Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Are they Back ?


From filming stockpiles of drugs to local Tv stations being forced to pull from air soap operas, there can be no doubt that the Taliban are back and starting to exert influence in all spheres of life here again. New laws are on the table for Parliament that will enshrine in the constitution that
- Women will not be allowed to wear make up at work or in a school
- Men must not wear clothes that are not appropriate, like short sleeves
- Men will not be allowed to wear anything deemed not manly, ie chains or jewellery
- Restaurants will not be allowed to play loud music
- Women will be barred from dancing at concerts or in public if men are present
- Women will not be allowed to be in public with a male unless they are related
- Hotels will be by law forced to separate men and women
These are not decrees from a past regime that issued them and enforced them with beatings, but religious leaders are pushing these laws to become the law of the land. Whilst they debate about pieces of paper, and try to deny that the wordings the intentions are clear and the force behind these laws is undeniable.
People we have met and filmed over the past few days here in Kabul, try to downplay and diminish the Taliban but they control the drug trade which is set for another record crop which in turn funds there insurgency and there power.
The view from Kabul is seen thru rose tinted glasses, Kabul Ken, the spokesman for the International Forces here tried to spin via powerpoint the success of operations, Ministers of the Government all claim they are doing what they can from the sanctuary of the capital whilst the newspaper headlines reflect that the country is once again sliding down a path of turning the clocks back again, and this despite billions of dollars of foreign aid in all forms seems to have achieved very little since 2001.
We leave the capital in a day and I hope we get the chance to see the reality of the situation here, I made a vow after visiting here in may 2001, when the Taliban where in power that never again will I look thru those rose glasses again, I may have become more cynical but I will not be lead into false stories again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your view of Afghanistan without the rose colored glasses. Reality is what we want to see even when it is disappointing....although not all that unexpected. It does one thing for me...makes me more determined to fight Sharia Law creep in the USA hard as I can. No rose colored glasses for us either Mal. Appreciate your great work to get us the unadulterated truth. And thanks for giving us the opportunity to tell you that again. Be careful and we'll be watching for any reports you and your crew send our way. No running through those poppy fields, Mr. James...not the best place to train.
a and n too