Thursday, August 20, 2009

Afghanistan's Invisible History, Gould and Fitzgerald

Talk Nation Radio for August 20, 2009

Afghanistan's Invisible History, Gould and Fitzgerald
Part two of two, each stands alone

Authors of the book, 'Invisible History, Afghanistan's Untold Story'

TRT: 29:52 music fades 12 seconds
Produced by Dori Smith
Download at Pacifica's Audioport here: Or try and

Music by Fritz Heede

Topics include:
-The history of British and US imperialists who have long sought to dominate Afghansitan.
-What the Obama administration must and must not do.
-The cost of the Afghan war, could Afghansitan bankrupt America?
-How US foreign policy has strengthened the extremists and undermined social progress.

We turn once again to our discussion with Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald, the husband and wife writing team who were the only journalists to gain access to Afghanistan in 1981, after the Soviet invasion. They then co wrote the book, "Invisible History, Afghanistan's Untold Story." Their web site is:

As Afghans go to the polls, we consider the impact of US foreign and military policies on their country dating back to the 1970s. Their book delves into the history dating back to before the turn of the century, and reveals a budding democracy, woman's rights, up until US support for misogynist war lords like Gulbadin Heckmaytar, led to an increase in power for extremists.

Afghanistan is vital to the foreign policy interests of many nations. But the real history of the impact of British colonialism, and America's covert alliances with war lords and terrorists dating back to the 1970s and 1980s, is seldom discussed.

Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald offer their insights and warnings to President Barack Obama, and assess how US foreign policy is going. They also assess the role played by individuals with commitments to a form of mystical imperialism, with goals of dominating Afghanistan. They will not succeed, according to the authors.

If they befriended the Afghan people, took measures to re-stabilize their country, and build a strong Afghanistan, the US would insure stability and friendship in the region.

Syndicated with Pacifica Network

Articles of interest:
PBS Dares to Show Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan
A note from Dori

PBS finally offered solid coverage in the form of a video from Nima Elbagir of Independent TV News. The film, Afghan War takes toll on civilians, left Jim Lehrer speechless, so much so in fact that he neglected to remind viewers at the end of this clip that Elbagir provided it.

Right after the film which aired Friday August 21, 2009, during the Jim Lehrer News Hour, two more traditional talking heads rolled into place for 'discussion' of Afghanistan policy and health care in America.

It seemed to me that both David Brooks, the NY times columnist, and WA Post's Ruth Marcus, were also speechless for a few seconds after viewing the coverage from Mir Wais hospital, Kandahar. It didn't take these two professionals long though, they were soon jabbering away about this side v that side on policies as usual.

Now if we could only get PBS to sign a contract with Nima Elbagir so that she might be on all the time! That would be a great way to improve coverage in general. Her video showing the casualties of both the US operation in Afghanistan and the Taliban or Al Qaeda, helps us cut to the chase in our analysis of what is happening in this long suffering country.

Once we evaluate the way a US policy is unfolding in how it impacts human beings, both civilians and US soldiers, we understand that there must never be an argument made for war without first considering all other options.

When Gould and Fitzgerald spoke about the impact of empire builders on Afghanistan, they also centered much of their research on how the policies of Great Britain, America, Russia, and Pakistan, have played out on the ground for civilians. Their book, 'Invisible History, Afghanistan's Untold Story', helps us realize that Afghan society would have been far better off before the arrival of empire builders like Zbigniew Brzezinski.

Finally, before airing Nima Elbagir's clip, Jim Lehrer issued a warning to viewers that some of us might find the film disturbing. Indeed, and that is why we should all view it! I only hope people didn't switch the set to another channel at that point.

See also:

World Focus, August 18th operation Leslie Hilsum, ITN especially the portion of her clip where she offers the words of Colonel Grevill Bibby, British Army, explaining that he had arrived in Afghanistan on behalf of her royal highness the Queen of England. Just like the old days...

And, Afghanistan news, New York Times, elections

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