The Return of the Taliban: Liberated Women? the Chief Justice Wants to Ban Women from Driving. That's Not the Only Way in Which the Reality in Afghanistan Falls Short of US Claims
Lamb, Christina, New Statesman (1996)
Afghans are about to get their first weather forecast after an eight-year interruption. The Taliban ban on weathermen was the most ludicrous of many strange edicts from the regime that outlawed white shoes, lipstick and the flying of kites.
Mullah Omar's insistence that only God can predict the future meant there was no forecast to warn the Ariana pilot that his plane from Kandahar was flying straight into a storm. He crashed into a mountain, killing all 51 people on board; nor were there forecasts for farmers planting precious seeds at the onset of a drought.
"Ah, the joys of American liberation," said an old Afghan friend, as he told me about the return of meteorology. In fact, while the un-banning of Afghanistan's very own Michael Fish serves as a reminder of the strictures of life under the Taliban, it also highlights something that Washington would prefer went unnoticed. For more than two years, a semi-literate, one-eyed mullah who used to entertain himself by holding a driving wheel and making "vroom vroom" noises has been outwitting the world's most powerful army.
With nothing but bombs and shootings coming daily out of Iraq, the Bush administration--desperately needing a success story before the November elections--has suddenly rediscovered Afghanistan. American troop numbers have been stepped up to roughly 13,000, and in recent weeks there has been a rash of pronouncements about the imminent capture of Osama Bin Laden, as well as a flurry of US officials from Donald Rumsfeld on down, passing through Kabul and making self-congratulatory statements. The US secretary of defence declared that the Taliban had "gone", describing Afghanistan as "a model for freedom and moderation in the Muslim world".…
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Publication information: Article title: The Return of the Taliban: Liberated Women? the Chief Justice Wants to Ban Women from Driving. That's Not the Only Way in Which the Reality in Afghanistan Falls Short of US Claims. Contributors: Lamb, Christina - Author. Magazine title: New Statesman (1996). Volume: 133. Issue: 4680 Publication date: March 22, 2004. Page number: 28+. © Not available. COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group.
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