The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Afghan Policy a "Script" for Escalation


In Washington D.C., until Saturday, Gould and Fitzgerald recently wrote the book Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story. They began covering Afghanistan in 1981 for CBS and produced the documentary "Afghanistan Between Three Worlds" for PBS.

They said today: "Opinion here indicates that the administration
is behind the runoff, expects Karzai to win, which will in their view
legitimize the government in order that McChrystal's request for more
troops can be granted. It's a script totally detached from reality.
There's still no real plan except the military option. Washington
apparently doesn't think public opinion in Afghanistan matters. Afghans
here are all appalled by Karzai, but feel entirely left out of the
process set up by the Bush gang. Afghans won't accept the verdict on
Karzai no matter which way it comes in. The government insiders here
are terrified that the whole thing between Pakistan and India will soon
blow wide open. They're beginning to refocus on the regional collapse
now underway but just don't know what to do about it. ...

"The focus on al Qaeda is all wrong. Queeta Shura of Mohammed Omar
is now far more powerful with connections of its own in the Middle
East. Their religious mission overpowers their political one and is
drawing support from everywhere. The situation in the north is growing
worse. Russians are very worried that a path is opening up for Taliban
in the Northern provinces. Lots of fighting. Punjabi extremists are
fighting in Helmand. Very bad sign that Pakistan is out of control."

A nationwide consortium, the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) represents an unprecedented effort to bring other voices to the mass-media table often dominated by a few major think tanks. IPA works to broaden public discourse in mainstream media, while building communication with alternative media outlets and grassroots activists.