but we are actually all winds
ever more than before
even ever more than before 
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“If you want to free a society, just give them internet access. Because people, the young guys, you know, are all going to go out and see biased media, see the truth about other nations and their own nation and they’re going to be able to contribute and collaborate together.”
▸ Panj é asr/At Five in the Afternoon (A movie, 2003, Kabul, Afghanistan)

Panj e asr itself seems to be available on Youtube. Iranian-French cooperation - and set in Kabul in 2003. 

At Five in the Afternoon (PersianPanj é asr‎) is a 2003 film by Iranian writer-director Samira Makhmalbaf. It tells the story of an ambitious young woman trying to gain an education in Afghanistan after the defeat of the Taliban. The title comes from a Federico García Lorca poem and is a tale of flourishing against the odds.

At Five in the Afternoon was the first film to be shot in Kabul after the NATO invasion. It was an international co-production between the Iranian company Makhmalbaf Productions and the French companies Bac Films and Wild Bunch.

The film premiered at 2003 Cannes Film Festival and was awarded the Jury Prize and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury.

Samira’s 14-year old sister Hana Makhmalbaf made a documentary about the making of the film, entitled Joy of Madness (Lezate divanegi). It documents Samira’s trials and tribulations whilst trying to persuade people in Kabul to take part in her film. As a teenager, Hana was able to amass a lot of digital video footage unnoticed.


Also re: Joy of Madness (Lezate Divanegi) 

Shot on a digital video camera by the then 14-year-old Hana Makhmalbaf, Joy Of Madness is, in the words of its precociously talented young director, “a documentary on the surface but a feature film in essence.” Partly it’s an idiosyncratic account of Hana’s elder sister Samira attempting to cast her own film, At Five In The Afternoon, with non-professionals in war-scarred Kabul in autumn 2002. It’s also a revealing portrait of a shattered society still traumatised by its experiences under the terrifying rule of the Taliban.


What connects the various characters in Joy Of Madness are their feelings of fear. An elderly mullah goes back on his agreement to Samira and her colleagues to play a cart-driver because he’s worried that his professional status will be affected, and that film itself is sinful. Meanwhile an impoverished gypsy family is convinced that the crew will kill their malnourished baby during the shoot. And the widowed teacher Agheleh, herself only 22 and whom Samira is determined to cast as the lead, writes a letter explaining why she feels she can’t take on the role: who will look after her three children and how will she be able to return to her previous job?

Joy Of Madness captures the determination, the persuasiveness, and the single-mindedness of the Makhmalbaf clan at work, with father Mohsen and stepmother Marziyeh Mehskini also part of a close-knit production team. Samira herself, who also directed The Apple and Blackboards, comes across as a volatile and demanding figure as she flatters, cajoles, and criticises those she seeks to cast. Mohsen reinforces her sales pitches by stressing to people how famous his daughter is in the world beyond Afghanistan (“a thousand newspapers have written about her”, he explains), and he’s the one asked to ensure the wavering Agheleh signs up to the project. But it’s Hana who deserves the credit for such a candid view of her own filmmaking family.

In Farsi with English subtitles.


Source: youtube.com

Oct 14, 2012, 12:46pm  1 note      


Please help pass this around to find the owner of a Bible found in Afghanistan….

Jonathan, Tennessee, Afghanistan - 
But Gideons.org seems to be a mass distributor of Bible. So Jonathan might not have any connection with Tennessee too. 
There are few online databases of casualties from Afghanistan and Iraq -  cf: 
Then - return result is 71. 
It should be up to US Military or some related veteran support organizations to locate the family. 


Please help pass this around to find the owner of a Bible found in Afghanistan….

Jonathan, Tennessee, Afghanistan - 

But Gideons.org seems to be a mass distributor of Bible. So Jonathan might not have any connection with Tennessee too. 

There are few online databases of casualties from Afghanistan and Iraq -  cf: 

Then - return result is 71. 

It should be up to US Military or some related veteran support organizations to locate the family. 

▸ [USA-Afghanistan] Will Civil War Hit Afghanistan When The U.S. Leaves?, Dexter Filkins, The New Yorker

Eleven years after the Taliban were expelled by NATO and U.S. troops, there is no insurgency in Bamiyan, and almost no poppy trade—factors that go hand-in-hand in the south and the east. The lack of violence has allowed economic development, and the growth of a civil society, to flourish more or less unhindered. Like few other groups in the country, the Hazaras have seized on the educational opportunities offered in post-2001 Afghanistan; Hazara girls have one of the highest high-school graduation rates in the country, and Hazara women have become some of the most visible symbols of the new Afghanistan. In 2009, when President Karzai endorsed a family law that allowed marital rape in Shiite families, Hazara women led unprecedented protests in the streets of Kabul. (Karzai signed the law anyway.)

