When I first saw this in the New Statesman, I thought it was some kind of sick joke, given the proximity to April 1st. Apparently not:
And to add to the feeling of nausea, here’s an endorsement from “acclaimed author” William Dalrymple:
‘Afghanistan has a rich and ancient tradition of epic poetry celebrating resistance to foreign invasion and occupation. This extraordinary collection is remarkable as a literary project — uncovering a seam of war poetry few will know ever existed, and presenting to us for the first time the black turbaned Wilfred Owens of Wardak. But it also an important political project: humanising and giving voice to the aspirations aesthetics, emotions and dreams of the fighters of a much-caricatured and still little-understood resistance movement that is about to defeat yet another foreign occupation.’ —-William Dalrymple, author of The Last Mughal and the forthcoming, The Return of a King: Sha Shuja and the First Battle for Afghanistan, 1839-42
…and one Jon Lee Anderson, who thinks the Taliban are “harshly perceived”:
‘A remarkable and important book that reveals a hitherto concealed side to the harshly perceived Afghan Taliban. In Poetry of the Taliban, we see that within the movement there are warriors who have wounded hearts, lyrical souls, and a passionate love of language and ideas.’ —-Jon Lee Anderson, the New Yorker and author of The Lion’s Grave: Dispatches from Afghanistan
What next: a sympathetic reappraisal of Hitler’s artwork?
Let’s just remind ourselves of these agrarian fascists’ attitude to 50% of the Afghan population:
Letter to the Guardian:
The massacres of Afghan civilians have left huge numbers of widows and orphans, as well as uncounted wounded and traumatised people (Massacres are the inevitable result of foreign occupation, 14 March). A catalogue of strategic, political and military mistakes is likely to fuel further support for the Taliban, and thus increase the fears of Afghan women who dread a return to their oppressed situation before 2001.
Irrespective of when the troops are withdrawn, the international community has a duty not to abandon its commitment to Afghan women, remembering that their “liberation” was one of the grounds for the invasion of 2001.
Responding to the pleas of Afghan women’s NGOs, UK women’s NGOs who attended the UN Commission on the Status of Women this month have petitioned the UN to endorse a resolution on Afghan women and girls. This can be found on the website of the National Alliance of Women’s Organisations. A UN resolution requires the backing of governments, but so far no government has been prepared to pick this up and run with it. A UN resolution would at least ensure that the international community remains aware of the status of women in Afghanistan, and does all it can to support them once the troops have withdrawn.
Margaret Owen Director, Widows for Peace through Democracy
Annette Lawson Chair, National Alliance of Women’s Organisations
It really is a sign of the moral and political degeneracy of the liberal/”left”, that it’s now considered OK in some despicable circles, to come out as sympathetic towards the Taliban.