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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  May 21, 2011 8:00pm-9:00pm EDT

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other thing i wanted to say was once hugo out of washington and into the field, into baghdad, into kabul, into triage, then i ain't the role of the ambassador becomes critical. ..
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>> it's to delegate this to your chief of station or to your defense establishment. there's going to be no substitute for the ambassador for herself or himself taking the lead op this broad effort that is going to be required. >> well, my follow-up question to that was that i thought there might be an opportunity that if deploam sigh was -- diplomacy was understood to be critical to counter terrorism, this might be a way to make this relevant to the american people, but you mentioned at the end of
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the importance of developing better stories, i guess, of how it is that we actually use resources in development, in diplomacy to advance u.s. interests and do so in a way that's very cost effective for the american taxpayer, and i mention this in closing because i'm very pleased that this is an issue you sort of addressed throughout your book and experience, by also it's central to the mission of afsa. we are we thinking how we can better be a better voice for the foreign services, and everything they do, and both this terms of mobilizing more of our members, active duty and retirees to be involved in it, but also rethinking our outreach program and how we do them and who we reach out to and on what terms, so we're embarking on this and building on a lot of work done
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in the past and collecting enormous amounts of information that we sense is already available in our member agencies, commerce, agriculture, states, you mentioned, sir, the lessons learned projects there, and i think there's a lot of information that we can just -- we can access this package and find ways to use it could really help us. i'm one who believes that it is possible to develop a constituency for diplomacy and development, but i have been told my, i think many very experienced practitioners of diplomacy that it's a hopeless task and it will not happen and there's no net drill constituency, and in the end it depends on the president and the office of the presidency to see a diplomatic service as critical instruments of national power that go along with defense, and it's up to that office to defend and procure resources needed to
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do the job that you're talking about out there. anyway, that was any opportunity to say something, but in the context very much truly welcoming this book, and welcoming the fact that you've come here to share both the book and some of your insights. i think the audience appreciated it, so i want to invite you all to join in a round of applause for the ambassador and his book. [applause] >> you're watching 48 hours of nonfiction authors and books on c-span's booktv. >> up next, elizabeth gould and paul fitzgerald take a critical look the u.s. policy towards afghanistan and pakistan and discuss the fight for control of the border region between the pashtuns and.
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this is about an hour. >> we are delighted to host elizabeth gould and paul fitzgerald, a husband and wife time since 1997, journalists, documentary makers, an they were permitted to enter afghanistan behind soviet lines. they have worked for cbs news, produced a documentary for pbs, appeared on abc's "nightline," and they have produced documents, afghanistan between three worlds, and the woman in exile returns, the semolia story. they are part of afghanistan's untold story, and i'm happy tonight to be celebrating together with all of you, the release of crossing zero, the war at the turning point of the american empire, the companion volume to the last book, also again, published by city lights,
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and it focuses on the afghanistan-pakistan strategy and the importance of the borders separating pakistan from afghanistan which is referred to as the zero line. they delve into the current situation there, the u.s. involvement is described in fine detail showing us things are far more complex than they seem to be. it's an easy to read analysis of the war in afghanistan and pakistan and central reading for anyone wanting a deeper understanding of the situation and also really the larger historic context. please, join us in giving them a very warm welcome. [applause] >> thank you, peter. we want to thank all the cast and crew at city lights for all the wonderful work they have done for us over the years and
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publishing crossing zero and for all the support they have given us i want to thank them tonight. [applause] when we began our involvement with afghanistan 30 years ago, we started a documentary on the nuclear arms race which was a hotly debated issue at the time, and a documentary titled the arms race and economy a delegate balance, i asked the question of the famous economist at what point does the mill tarrization of the economy undermind the interests and defense of the united states instead of protecting it? he was emphatic that the proposed military buildup would send the united states hurdling towards that point, but the soviet invasion of afghanistan a few months later made the talks irrelevant, and to many, it still is. we've watched america's involvement in afghanistan and pakistan closely and it twisted
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and transformed like a train wreck in slow motion. throughout the 1980s we watched. it was the primary focus of american policy. in the 1990s, we saw the stirring rhetoric and commitment to the people of afghanistan of the 1980s evaporate as the country descended into civil war. when the u.s. invaded pakistan in 2001, we shook our heads as the u.s. followed the old soviet union into the very same it used to envelope its enemy. with the decision to cross the line and extend the afghan war into pakistan, we knew the process we speculated about 0 years ago had been completed. there were two main reasons for naming the new book "crossing zero". it's the line separating afghanistan from pakistan by the