“We don’t burn schools here, we don’t have an insurgency,” Habiba Sarabi, the governor of Bamiyan since 2005, told me. Sarabi is a pharmacist and the only female governor in the country. “Under the Taliban, we were not even considered Muslim.”

In 1996, when the Taliban entered Kabul, Sarabi fled to Pakistan, determined to give her daughter, Naheed, an education, which the Taliban prohibited. Today, Naheed Sarabi has a master’s degree in development management and works as an adviser in the Ministry of Finance in Kabul.

“I am afraid of these negotiations—I am afraid we will be abandoned again by the West,” Sarabi told me. “If the United States does not fix these problems, then the Taliban will return. Everything we’ve gained here will be lost.”


A few weeks ago, Nasir returned to Deh Afghanan. The Taliban were back, practically ignored by U.S. forces in the area. “The Americans have a big base there, and they never go out,” he said. “And, only four kilometres from the front gate, the Taliban control everything. You can see them carrying their weapons.” On a drive to Jalrez, a town a little farther west, Nasir was stopped at ten Taliban checkpoints. “How can you expect me to be optimistic?” he said. “Everyone is getting ready for 2014.” 

No money. No prospect for durable political settlement.

Aug 31, 2012, 2:00pm  1 note      

▸ Pakistan has blown a chance to control its badlands, David Ignatius, Lebanon Daily Star

The notion of the tribal areas as a warrior kingdom impenetrable to outsiders has a romantic “Orientalist” tone. I was disabused of it in 2009 when I met a group of younger tribal leaders who had gathered in Islamabad to tell U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke that the region needed economic development, good governance and less hanky-panky from the central government. In a move that embodied everything that’s wrong with the Pakistani approach, these brave young men were intercepted on the way home by the Inter-Services Intelligence and quizzed about why they had dared talk to the farangi.

Surely the most foolish move the Pakistanis made was to compromise with the terrorist Haqqani network, which operates from its base in Miran Shah, a few hundred yards from a Pakistani military garrison. This was like playing with a venomous cobra – something the Pakistanis seem to imagine is an essential part of regional realpolitik. No, you kill a cobra. If the ISI had been up to the task, it would have had some formidable snake-killing allies.

The Pakistanis lost a chance over the past decade to build and secure their country. It won’t come back again in this form. That’s a small problem for the U.S. and its allies, but a big problem for Pakistan.

May 18, 2012, 1:05am  1 note      

The Kandahar Massacre and the Future of U.S. Involvement in Afghanistan - Diane Rehm Show NPR, March 19 2012

Guest experts:

Ambassador James Dobbins: director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the RAND Corporation, and former special envoy to Afghanistan.

Yochi Dreazen: senior national security correspondent, National Journal magazine.

Phyllis Bennis: director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies; co-author of “Ending the U.S. War in Afghanistan: A Primer.”

And then, I have to log that this Diane Rehm show ranks as probably one of the most heaviest ‘discussion (on air)’ I’ve heard by so far - in USA.


Read More

Source: thedianerehmshow.org
March 20, 2012, 12:51am   0 notes
▸ Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander urges Afghans to expel Americans by force - AP

A senior Iranian military commander urged Afghans on Saturday to use force to kick American troops out of their country, hinting that “new resistance groups” could launch attacks on U.S. interests in Afghanistan.

Gen. Masoud Jazayeri, a senior figure in the powerful Revolutionary Guard and the deputy head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said there are indications that Afghans will “soon open new fronts” against “the obsolete, worn-out American empire.”

The U.S. has accused Iran’s Revolutionary Guard of supplying powerful roadside bombs to militants in Afghanistan fighting NATO forces. Iran has denied that it is supplying arms to fighters in Afghanistan.

Mar 17, 2012, 3:12pm  0 notes      

“In Afghanistan’s parliament, however, lawmakers called Monday for a halt to talks on the strategic partnership document until it is clear that soldier behind the shooting rampage is facing justice in Afghanistan.

“We said to Karzai: If you sign that document, you are betraying your country,” said Shikiba Ashimi, a parliamentarian from Kandahar. “There is no more tolerance for this kind of incident. It is over, over. We want such people on trial inside Afghanistan, in Afghan courts.””

Students protest US soldier who killed Afghans - CBS News

  1. Such demand - US will never and can’t respond to (Really can’t create such precedent)
  2. But then Afghans might organize pressure and protest, sentiment might rise really high
  3. And how Karzai can deal with such pressure
  4. By so far no large scale protests - yet - or somehow might never happen? 
  5. Americans and aid workers etc in general - probably are going to face and endure drastically higher threats - for a long time, or permanently
  6. ((Will the logic or fact that that particular solider had mental condition diagnosed previously, and had strains from private life - would that - that ‘Western logic’ make sense to Afghans? ***Who takes liability, responsibility in that case then? Those who diagnosed that he is fit for deployment? Logically. But usually ‘responsibility’ evaporates when the subject has mental issue … ))

In that sense, lack of immediate large scale protests - Obama administration thinking and stance that they can manage this (for this short term) - might just result in another major setback sooner or later. 

