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

By Lamb, Christina | New Statesman (1996), March 22, 2004 | Go to article overview

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.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

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".

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

But the "other war", as it is known, refuses to play by the book. Rumsfeld's declarations coincided with the killing of five Afghan aid workers in Sarobi, just 30 miles outside the capital, by two men who stopped their car, ordered the aid workers to stand in line, then shot them one by one. And nobody could fail to notice the heavily armed American body guards flanking the man at Rumsfeld's side, Hamid Karzai, the US-backed president. Paid for by the US State Department, the bodyguards are hired from DynCorp, an American conglomerate that offers private security services: no Afghans can be trusted to protect their leader.

"It's as if the Americans are living on another planet," complained a European diplomat in Kabul. "The pronouncements they are making about this place bear no relation to what is actually happening."

The reality is that two years after the launch of Operation Enduring Freedom, not only do both Bin Laden and Mullah Omar remain at large, but the Taliban have been making an astonishing comeback. Since last summer, attacks in the south and east have become daily occurrences, forcing the United Nations to suspend operations in more than half the country's provinces. For the first time in 25 years of war in Afghanistan, many attacks are being targeted at aid workers--13 were killed in two weeks last month, while in the capital, British, German and Canadian peacekeepers have all been victims.

Despite the growing lawlessness, the Bush administration is insisting that the Afghan presidential elections go ahead in June as scheduled, even though all the other major players--the UN, most European and Nato countries, NGOs and half the Afghan cabinet--have pleaded for a delay. Nobody knows how elections can proceed when a third of the country is a war zone and less than 10 per cent of the estimated 10.5 million voters have registered. But Washington is desperate to declare Afghanistan a democracy and for Karzai to win in order to vindicate its support.

A Karzai victory is by no means assured, however. His lack of a domestic base was illustrated when a senior Afghan diplomat recently met the Queen, who complimented him on his "elegant president". …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

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
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.