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military intelligence community and a line that the u.s. fought on both sides of since the 1980s. the other is that given its history, discoer row line is an inescapable metaphor for the turning point in which the united states finds itself at in the second decade of the 21st century, figging a war that they cannot afford to lose. from the outset, washington's afghan problems were three-fold. first, the absence of an adequate understanding of afghanistan's history, its people, their needs, and how to provide for them. prior to the soviet invasion of 1979, afghanistan had gone -- had been one of the poorest country on earth with a moderate form of islam. 30 years of war and political instability reduced afghanistan to a stone age with its population of tribes displaced and occupied by an army of extremists. the solutions appeared simple and straightforward. a few hundred million dollars
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managed and carefully distributed at a grass roots level could have provided a solid foundation for recovery, but the diversion of resources and attention to the war in iraq and the reimposition of a hated war lord culture allowed afghanistan to drift towards disaster. after ten years and hundreds of billions of dollars spent, the obama administration confronts an absence of government in pakistan and afghanistan, a spread of religious violence throughout the region, and a criminal enterprise global in scope. washington's second major issue with afghanistan is pakistan carved from british india in 1947 with west pakistan and east pakistan. the country suffered from an identity crisis from its inception. pack pakistan's location brought the country under the folds of the u.s. cold war umbrella, but rather than putting them at an advantage, we had the embrace of
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freezing afghanistan and pakistan into a special military relationship that discouraged the nation's demockization and development while at the same time encouraging a radical pan islamic movement threatening to tear afghanistan and pakistan apart. the current afghanistan-pakistan crisis is traced back to the 19th century when the british led army forced the petition of afghanistan into north and south. the drawing of the line by england's foreign secretary for india in 1893 was intended to guarantee british control of the territory east of the hindu kush, but proved to be political prison until the creation of the state of pakistan in 1947. pakistan's humiliating defeat in its 1971 war against east pakistan continues to hant the predominantly panjabis
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development. is transformed into a war with india severing east pakistan from pakistan creating the independent nation of bangladesh. following the war of the soviet union in the 1908s, they used the taliban to settle old scores with india and control afghanistan. pakistan's military continuings to fear a direct confrontation with the tribes on the western border. this fear makes pakistan's relationship with the taliban volatile and perhaps unresolvable in any way ben official to the west. pakistan continues to support elements of the taliban that carry forwards its agenda and making token attack on those who do not serve their interest. pakistan's commitment is not what it seems. while we serving, it's best trained military units and high-tech weapons given to it by the united states for a potential war with india,
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pakistan's military sets the fully trained and poorly equipped pashtuns qens the pakistani taliban, but as the taliban cells recruit and multiply inside panjabis setting up their own pashtun controlled taliban against the panjabis youth, a new dynamic has taken hold. washington's third major issue regarding this is washington itself. the politics of both afghanistan and pakistan over the last 60 years have been so entwined in washington's vast web of special interests, that the obama administration's policy is more about washington than it is about either country. burdened by a bureaucratic structure created for a bipolar cold war, washington's inability to adjust to a politically complex multiethnic religiously divided south asia muddled efforts from the start. by marrying war on terror to the
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old agenda of the northern alliance of the 1990s, it set itself against the political agenda of the traditional rulers of afghanistan, the pashtuns setting the stage for the perpetual conflict it now endures. from a purely military perspective, claims 245 the u.s. is repeating vietnam are valid. what america did in world war ii in korea it did in vietnam, and what it did in vietnam, we are doing in afghanistan. from the perspective of a taliban or al-qaeda fighter or an afghan elder whose family was humiliated by a nighttime raid or relatives were struck accidently or intently, they are invading russia's vietnam, and that's a distinction to be understood. the soviet defeat in afghanistan in the collapse of the soviet union filled the islamic right with fer veer. while the united states could walk away from vietnam bruceed but the world status uneffected,
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the same is not said for afghanistan and pakistan when the united states has long term interest in gas pipelines and oil, russia, iran, and india, and preventing the region from once again becoming a base for al-qaeda terrorism. what does the united states do now that it has this contradiction where the use of force no longer guarantees security, but underminds the security it was meant to ensure? the significance of this moment is not lost in the evidence of the world with protesters filling up the middle east and the united states demanding democracy and representation. u.s. military thinkers are more than aware of the crossover in global consciousness as well as their own growing in the face of it. in the speech on may 14, 2010, president jimmy cart ear's national security adviser and strategist spoke of a totally
