showing the Taliban's violence
Records that detail racial cleansing or life in a prison camp are often criticized because their graphic nature is sensational. Chernenko praised Solzhenitsyn's Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
because it avoids cruelty. The Rape of Nanking
is controversial because of its graphic detail. Is it socially irresponsible for the RAWA to release taboo graphic videos or is it a painful truth that should not be affected by de facto
posted by alex3005
on Oct 10, 2001 -
and Idries Shah
have been my best sources as I try to get a real appreciation for the mosaic of Pashtun tribesmen, Tajiks, etc., that is Afghanistan. The former's book (link to long excerpt) is chock full of facts about the background and makeup of the Taliban. The latter's is a page-turning 1986 military romance (no Arabs, no CIA mentioned, but the secret KGB phone number given was, famously correct), by an author better known for works on Sufis and the incorrigible humorist Mulla Nasrudin
: a painless way to steep yourself in a (romantically idealized but extremely informative) Afghan worldview. So, you other news junkies, what have been your best sources for the deeper cultural background of this patch of rugged mountains with which the U.S. finds itself at war?
posted by Zurishaddai
on Oct 9, 2001 -
Taliban leader's ex-bodyguard says "We laughed when we heard the Americans asking Mullah Omar to hand over Osama bin Laden," he said. "The Americans are crazy. It is Osama bin Laden who can hand over Mullah Omar - not the other way round."
Take a look at this insider's personal account of the Taliban that some are so eager to apologize for in the name of cultural relativism.
posted by rushmc
on Sep 29, 2001 -
Taliban miraculously finds bin Laden!
Afghan authorities have delivered a message to Osama bin Laden advising him of a decision by the country's clerics recommending that he leave Afghanistan voluntarily, the Taliban ambassador to Pakistan said Thursday.
posted by madreblu
on Sep 27, 2001 -
Jesse Jackson invited to visit the Taliban.
They've asked him to lead a peace delegation to come talk to them; he's thinking it over. My question is this: How far does he have to go before he's providing "aid and comfort" to our enemies (i.e. before he's committing treason)? I hope he'll do the right thing (stay home and shut up) but I doubt it.
posted by Steven Den Beste
on Sep 26, 2001 -
Operation Infinite Mercy
: Emergency relief for Afghan refugees
fleeing Taliban rule and/or threats of American attack. Amid the scores of funds, accounts, websites, banner ads, and buttons that have popped up advertising ways to 'help the victims', it's been near-impossible to find somewhere online to make a donation to assist some of the other
people affected by the aftermath of September 11th...
posted by SenshiNeko
on Sep 25, 2001 -
a New Republic
article that provides some background on Afghani politics and an interesting argument on the Taliban's weakness. Here's a provocative quote: In 1999, when the United States devastated Belgrade and humiliated Milosevic, the Serbs eventually ousted him. In 1991, when the United States devastated Baghdad and humiliated Saddam, the Kurds and Shiites rose up, and might have toppled the regime had the United States not abandoned them. Historical parallels, of course, are never perfect. But the Taliban are no stronger than those two previous U.S. foes; in fact, they are probably weaker.
posted by estopped
on Sep 22, 2001 -
Powell vs. The Pentagon.
According to CNN, Colin Powell is "pushing for a limited military component," and wants to place more emphasis on financial, legal, political and diplomatic tools. But (as you might expect), the Pentagon wouldn't mind taking down Saddam Hussein while we're in the neighborhood. In other CNN news, the US appears sensitive to the need to support its decisions, and will be making the case for bin Laden's guilt
to the Pakistanis. I find both of these items somewhat encouraging. How about you?
posted by pardonyou?
on Sep 21, 2001 -
Taliban to U.S.: Go ahead, make my day.
The Taliban has refused, as Bush demanded in his speech, to turn over bin Laden without evidence of wrongdoing. Unclear whether he's still "uninvited" to remain in Afghanistan. I thought Bush's refusal to consider a deal with Afghanistan was rash -- we can't afford to create martyrs in this war.
posted by mattpfeff
on Sep 21, 2001 -
Pakistan, Taliban forces take up positions: Tension mounts at border
This is what I feared the first time I heard of Taleban. People trained to be fighters in their teenage, do not know of any thing else to do.
I was in Kuwait during the Iraqi invasion. I noticed the same fact. Teenagers, taught to fight and no other skill.
Maybe Pakistan will
have to use its own military in what is turning out to be very disturbing times for an already disturbed nation.
posted by adnanbwp
on Sep 16, 2001 -