Tuesday, July 17, 2007

On the ground in Afghanistan (Part 2)

Mike Skinner's account of his experiences in Afghanistan (intro here).

Friday June 15 (excerpt):

[Here, Mike Skinner and Hamayon Rastgar spend a day off at Kargha Lake, a popular retreat for residents of Kabul.]

...Our conversation with a small group of young men in their twenties and thirties we were sitting with soon turned to politics. None of these young men are Muslim, all are secular and certainly do not fit the stereotypes portrayed in the North American media of radical Islamic fundamentalists.

They are intelligent, articulate and well-informed of global events and their own place in the world. They also represent the cosmopolitan ethnic mix of Afghanistan. Most of all, these young men are full of piss and vinegar – they say they want to fight what they regard as the imperialist occupation of their country by NATO and overthrow the puppet regime of Hamid Karzai.

One of the young men told us about what he had witnessed just the day before, as an example of why he is so angry. The young man was on foot crossing the street during a traffic jam. He saw a man he identified as an American in civilian clothes carrying a very large gun get out of one of the cars stuck on the street. The American put the gun to the head of the driver of the car in front and yelled at him to move out of the way. As each car made way, the American proceeded along the line of traffic in the same manner clearing a path for his own driver.... (full version here)

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