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new reality occurring worldwide in which for the first time in human history, mankind has become politically awakened and is stirring. the people of afghanistan and pakistan are no less awakened to this new reality and desires for real change than the people of the middle east, yet war and intimidation and oppression, their leadership options continue to be limited to a choice of either corrupt military regimes or radical islamists. ultimately, the course of the events in the hindu kush will not be changed by military force. the issues that fester at the root of afghan and pakistani dissatisfaction must be readdressed. in the fractured tribal society in the frontier province and afghan regions bordering pakistan, how can this be accomplished? after 10 years of war, it wires more than thinking outside the
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box, but requires throwing the box away, and elizabeth presents suggestions we believe could provide a basis for a new and much needed fresh approach for the 21st century. [applause] >> as paul has given you background in what was the original problem, i'm going to go a little more deeply into these issues that really lead to a total revolution which i hope we'll help you come to. the original issue began when the british afghan tribal lands and authority in 19th century and imposed the artificial line known as the duran line in 1983. in 2011, the line continues to remain at the center of america's strategic dilemma in afghanistan as u.s. nato forces
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retreat back over the line in pakistan, but rarely, if ever, is the issue of its legitimacy ever in the western narrative whether the legitimacy should be a subject of an international forum must be addressed. afghanistan's 19th century repeatedly stated in his biography written in 1900 that he never considered any pashtun area as permanently seeded to the british and the line zones of responsibility and was not an international boundary. there is convincing evidence that he did not actually write the sentence in which he renounced his claim to the territory and other british officials con tepidded that the line was never intended to be an international boundary, but just to define respective spheres of influence. we agree with the diaspora that the line issue should be brought to the world court in order to
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decide once and for all whether the 99-year lease that the british applied to their control of hong kong which expired in 1997 applies to the border separating afghanistan and pakistan also. a major benefit of the brutal insurgency and placing it into the legal context where it originated will break it from the strangle hold of 19th century thinking that set this process in motion and begin what really is the long road towards establishing legitimacy framed by an international system based on laws, represented government, and local sovereignty. it would also give the indigenous ethnicities the opportunity to articulate their long held grievances publicly for the first time and remove the issue from the narrow sectarian framework on which it it is now tracked.
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second is women's right, a concern among those involved in afghanistan, but argues that the west should not expect modern standards of behavior from the afghan population ignores afghanistan's history. when instituting afghanistan's first constitution in 193, the king granted afghanistan's women the right to vote. by the 1950s, afghan women were participating in the country's legislature, the civil service, and numerous professions. article 25 of the 1964 constitution states the people of afghanistan without any discrimination or preferences have equal rights and obligations before the law. article 26 states, "liberty is the natural right of the human being and that the libber my and dignity of the human being are involatile and inalienable." the constitution of 1976 clarified the issue of women's rights in article 27 by stating that all the people of
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afghanistan both men and women without discrimination privilege have equal rights, obligations under the law, and by 1977 women composed 15% of afghanistan's legislature, and then even as late as 1987 enacted under the communist party rule, they went further stating, "the citizens of the republic of afghanistan, both men and women, have equal rights and duties before the law irrespective of their national, racial, linguistic, tribal, educational, social status, religious creed, political conviction, occupation, wealth, and residence." today's problem with afghan women's rights derives directly from the influence of saudi arabia and the sunnies who wish to impose a questionable interpretation of the outer doux and the issue of women's rights is a political football used as
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a pretext by the bush administration to help justify the invasion in 2001, and then 10 years later, it is being used as a justification for remaining in afghanistan and for legitimizing a military solution, but the truth is in the meantime, women's rights are being bargained away. the time has come from progressive muslims to demand an accounting of their brethren and insist a standardized interpretation of the issue be accepted by the highest authorities and move on. this will remove the pressure from afghanistan's fragile democracy, place the burden where it belongs on the sponsors of radicalism. if any thing is in the way, it is pakistan. of all the regional interests invested in creating peace and prosperity for afghanistan, only pakistan deserves the right to actively undermind any and all
