In its earliest days, the American-led war in Afghanistan appeared to be a triumph — a "good war" in comparison to the debacle in Iraq. It has since turned into one of the longest and most costly wars in U.S. history. The story of how this good war went so bad may well turn out to be a defining tragedy of the 21st century — yet as acclaimed war correspondent Jack Fairweather explains, it should also give us reason to hope.
In The Good War, Fairweather provides the first full narrative history of the war in Afghanistan, from the 2001 invasion to the 2014 withdrawal.
Thirteen Days in September: Carter, Begin, and Sadat at Camp David is a day-by-day account of the 1978 Camp David conference, when President Jimmy Carter persuaded Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian president Anwar Sadat to sign the first peace treaty in the modern Middle East, one which endures to this day.
The old story of the scorpion and the frog is pertinent yet again. A scorpion says to a frog, “will you escort me across the Red Sea? The frog replies, “Are you crazy, you will bite me and I will drown. The scorpion notes if I bite you and you drown I will drown as well since I cannot swim. The frog, persuaded by the logic, reconsiders and asks the scorpion to hop on his back as he starts to swim across the sea. Half way to his destination, the scorpion bites him. As the frog descends, he says to the scorpion, “why would you do this? Now we will both die.” The scorpion replies: “Because this is the Middle East.”
The “Palestinian cause” is once again on the front burner of U.N. deliberations because of the war between Israel and Hamas. Moreover, this cause has for decades formed the pan Arab solidarity rallying cry. Yet, remarkably, Arab states rather than rectify “the problem” exacerbate it with perpetual conflict that serves a political goal, but no practical purpose for the hapless constituents in the area.
Trauma experts from the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz recently returned from their second trip to the Middle East. They directed workshops for Palestinians and Israelis. The work was in crisis counseling and psychological first aid. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne spoke with the institute director Dr. James Halpern.
Carlotta Gall covers Afghanistan for the New York Times. Her new book is called The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan, 2001-2014.
Highly critical of Pakistan, it offers new information about how Islamabad has helped the Taliban in Afghanistan, and how Pakistan's intelligence agency may have helped Osama bin Laden hide out in Abbottabad, Pakistan.