Place. People. Sentiment. Emotions.

Americans somehow are never good at dealing with it. (And repeat same damn mistake - …)


1. Without really thinking about the relation with local population

2. Claims, thinks and believes that America has its own procedures for

  1. making sure only ‘reliable’ soliders would be on the ground
  2. persecuting those who commit wrong deeds, can deliver compelling justice
  3. 'making sure' system to learn, correct itself, and keep working
But can I ask - if such loops of systemic setup works, why - why such incidents have been recurring??? 
Or do Americans, or American military or White House have capacity to ask, impose such question - on themselves, on the ways they do things? 

Have to see. 

March 13, 2012, 2:55am  5 notes

Looks at least Patraeus is aware of all this (well, of course) 

Then this incident is a good chance of starting the real debate about US/Nato’s course about Afghanistan (esp re: ‘Karzai’ problem). Will US media pick this up as the opportunity? For real serious examination? Or the world really has no alternative other than Karzai. 


March 11, 2012, 9:33pm   0 notes

re: massacre incident in Afghanistan

by a drunk US solider (s) - 

I’m not posting anything, and I don’t see anything on my Dash by so far - but I’m using tag search and reading posts people typed and posted. (It’s hard to reblog any of those I find interesting.) 

My view is 

  • maybe the ‘cause’ of the mission may not be sustainable anymore (Soliders’ morale and motivation level for the operation can’t be sustained, rather there probably have been lot of problems internally, but never fully dealt with. Always covered up. Very possible.) 
  • but - I don’t know why USA has to keep presence in Afghanistan. Sure, Taliban will run over. But then Afghani side themselves have to show a lot more fiber to stand against that possibility - while USA and Nato’s helps are available. 
  • Thing is there is no leadership for Afghani people. All are crooks looting in to squander aid and development money. Ready to flee. Have no moral fiber for rebuilding Afghanistan. 

And it’s been 10 years. 

No real debate. No real examination. No real - nothing shown from either side - Americans and Afghanistan. 

A year ago, few British experts urged political settlement with Taliban and speedy pull out. They said time is not on the side of Nato/USA. (Meaning pull-out has to happen ASAP). But I can’t recall they were counting that ‘morale of troops running out’ as the looming problem. 

Anyway, I’m an amateur. 

But - I haven’t read anything much persuading and convincing analysis about how things can go for Afghani people - for a very long time. 

Honest clear talk would show the only way out. 

If that’s politically un-feasible. Then, America and Nato might really need to kick start real serious re-examination of how they are thinking about Afghanistan. 

But then, lack of quality, dependable indigenous leadership. (There might be but …) 

How can anyone fix that problem. 

I don’t know. 

[[Yeah. And now I remembered that there was a Tumblr blog by a Marine’s wife. Very young high school sweethearts from California.

The guy died in Afghanistan. I think it was IED. Leaving his wife and a small daughter. 

System has to work but - 

Wish there were really clear talk, conversation, public debate about what USA and Nato have to do. Now it’s a forgotten war from public.

Can’t go on like this. 

Need to make a turn.]]

March 11, 2012, 9:17pm   12 notes
“Protesters shouted “Death to America!” and “Death to Karzai” as black smoke rose over a large demonstration on the outskirts of the snowy Afghan capital.”

Karzai urges calm as six die in Afghan Koran protests | Reuters

The U.S. embassy said its staff were in “lockdown” and travel had been suspended as thousands of people expressed fury over the burning, in protests that flared for a second day in several cities. […]

"When the Americans insult us to this degree, we will join the insurgents," said Ajmal, an 18-year-old protester in Kabul. […]

Outrage also spilled over in the Afghan parliament, where several members shouted “Death to America” inside the legislative chamber. […]

In neighboring Pakistan’s largest city Karachi, around 100 Islamic seminary students protested against the Koran burnings.

"Pakistan’s government should summon the American ambassador and demand an apology. And if he doesn’t apologize, he should be kicked out of the country," said Abdul Basit, a protest leader.

Others took a harder line.

"No forgiveness for the desecrators of the Koran," a section of the crowd shouted. "Only death."

February 22, 2012, 6:32pm  0 notes

“This is frivolous, to put it mildly. We are committed to non-interference in Afghanistan and expect all other states to strictly adhere to this principle," […]

“We are also committed to an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process,”

Pakistani foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Basit,

Pakistan condemns NATO leak on Taliban support, Nasir Jaffry, AFP

February 01, 2012, 2:46am  0 notes

“The worst part is that these children don’t think that they are killing themselves," said the official. "They are often given an amulet containing Koranic verses. Mullahs tell them, ‘When this explodes you will survive and God will help you survive the fire. Only the infidels will be killed, you will be saved and your parents will go to paradise’.”