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initiatives that don't serve its own interests. there are think tanks connected to pakistan's friendly intelligent services that recommend favoring pakistani sides of the war, but governing afghanistan through acceptable dictators or reconciling unrepenting terrorists represents a bankrupt solution. president obama knows the problem centers around pakistan following the failed time square bombing on mai 1, 2010, national security adviser, james jones, informs that if that suv blew up in times square "no one would be able to stop the response and consequences." he was talking about the american plan to bomb 150 designated identified terrorist camps inside pakistan, but we feel bombing pakistan in the matter would not resolve the issue, and, in fact, further
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destabilize south asia and detonate a war. a better solution is for washington to straighten out in some actual real terms, its priorities regarding pakistan before it's too late. recognizing war lords may appear from a distance to be a workable solution, but reintegrating the leaders of brutal, ultraconservative crime syndicates into the afghan government creates problems making the current difficulties of corruption and this experience with the government of karzai seem mild in comparison, but the question still remains -- how did the afghan and pakistani people gain sovereignty when the western narrative leaves them out without a voice? breaking the chain of institutional thinking is essential to solving the problem, but most suggestions to think outside the box are not really intended to create new
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thinking as much as to try the maintain the same old thinking with a different approach. what is needed now is a wholly different way of thinking and a new group to do it. the main reason why solutions have been proposed won't be able to establish a legitimate government whether involving federalizing the afghan government, petitioning the country into ethnic een claves, continuing to support a bureaucratic structure from kabul or reconciling with war lords or taliban is because of one simple reason -- these decisions are made without the sovereign participation of the afghan people. as our friend puts it, "can reconciliation work? the answer is no. it will never work in the long term. first the country has not healed from 35 years of war. the ethnic divide has widened, complicated the path to nationalism, and there is not a
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unifying figure head to calm the country down." he believes that the only solution to work before nato withdraws troops is a traditional afghan tribal counsel free of the kind of outside interference that brought the war lords back to power in 2002. the irany we maps that today's crisis occurred not because the 2002 failed, but because the will was overridden by the political desires of the bush administration who preferred to bring back the warlords. he foresees that if this all act in jerga is assembled by afghans for afghans without outside interference, it can return afghanistan to a stable state by recreating a traditional government acceptable to all afghans regardless of their tribal or ethnic affiliations, but there is a very important
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condition before this can happen. the parties or groups who have participated at this point in the government of afghanistan will not be allowed representation, only individual afghans. the taliban, afghan government, drug barrens, or warlords can want contend karzai even. we understand that will be very difficult to actually make happen, but we feel it's important to state that that is actually what is required. to accomplish this, there is an imperative that the issue of islam be removed off center stage where the current ac cro moeny has been and replaced by beliefs that linking humanity together in a common struggle for a better life for all. parallels have been drawn by numerous experts between the
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complexity of afghanistan sectarian tribal dynamic with the ongoing conflict in northern ireland. various tactics applied by peacekeepers have been tried in afghanistan, but the two country's circumstances are not dissimilar, and for very good reasons. aside from sharing a long colonial heritage with britain, ireland and afghanistan share tribal law and codes of moral conduct that long proceed the christian and islamic era. ireland's pre-christian law provided a sophisticated set of rules for the irish society from the ordering of discipline to the worthiness of kings, and prior to the hostile european invasions of afghanistan, it was known to accommodate both jews and christians considering them to be religions of the book. the first british explorers
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wrote of their warm reception in afghanistan's cities. we feel a new and shocking departure from the existing narrative it needed to change the tone of the afghan crisis and see people's thinking. what better way than to remove from the narrative and reconnect to a common shared past with the irish people. it occurred to us this could be achieved by organizing a planning meeting proceeding the formal tribal at an and sent 5500-year-old world heritage site north of dublin. it's the mansion on the river. we felt the ancient lure could provide a place to begin a new narrative outside the framework of today's violent religious struggles, but most of all, it
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would stimulate something in the imagination of all the participants, a shared connection to the past, and the evolution of human consciousness lost in the bitter fighting and forgotten to both the east and the west. not only does afghanistan's future lie in connecting with its ancient tribal past, but america's future lies in a similar, retriballization process which we feel educator and philosopher and scholar has summarized in a 1961 interview, "the cultural aggression of white america against african and native americans is not based on skin color or belief of racial superiority. whatever ideological clothing may be used to rationalize it, but on the white man's awareness that the african and native american as people with deep roots in a resinating echo
