Afghanistan has no film industry, which makes a new movie called The Black Tulip, about good people seeking some kind of normal life in modern Kabul despite the constant threat of violence, destruction and despair, doubly dangerous to have made and inestimably valuable to watch. Filmed entirely in a country where women’s rights are still tested daily and cameras are so verboten that even a tourist’s throwaway Instamatic is an invitation to trouble—and produced, written and directed by a woman, no less!—this is a gripping experience as politically enlightening and emotionally involving as it is educational and beautiful to look at.
The Big Dig
Brooklyn architect David Grider had an interesting rebuttal to The Observer‘s story last week about the need for greater infrastructure investment in the country and the region, which challenges many assumptions about rail travel and even reminds us the Erie Canal was not the super success everyone likes to remember it as.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand reiterated her support of the July 2011 Afghanistan withdrawal date, despite Republican pressure to move the date back, in a conference call with reporters about her recent trip to Afghanistan and Pakistan this afternoon. She said the withdrawal date is useful as “a political tool.”
“It creates a sense of urgency on Read More
Let’s just get this out of the way: The CIA doesn’t hire working journalists. Not American ones, anyway. It stopped in 1976 after an embarrassing investigation by Sen. Frank Church (D-ID) revealed that infiltrating news teams was just one of several bad habits dating to the 1950s. But we can’t help imagining the clinking of Read More
The maimed face of 18-year-old Aisha, her nose and ears cut off as punishment by her Afghan husband for fleeing his home, made the cover of Time magazine last week and changed the debate over the country’s military involvement in Afghanistan. Hitting stands just as a growing chorus of pundits and lawmakers had begun to Read More
Yesterday, The Politicker reported on a rather bizarre interview that Congressman Ed Towns gave to the NPR morning show “The Takeaway,” in which the one time Afghanistan war critic seemingly had seen the error of his ways after visiting the country with David Petraeus.
“Progress is really being made,” he told the show Read More
It is hard to find people who are optimistic about the war effort in Afghanistan. But Brooklyn Congressman Ed Towns is now one after making a trip to the war-ravaged country, even during a particularly gruesome weekend.
He appeared on The Takeaway on WNYC this morning and said that despite reports to the Read More
Nearly 92,000 classified documents illustrating the realities of the war in Afghanistan over the last six years were published yesterday by The New York Times, Der Spiegel, and The Guardian, immediately drawing comparison to the Pentagon Papers, which changed the course of the Vietnam War when they ran on the frontpage Read More
A New York Times front page story from Monday by veteran James Risen about mineral riches in Afghanistan has quickly become a story about how The New York Times deals with criticism.
Critics questioned the news-worthiness and the timing of the story. For some, the article explained the American effort in Afghanistan too much, Read More
From now on, the headlines about Afghanistan will be slugged “Obama’s War,” and perhaps that is fair enough given the president’s many endorsements of what he has called a war of necessity. It would be much less fair, however, to ignore the events that led us to this moment, when whatever choice he makes will Read More