I’m In Ur Internets, ‘Splainin’ Ur Pashtuns

by Joshua Foust on 4/24/2008 · 4 comments

lolScholarAmin Tarzi, a long time expert on Afghanistan and the author of one of Ghosts of Alexander’s top five books on the Taliban, spends an entire hour in one BloggingHeads segment lecturing Nicholas Schmidle—author of an excellent NYT Magazine story of the changes taking place in Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam in Quetta, Pakistan (i.e. “the neo-Taliban”). Of course the real story behind the complexities of Pashtun society are far more complex than either Schmidle could have explained in his article, or Tarzi could explain in his book, but this exchange, which is really Schmidle asking educated questions for Tarzi’s long answers (an excellent thing, by the way), is deeply illuminating of the challenges the West faces in understanding this suddenly-important group of people.

I couldn’t figure out how to embed that properly, so the full diavlog is available here.


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This post was written by...

– author of 1848 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Joshua Foust is a Fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from Registan.net. His research focuses primarily on Central and South Asia. Joshua is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a columnist for PBS Need to Know. Joshua appears regularly on the BBC World News, Aljazeera, and international public radio. Joshua's writing has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor. Follow him on twitter: @joshuafoust

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{ 4 comments }

Nathan April 24, 2008 at 7:35 pm

Here, I made it better.

Or not. Stupid thing stripped out my link… I’ll just email the damned thing to you.

Joshua Foust April 24, 2008 at 7:42 pm

There, it’s back to better.

kungpao April 25, 2008 at 3:28 am

Wait… I thought M. Daud Khan killed him, not the Communists.

Joshua Foust April 25, 2008 at 8:56 am

No one really knows, except for the fact that he died under very mysterious circumstances along the Salang pass highway, he was a known political opponent of the Communist regime, and that a later autopsy indicated he had been shot in the head.

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