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chamber of the interrelated tribal world are actually socially superior to the fragmented disassociated man of western civilization. such a recognition which stabs at the heard of a white man's system, up evidentble -- inevitablely generates genocide. it's the sad fate of africans and native americans to be a tribal people born ahead of rather than biped their time." we also feel that there is no doubt that his explanation about the african and native american's dilemma applies equally to the tribal people of ireland and afghanistan. over the last century, the united states has built a reputation as a leader in science, technology, justice, and individual human rights, and
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with the beginning of world war ii #, the united states embarked on a massive military expansion and following the eventings of 9/11, expanded that military into a region known as the graveyard of empires. the point at which this military expansion begins to undermind what it was created to protect in the first place a a question -- is a question rarely asked. this is not a question that should threaten the united states or its military establishment, but it is a question that after fighting the longest war in american history needs to be asked. america's national security is no longer an issue of the politics of left versus right or conservative versus liberals. it is not even an issue of good versus evil. it is simply the point at which where war and the endless prop ration for it do more harm than good, where they destroy what they claim to protect, and where
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they are neither just nor unjust, but add up to nothing more than zero. the final analysis must be understood that zero line and crisis surrounding it is not the creation of the people of afghanistan or pakistan, but the product of nearly 400 years of british and american foreign policy decisions. it is given us a mirror with which to understand the consequences of our own actions and to see what we have become as a nation and a democracy. our future will depend on whether we can accept the challenges that it portends. thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much. since the soviet invasion -- i
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don't know if this is turned on, but since the soviet invasion you mentioned in the talk, there's been a tremendous impact on afghanistan, and i wanted to ask you about some reports i've heard from some european press that actually before the soviets invaded afghanistan, there were intelligence operations by both pakistan, the isi, possibly the saudis, and the cia where they were paying people, islamic militants to kill afghani policemen and soldiers. this is before the soviets invaded, and there had been a number of attacks and then at a certain point the afghanis asked because they had a treaty, and they asked for help because they thought their government was being overthrown. in other words, this narrative is that essentially the soviet union was trapped into invading. it was goaded to get them caught
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in their vietnam and weaken the soviets. the struggle between empires, the soviet and the american empire and the people who suffered were the afghani people. >> there's no doubt what you talk about is absolutely true. the first book goes into great detail about the true nature of the activity that the united states was involved in preceding the soviet invasion. in fact, actually the original activity that the united states got involved in was as early as 1973 through pakistan. that's when the leaders were being paid and used to invade and to try to destabilize a regime at the time. you're looking at -- that's why it's invisible history because it's an unknown history to the americans how the soviets were in fact drawn into afghanistan.
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president carter's national security adviser went public with this in 1998 in an interview where he stated clearly that the intention of a project started six months proceeding the soviet invasion and acknowledge six months before it that the intention was to draw the soviets into the afghan trap and hold them there and destroy them there basically. that was the intent. >> robert gates mentioned in his book that the united states actually was funding the freedom fighters prior to soviet invasion which, of course, the official narrative was the american action and the embargo, a number of different economic things done following the soviet invasion was a direct result of the naked aggression of the soviet invasion. that was the narrative they were invading to go to the persian gulf, but when you look at the background, it had been set up for years prior to that, and the soviets were forced with
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basically a decision that they had to make about protecting their southern border, and a lot of it had to do with the support for the salt two treaty and the fact the u.s. congress was not signing the treaty. it was ratified by carter prior to that, and they simply, the soviets were looking at the situation saying their military came forward, i think they voted four or five times not to invade, and timely the military stood up and said, look, you get nowhere with the united states. they are aggressive, trying to invade us from the southern border, we have to do something, so that was the beginning of that. >> i heard you this morning, and it's so complete picture that you present, ai really thank you for that. i wonder if greg knew anything about the work he's doing and what you think about that, and