Afghan boy suicide bombers tell how they are brainwashed into believing they will survive - Ben Farmer, Telegraph

Throughout the war against the Soviet invaders in the 1980s, and the civil strife that followed, Afghan fighters of all factions rejected suicide attacks as cowardly and unIslamic.

The tactic was adopted only after 2001, learned from Arab jihadists who had used it to devastating effect in Iraq.

January 14, 2012, 5:37pm  7 notes


Hello, I run Everything Afghanistan blog. I’ve decided to share my story of the NATO & US night raid to our home. (click on the images for bigger version)

NATO forces raided our home

On 19th November 2009, at 3:15 am , NATO Forces suddenly broke into our home and made the main gate blast with explosive , Fired at poor salesman Hamdullah ,one of my cousins who was staying the night with us and at day time doing his business.
Hamdullah , wounded by firing ,managed to escape back to his sleeping room from where he picked up his mobile phone to call our family members to inform them about the incident , another of our guests(a close relative of me), Muhammad Azim who had come to Bazaar to seek medication for his Hepatitis B disease, woke up and wanted to run towards Hamdullah to give him necessary help. As soon as he stood up from his bed , he was shot in the chest, which injured him. After the two were injured , the kids staying in the nearby room were too afraid to come out to their help, so they lay calm and terrorized .

Rahmatullah a 14 years old boy who was in the same room says, “i heard hamdullah calling he was wounded and needed help but I was too afraid to raise from my bed“
the troops then went to our living rooms , arrested Habiburahman , one of my cousins and an employee of the Afghan computer science association , who ,after completion of the Microsoft Localization Project , was desperately looking for a job. Inside our house, they left their dogs open to screen every single room for possible threats..The dogs terrorized every one and attacked & bite one of my aunts which caused a serious injury to her hand.

At home, they broke every window to terrorize the dwellers , broke every cabinet and briefcases to find evidence, and threw every book out of the cupboards , including the Quran so that there is nothing behind them.
After arresting my brother Habiburahman , they came back to our guest’s rooms where they ordered everyone to get out, The teenage kids, who had survived from the firing aimed at the windows of the rooms -came out , and were strictly checked and their hands tied ,were ordered to lay down in the muddy yard.

the injured guests( our relatives) had lost their strength to come out of the rooms, The troops then entered the rooms and fired tens of bullets at their heads, and bodies. My cousin’s head was the smashed with the back of their gun.

One of the kids ,Sadiqullah a 16 year old boy , was also arrested and dragged bare footed towards the helicopters which were landed 2 kilometers away! he says from the openings of his mask he could see habiburahman’s feet bleeding …as he was also barefooted .. and says he saw Troops firing at a 10 year old boy and his father in the street .. he further says that the troops continued to torture them until they reached the prison.

In the morning ,local police commissioner “Khyal Baz Sherzai “ along with PRT officials came for investigation. after checking and seeing everything, they said they knew nothing about the operation, and that it was directed from Bagram American Base. Mr.Shair Zai ordered his men to check whether the books torn apart were authentic Islamic books, because he doubted his friends would do such actions against afghan.

This news was covered by Al-Jazeera and some local channels and radios .Ariana T.V’s reporters captured the most thrilling and shocking pictures of the incident but didn’t show it, more over the T.V quoted from “Khyal bazz” that Ghazni Provence is totally at peace and that there is no news worth mentioning …

This is what happens every day in Afghanistan , and it is how suspected terrorists are arrested and their families and villages are terrorized.
Since two years , the U.S pattern of arresting suspects is the same , They go to the suspects location ,arrest the suspect and kill two or three civilians so that they are properly terrorized.

My cousins had to wash the blood from the carpets, walls and the ceilings while the kids watched. For months everyone in the house was very scared no one could sleep at night. The most tragic thing was the killing of my innocent cousin, he has no one to look after his 7 children except his mother.

They still have my Brother in Bagram prison, since then they have held several trials for him but always fail to convict him with any charges. They don’t have  evidence against him in being involved in any sort of suspicious actions. He is in Fact so brilliant and well educated that the US officials in Bagram offered him many jobs to work for them in their bases in Afghanistan. But my brother refuse every time. How can one accept that after being tortured dragged out of home and have your cousins killed in cold blood. If he was really some one involved with Talibans, would they offer him jobs to work for them? would they keep suspending his trials without any success?. Its all lies and thousands of others are imprisoned in such manner with no evidence whatsoever. They just take people from their home without any proof.

Here is the Al-jazeera video to watch covering the day after the raid