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How the US Came Close to Victory in Afghanistan

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Anand Gopal explains how the United States came close to victory in Afghanistan and what led to the resurgence of the Taliban. In No Good Man Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes, he tells that story through the lives of three Afghans caught in America’s war on terror: a Taliban commander, who rises from scrawny teenager to leading insurgent; a US-backed warlord, who uses the American military to gain personal wealth and power; and a village housewife trapped between the two sides, who discovers the devastating cost of neutrality. 

Guests:

Anand Gopal

Comments [9]

tom LI

amy - do you really buy this?

Certainly Judaism never included chopping off the hands of thieves. (They had to return the stolen property plus 1/5 of its value. Pretty civilized for those days.)

If one is to believe anything about these people of The Book, do please recall the stories about the Jewish treatment of women. Even if the story was made up, Jesus not allowing the stoning of an alleged female adulterer, shows us a reality about those OT days. Maybe they wouldn't chop off a male thief's hand, but that courtesy was not extended to the women.

Jun. 12 2014 06:10 PM
tom LI

snych your bumper-sticker-like statements show your clear prejudice, and phobias toward ALL of Islam, and ALL Muslims. My experiences - in Muslim nations - is opposite. Oh there are truly some bad apples in those barrels, but they are the few, just like here in the US, and NYC.

What exactly does this mean? "I think there is a subliminal message equating religions and minimizing their cultural impact, and Tom's comment is a good proof (BTW, I am an atheist)"

(BTW, me too!)

Moderates are real, its just that without the extremists, there'd not exist. And like all moderates - especially here in the US - they get shouted down by the crazies. (shot down literally, if you prefer that) And moderates are not typically ideologues who rally behind Systems of Belief and extreme social causes, and as such are not easily exploited by the Extremists. Just like here in the US. The very same people who occupy the fringes of either political parties here, would likely profile like any Islamic extremist overseas.

As an atheist, Im sure you must have delved into all the "Peaceful" behaviors of Xtianity in the West and the places they conquered...?

For anyone to even use the word peace in front of (____) (fill in blank with a Religion) is already operating short of a six-pack. Which is what we KNOW The Bush Cabal was not even close to being in possession of...maybe a few 40's, but certainly they were not full...

Jun. 12 2014 06:00 PM
sanych

@Amy

Yes, you are right! I totally forgot about "moderate Islam"!! Two legs are bad, four legs is good!!!

Jun. 12 2014 01:18 PM
Amy from Manhattan

sanych, moderate Islam also exists & doesn't advocate the kinds of practices Mr. Gopal specifically attributes to the Taliban. You, on the other hand, attribute a "violent nature" to Islam as a whole.

Jun. 12 2014 01:00 PM
sanych

Amy,

I think there is a subliminal message equating religions and minimizing their cultural impact, and Tom's comment is a good proof (BTW, I am an atheist).

The war was lost when Bush declared Islam "a religion of peace". Of course, this idea does not fit the current PC climate... but that is another story.

Jun. 12 2014 12:52 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Sanych, a good point. Certainly Judaism never included chopping off the hands of thieves. (They had to return the stolen property plus 1/5 of its value. Pretty civilized for those days.) But I don't think Mr. Gopal was being that literal.

Jun. 12 2014 12:39 PM
Amy from Manhattan

What are the likely consequences of the delay in signing the agreement until the next Afghan president is in office?

Jun. 12 2014 12:36 PM
tom LI

Sanych and from where do you think Mohammed got a great deal of inspiration, and those that followed..?? From their fellow people of the Book.

Also, the author is writing for a Western, American audience that would easily understand the analogy. When I/others hear the term Old Testament rules, or OT world, I immediately think of a harsh, ancient place where silly beliefs and absurd rules for obescience to a God rules the day.

Jun. 12 2014 12:35 PM
sanych

A question for Mr.Gopal:

On page 7 of your book you wrote:

"A land of Old Testament rules, the Taliban's Afghanistan was brutal and vindictive. Relatives of murder victims were invited to gun down the accused; thieves had their hands lopped off;..."

The Old Testament is a collection of books based on Judaism. What you describe is legal practices advocated by Islam.

Do you understand the differences between the two?

If you do, was there an effort on your part to minimize Islam's violent nature by claiming that Judaism advocates the same practices?

Jun. 12 2014 11:54 AM

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