Ann Marlowe Calls This A Myth

by Joshua Foust on 11/4/2008 · 1 comment

We bombed another wedding, this time in northwest Kandahar. Alex Strick van Linschoten visited the hospital where the wounded were carried:

The bombing, they said, lasted from 4-9pm. Noor Ahmad, Hazrat Sadiq and Mohammad Rafiq all lay on beds in the hospital next to Abdul Zahir. Between 3 and 5 years old, they are the cousins of Abdul Zahir and were injured in the bombing. Of Abdul Zahir’s relatives, 8 people, he said, were killed and 14 injured. The dead in his family included 1 cousin, 2 brothers (called Qahir and Twahir), his grandmother and his uncle’s mother.

The bombing, witnesses said, wasn’t the end of their ordeal. At approximately 10pm, ‘the Americans’ came to their village and bound all their hands with plastic restraints and held them there for questioning. ‘Panjshiri’ interpreters working with the Americans kicked them, they said, and translated what the Americans were saying.

That’s okay, though: Ann Marlowe says this is a myth and they’re all liars. Classy lady, she is.

Meanwhile, Terry Glavin does his best Nir Rosen impression and comes up witha rather different picture of the country south of Kabul:

It is called Baghdad Road,” Max said, as we roared towards Kandahar City. “It is a nickname.” I thought that was the nickname for the Kabul-Jalalabad Road. Maybe there’s two? I could see why it would be called that, though, all the way into town from the airfield. Craters and ripped-out sections of steel highway fence, from suicide bombers, and IEDs. That kind of thing.

Not that it’s safe, merely that you shouldn’t believe the hype. On either side.

Update: I absentmindedly hit the publish button without tying this together. I am not—repeat, NOT—insulting Mr. Glavin in any way. I enjoy his reporting, and find it refreshing in the midst of all the hype. The “either side” I refer to is Ann Marlowe and Nir Rosen, not Terry Glavin. I just want to make that clear. I included him in this because his report matches with what others on the ground there say—it is good reporting, in other words, not bad.

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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 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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{ 1 comment }

Terry Glavin November 4, 2008 at 9:59 pm

Best “Nir Rosen impression”?

I’ll take that as a joke. Otherwise I’d have to take it as an insult.

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