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the tea company that doesn't exist today, i think it's still around in some other form. if you could comment on that. >> well, greg mori tinson has brought a lot of attention to the pakistani people, but i think what i would say is that -- i'm not saying this just as an author. i really wish everybody who has read three cups of tea would also read up visible history, afghanistan's untold story and crossing zero at the turning point of american empire for the reason that what we're dealing with in our work is a way to try to understand how every school that is built in pakistan and afghanistan gets destroyed over and over and over and over and over and over again, so this is really where we, you know, we view mori tinson's work, and at some level he'd like to be put out of business and rather not have to keep rebuilding those
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schools, and i think that's what our work is about showing people how it happened so we can actually accomplish that. >> do you want answer the other question? >> oh, that's fine. >> well, i have two questions i want to ask you. i'd like to start off with as far as afghanistan is concerned, what is the big interest with afghanistan? it was attacked by britain, the russians, we attacked. did we attack it over the terrorists? did we attack it over 9/11? 15 of the hijackers were from saudi arabia. if it's over women's rights, i can't imagine starting a war with afghanistan over women's rights, and if we supported the talibans, why didn't we embrace it when we attacked it and embrace pakistan? the second question is how in the world did you all get so
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interested this early and stay with it? [laughter] >> well, we had nothing else to do. [laughter] what's the interest? okay, at this point in time, we have to say that the overall interest is the billing of pipelines across afghanistan. that's strategic territory. you know, prior to 19th century into the 19th century, it was trade routes. one family described it as the belly button of south central asia. okay? everything goes through there. it's like the ball joint, it doesn't function. now with i understand ya and china -- india and china as the dominant manufacturing economies in the world, they require a lot of energy, and that's basically american foreign policy is heavily influenced by the energy industries as we know. there are a lot of people in texas who are very much involved with the saudis in trying to cooperate with the taliban.
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the taliban apparently from what i understand were nagging on their agreements and reluck at that particular time to allow -- reluck at that particular -- reluctant and there was a decision they had to be taken out. we had talks with people familiar with it and 9/11 just made it complete. that's, women's rights, all of these issues are important, but they are not the motivation. oil pilelines, gas pipelines, and controlling that access to that for the 21st century, that's what's at stake. >> well, i want to comment on the issue of women's rights. sad to say if the americans were generally interested in afghan's women's rights, they would not have been supporting radical fontment list -- fundamentalists in the 1980s going over the border and
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destroying power lines and schools and executing teachers teaching girls and things like that. this is a cop tray diction of the -- contradiction. we're not saying every single american official necessarily, you know, is aware of every single, you know, every single act committed by these people, but when you choose intentionally to enrich and empower a class of people that came out of the prisons of a lot of the other arabic countries, they actually became the data base of al-qaeda, so this is a real issue where it became a -- it became an excuse, but when we see the proof that women's rights are actually in worse shape now in afghanistan than before the soviet invasion. why? i think that i can also give you some information too on how we focus on afghanistan originally. many people ask that question,
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and it's like explaining our lives. i'll be as brief as possible. >> do we have time for that? >> yeah, i know. we were working on a documentary about the arms race in the late 1970s. the issue of the strategic arms limitation treaty was of great interest and a lot of hope in the world at that point, certainly in the united states, we would ship from a military competition to a civilian competition with the soviet union which looked like a good direction to go in. we needed to do that because we were still suffering from the economic ravages of the vietnam war and we needed to invest in the economy. by working on the documentary and the hope it represented, we were shocked when the soviets crossed the border in afghanistan within 24 hours, and i'm not using that metaphorically, i mean, within 24 hours, the narrative was out. the soviets crossed the border,
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going for the oil in the persian gulf. this is war. every discussion about the treaties was gone. vanished overnight. well, we noticed it. we were very surprised, and nobody seemed to be able to do anything about it, so we kind of speculated. something happened inside the inner san tum in washington. we trailed it and trailed it, and when the media was kicked out of afghanistan within the first month, shortly thereafter we decided, you know, let's get a visa to get in. let's go to the afghan government. we went to the united nations to the afghan consulate and united nations and presented them with a plan saying pretty much the rumors floating out cannot be what you want, let us go in and see. they came back six months later with a visa and said, okay. we went to cbs news saying we
