Democracy Now! interviews of a professor who is staying in Iraq, of ex-labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and of Sarah Chayes, a former journalist and government official, who lived in Afghanistan for a time.
Grandson of Notorious Warlord: My Family Is Celebrating the Taliban, But I Fear for My Friends’ Lives
As the United States has begun the final phase of evacuations of U.S. citizens and Afghan allies from the Kabul airport, we speak with Obaidullah Baheer, an Afghan academic who has decided to stay in Kabul despite the risks. Baheer’s grandfather, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, is a former mujahideen fighter once nicknamed the “Butcher of Kabul,” now among the senior political figures in the country attempting to shape a post-U.S. government with the Taliban. “This country needs more educated people,” says Baheer. “They’re not going to have enough technocrats for a functioning government to be in place. That’s why some of us have to stay behind.”
- Obaidullah Baheer on Twitter
- “My family fought alongside the Taliban – but I’m afraid for my friends”
- “On the day Kabul fell I refused to leave — I am not ready to give up on Afghanistan yet”
As the U.S. proceeds with evacuating people from Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover of the country, we speak with author and former NPR reporter Sarah Chayes, who covered the fall of the Taliban in 2001, then lived in Kandahar until 2009, where she ran a soap factory, and went on to become a special adviser to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Mike Mullen in Kabul. She says it was apparent shortly after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan that the country was an “afterthought” for the Bush administration, which was “hellbent” on invading Iraq.
We get reaction to the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan from British member of Parliament and former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, one of the leading critics of the Afghan War in Britain. He says critics who warned against invading Afghanistan, and later Iraq, have been vindicated, and calls for an official inquiry into the war. “It’s horrible to read back to 2001 and 2003 and say all the worst predictions that any of us ever made have all come to pass,” Corbyn tells Democracy Now!
Transcripts of each interview are available on DemocracyNow.org.