Farewell Kabul: From Afghanistan To A More Dangerous World by Christina Lamb

By Christina Lamb

From the award-winning co-author of ‘I Am Malala’, this booklet asks simply how the may perhaps of NATO, with forty eight international locations and 140,000 troops at the flooring, did not defeat a gaggle of non secular scholars and farmers? How did it pass so wrong?

Twenty-seven years in the past, Christina Lamb left Britain to develop into a journalist in Pakistan. She crossed the Hindu Kush into Afghanistan with mujaheddin scuffling with the Russians and fell unequivocally in love with this fierce kingdom of pomegranates and conflict, a courting which has ruled her grownup life.

Since 2001, Lamb has watched with incredulity because the West fought a conflict with its fingers tied, dedicated too little too overdue, did not comprehend neighborhood dynamics and grew to become a blind eye as their Taliban enemy used to be helped by way of their best friend Pakistan.

Farewell Kabul tells how luck used to be changed into defeat within the longest conflict fought through the us in its background and by means of Britain because the Hundred Years struggle. it's been a fiasco which has left Afghanistan nonetheless one of many poorest international locations in the world, the Taliban undefeated, and nuclear armed Pakistan probably the main risky position on earth.

With unheard of entry to all key decision-makers in Afghanistan, Pakistan, London and Washington, from heads of kingdom and generals in addition to infantrymen at the floor, Farewell Kabul tells how this happened.

In Afghanistan, Lamb has travelled some distance past Helmand – from the caves of Tora Bora within the south to the mountainous undesirable lands of Kunar within the east; from Herat, urban of poets and minarets within the west, to the very poorest province of Samangan within the north. She went to Guantánamo, met Taliban in Quetta, visited jihadi camps in Pakistan and observed bin Laden’s condominium simply after he used to be killed. Saddest of all, she met ladies who have been made position versions through the West and had then been shot, raped or compelled to escape the country.

This deeply own ebook not just exhibits the human price of political failure yet explains how short-sighted encouragement of jihadis to struggle the Russians, through prosecution of ill-thoughtout wars, has ended in the unfold of terrorism during the Islamic world.

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In the National Gallery I found a man with a sponge and bucket washing off the trees and lakes he had painted over faces on artworks so the Taliban would not destroy them. Most magical of all were the kites flying from the rooftops. On the road up to the Intercontinental Hotel (that wasn’t really an Intercontinental) a parade of tiny kite shops had reopened. Inside each sat a man wrapping bamboo frames with tissue paper then pasting on shapes in bright pinks, yellows and blues like a Matisse collage and finally rolling the string onto giant reels.

They just said it was an internal ethnic conflict,’ said Dr Abdullah. Massoud himself spoke at the European Parliament in April 2001, appealing for humanitarian aid for his people and warning that al Qaeda was planning an attack on US soil. He was hardly a lone voice. George Tenet, who was Director of the CIA at the time, later testified before the 9/11 Commission that the Agency had picked up reports of possible attacks on the United States in June, and said the ‘system was blinking red’ from July 2001.

Wais had even managed to get hold of the only convertible in Kabul, a 1968 Chevy Camaro which had belonged to one of the Afghan princes before the King was deposed, and had taken me for a spin. We’d had a glorious afternoon driving around the ruins of Kabul, children waving in astonishment, carpet-beaters jumping out of the way and men wobbling on their bikes at the sight of a foreign woman in an open-top car and headscarf fancying herself as Grace Kelly. Next he had promised us a bar, and he was organising a Christmas dinner, for, unbelievably, he had found someone in the Panjshir valley who raised turkeys.

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