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got the visa. you got the equipment. you know, can we cut a deal? we went in for cbs news and quickly discovered that coming back with that story from cbs news that they were really looking for a specific narrative, and we brought back something else. we were looking at this not as a superpower confrontation, but looking at afghanistan under the pressure of the superpower confrontation, and that began our whole process because when we observed that, we realized that this poor country was squeezed and left out of the american narrative. did you have something to say? >> not at all. [laughter] >> what about the documentary called afghan massacre by the irish brothers that show that? in november of 2001, a month after 9/11, 8,000 taliban
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surrendered to the red cross with a guarantee if they surrendered weapons, they would be processed and freed, but instead pakistanis went back to pakistan and are sent back in secret, i don't know, whatever. they put 8,000 taliban under our jurisdiction, our military jurisdiction into container trucks and sent them to a prison, and they only had room for 4,000 and left 4,000 taliban in the con -- containers and because they couldn't breathe, blood was coming out of the trucks, and they shot into the trucks, allegely so the people in the trucks could breathe because there was not enough room for them in the prison, but the blood poured out the back, and
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they left them in the trucks for days and timely buried them, some still alive under american military oversight. anyways, it's called afghan massacre, but i forget the name of the two irish brothers who put together that documentary. >> well, the number of atrocities occurring in the afghan war from the beginning and that's why the whole concept is absurd without addressing some of these things. >> the war crimes. >> the war crimes against the afghan people were committed by everyone. i'm nobody's innocent in the schtion except the afghan people. they fled when they could, and just suffered the indignities of the war when they couldn't. you know, the taliban timized -- victimized them in the
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territory. this is a very -- this has been a bloody horrendous effort for 30 years, 35 years, and it's as i said earlier been going on really since 1973 this sort of thing, but the invasion just simply aggravated it further. >> i is kernel assume that the 8,000 taliban in that situation were not very important taliban because at the end of the u.s. war in afghanistan when it was obvious that the taliban were losing, there was something called the air lift of evil, okay? this is when basically the pakistani military was allowed by the united states military to basically air lift out taliban and other assorted al-qaeda fighters out of afghanistan to a safe hatch in pakistan. it was called the air lift of evil by the american military who witnessed it. it's obvious, you know, this is one of the problems when you use words like taliban. it's kind of this uniformed word, and everybody assumes it
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means the same thing. it doesn't. there are obviously those part of the power structure with possibly working directly with the pakistani intelligence or in some way empowered, and then you probably have the average, you know, afghans or even, you know, other people from other countries or men from other countries who have no particular power at all, so, you know, they're a hierarchy within that structure that i think needs to be appreciated. >> how can we assume they're evil? >> no, no, the air lift of evil was the fact they removed the taliban fighters off the ground of afghanistan. they were to be collected as prisoners. >> american's allies assisted the enemy from escaping the battle and from being captured without explanation, and american solders were told to stand down and not interfere with pakistani or helping the
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taliban escape. >> they got buried alive. >> i know, i know, we're not talking about them. >> there have been so many victims in this war from leftists to rightists to taliban to afghan individuals, and the last marxist president in 1992 made an appeal to the united states and to the united nations to please intervene before the taliban came in because he said you are opening the door to an absolute tramming diplomacy. it's going to happen in afghanistan and central asia, and what happened was that nobody listened, the taliban came in, dragged him and his brother from the u.n. come popped, slit their throats, and hanged them from the lamp post, and that was the end of that, but the fact is that that had. going on all along. that's the kind of war this has been, so when you start this kind of thing, when you light
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the fuse to a keg of dynamite and it explodes, it hurts everybody. >> i have a question. i was watching the news tonight before i came over, and the expert on this area now deceased, charlie wilson was quoted tonight on the news again, and i want to know, i guess he helped the afghan people, do you think charlie wilson helped the american people? >> actually, he did not help the afghan people number wop. in fact, charlie wilson, representative wilson -- first, a quick story how we know for a fact that the soviets desperately wanted out of afghanistan. in 1983 we brought the negotiation project to afghanistan. it was approached before we approached him to do this trip by the soviets in, i think, 1982 in the fall that they were desperate to get out of
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afghanistan, help us get out. we approached with the idea of bringing into afghanistan to figure out a way to get the soviets out. we get to afghanistan, and they send their top moscow guy down on afghanistan, talks to roger. roger is shocked to tell us, they the to get out. they want to get out really quickly, and they are desperate, and we bring the story back tonightline, and it was obvious that the mainstream media and beltway crowd was not interested in doing anything with this possibility. they didn't actually create what roominger described as the golden bridge to help soviets withdraw and stay safe. they wanted to leave that and not look like it was a defeat base cle. that's number one. well, charlie starts to get his project going to increase funding after that point. the exact -- what needed to happen was the insurgency had to
