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Sarah Chayes on Life in Afghanistan After the Taliban and Why She Left NPR

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CHIMO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 10:39 PM
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Sarah Chayes on Life in Afghanistan After the Taliban and Why She Left NPR
Sarah Chayes on Life in Afghanistan After the Taliban and Why She Left NPR

SARAH CHAYES: It was really this story. It was, I watched -- there were U.S. Special Forces that were embedded in a group, a kind of tribal militia, which was directed to put pressure on Kandahar from the south. President Karzai also had U.S. Special Forces with him. He was coming down toward Kandahar from the north. The Taliban surrendered to him. They left. Al-Qaeda left the city. The city was in the hands of President Karzai and his chosen representative, and then these U.S. Special Forces urged this warlord to take the city by force from President Karzai.

SARAH CHAYES: I was on the border. I was not with this group, but I was on the border, and I was listening to the radio, where a lot of this played out, and I was speaking to people who were coming back across the border, and I knew that President Karzai had designated a certain person whose name is Mullah Naqib to be governor of Kandahar. And then, suddenly this warlord is in the city. And then, theres this huge and angry standoff, which is being played out on the airwaves of the BBC actually, of their Pashto Service, and this warlord is saying, No, Im going to be governor of Kandahar. And I knew there was something strange. And eventually thats what happened. And Mullah Naqib basically pled old age and said, Oh, Im too old. And I thought, Thats not right. You know.

SARAH CHAYES: The Karzai appointee, thats right, said, Okay, this other guy is going to be governor. Im too old to be governor. And I knew that something had happened. And then I rode into the city maybe two days after this with somebody who had been with this warlord, so I asked him, Well, how did it go? How did you guys happen to go and take Kandahar? And He was a very young kid, you know, so hes kind of all excited and enthusiastic. You know -- Speed! Speed! -- we went up the road, you know. And then I said, Well, what about the Americans who were with you? He said, The Americans? They told us to do it. I thought, You have to be kidding me.

And $5 Billion later....
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