I immensely enjoyed reading this article, as it gave some interesting and unique viewpoints on the entire Afghanistan sitution. However, there were some problems I noted...
Towards the top of the article, he says:
Even in TV productions worldwide there are a limited number of documentaries. Perhaps, it is an external and internal conspiracy or universal ignorance that maintains Afghanistan as a country without an image.
And then near the middle, he relates his own story of trying to film in Afghanistan:
We were silent for a while. Then I asked whether or not we could go to both north and south. The Taliban didn't agree. They are not too fond of journalists. I made a promise to only film those dying of hunger. Again the Taliban do not approve. I told them I need another invitation from the UN to re-enter Pakistan. Later, I received a facsimile stating that I had to go to the Embassy of Pakistan in Tehran. I was happy because before I had gotten a visa to Pakistan from the embassy to bring costumes for Kandahar from Peshawar.
He also makes a constant theme throughout the entire article about the rest of the world ignoring Afghanistan, but then goes on to state the following:
It is believed that some 180 international organizations are active in Afghanistan. They too avoid my non-political questions. Finally, I find out that they are in charge of a few tasks. One job is to distribute bread among the starving. A second is the struggle for exchanging of north-south prisoners and a third is to make artificial hands and legs for land mine victims.
He also makes a consistent theme of "The US was able to liberate Kuwait quickly, so why not Afghanistan?" The comparisons to Kuwait are not entirely valid--Kuwait had been invaded, and the US/UN/etc. restored the status quo. The standard of living in Kuwait was much higher before and after the invasion than at any point in Afghanistan during the 20th century. Kuwait's not perfect, but it's in much better shape than Afghanistan. Also, Kuwait is near the gulf, giving easy access via naval forces, and surrounded by countries that are considered allies of the west. Afghanistan is landlocked, full of mountains, and surrounded by countries that are historically hostile or indifferent to the west. And is an Iranian actually suggesting that we go in and take over the country, similar to what we did to Germany or Japan? I can only imagine what the backlash to that would be... Simply stated, we're damned if we do and damned if we don't, and regardless of what US foreign policy is (even if we sit at home and close our eyes and put our fingers in our ears and don't bother anyone else), half the world's going to hate us anyway...
Don't get me wrong, I found the article as a whole to be enlightening, but exactly how are the governments, media and relief organizations of the rest of the world supposed to really help Afghanistan when the Taliban is so resistant to their efforts?