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stop from pakistan and what wilson did was increase the insurgency. if that had stopped, the president had said on camera to us that the soviets would leave, so these are all the his -- this is part of the historical record. what charlie was doing was actually increasing the chances of the soviets staying there longer, and that actually was the goal of the whole idea was to draw the soviets into afghanistan, hole them there as long as possible until they were broken, and charlie wilson died, i believe, believing that he was responsible for the destroying of the soviet union, but the fact is we have come to realize that the soviet union was dissent grating on its own and possibly afghanistan would still be a flourishing nation today. >> i want way you think about
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the role of india in the sense that we read that pakistan, of course, is very concerned and fright ped about india and that part of its efforts in afghanistan is to counter indian influence, so how does that, how does that factor in? >> the indian government played a big role in actually helping the afghan government that we are # supported. in terms of civilian contributions to the government -- >> i think it's the largest donor in the region. >> i believe so too. the largest donor to afghanistan in the region is india. they have always had positive relations. the relation of the state of pakistan itself was an issue needless to say for both countries. the duran line was an issue always. they were under the assumptions, the afghans under the assumption when the british left that was going to be negotiated. there's many, many documents to
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prove that, and the afghans assumed there would be that line would be something that would be negotiated when the british left, but also it was merely just a means of regulating who facilitated each side of the border, who took care of the authority, the governing on each side of the border. this involved india from the very beginning, and the pakistanis feel if they see any move by anyone, by the iranians, indians, but having an independent afghanistan as a threat to their exist en. if you lock back at the documents that we did for the first book, "invisible history," you can see there's many, many instances where u.s. officials, whatever happened in afghanistan, pakistani officials came to u.s. officials saying give us more defense money because of what's going on in afghanistan. they were always raising the issue over the russians involvement there or that the russians were stimulating
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rebellions for example. this continues to this day, so the fundamental issue, this problem could be defused if a serious effort was made to defuse the relationship between afghanistan -- between pakistan and india. >> that's critical. >> that's critical to this. >> one more point to the issue of pakistan and india. it is ironic that you have the civilian help, the money going to help build civil society from india. pakistan is basically focused on destroying any relationship that afghanistan has with india. i think pakistan would have more friends if they were trying to compete with india by helping to build civil society, and it's not doing that. >> i wanted to ask about the
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taliban. just about their background because i heard that they initially came from other countries than afghanistan, isn't that true or what's -- >> the original taliban was made up of refugees who had grown up in the camps, the refugee camps. they were recruited by the isi intentionally. the bbc reported years ago that their first instance was showing up in northern pakistan, not even in afghanistan. the pakistani military was using them as an agent for their own interests in afghanistan, and so they were backing them. shortly after their invasion of afghanistan, the afghan people, they came into afghanistan early on waving pictures of the king, and claiming that they were here to bring back the king, so a lot of the rebel groups, the local village militias put down their weapons and arms and essentially gave in into the taliban. when they moved through pashtun
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areas, there wasn't that much of a problem with it. when they moved into the parts of kabul, that's when the massacres began and when the taliban began to kill a lot of people indiscriminantly, and also as the war wore on in the original taliban enthusiasm declined, more and more of the taliban forces were supported by pakistani irregulars. they resigned from pakistan originally and joined the taliban. there's lots of documentation about the kind of ideas they pushed into the affair. the pakistanis had originally supported the leader and when he couldn't deliver a victory, that's when he lost favor with the pakistani isi and the taliban were backed at that point. there was an interview conducted with the president of pakistan
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about year and a half ago with which he admitted on american television, oh, come on, let's admit you know the cia and isi both created them. we have to accept responsibility for this. this is the kind of thing nobody leveled with the american people -- excuse me -- from the very beginning about the relationship of all these things, where they came from, how it started. the problem is at this point though that the afghan people and the pakistani people continually are being forced as now the people in the middle east are being forced to choose between islamic extremists or dictators. where's the democracy these people are craving for? this is becoming a real problem for everyone. >> one more question. [inaudible] >> informing


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