What Happens in Afghanistan Now?

Post-war reflections with Obaidullah Baheer

Note: This is the same post I sent out last night but with the unbroken video link.

Attention deficit is not just a brain issue; at this point it’s a cultural dysfunction. How often we move from topic to topic but without the mental cohesion with which to make sense of its meaning. Collectively as well as individually, that leaves us thinking about many things but understanding very little.

The call to deepen, to get sane, to reach for the meaningful, is the calling of our times.

Deep answers do not emerge from shallow conversation, yet shallow conversation is exactly what our culture thrives on. That’s why we jump from news item to news item, talking about something for five minutes then saying “Yeah, we already covered that.”

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So it is that the news media has pretty much moved on when it comes to covering what happened in Afghanistan. Yet we ourselves must not. For if we don’t come to a deeper understanding of what exactly happened there, then the end to the US presence in Afghanistan will be a little more than a pause in the action. Just as Afghanistan was a repeat in many ways of the horror in Vietnam, so too will something else emerge to be a repeat of the war in Afghanistan. The same system will take up where it left off. The only thing that can disrupt this pattern is for a critical mass of Americans to wake up to the insanity of the system itself.

We’ve discussed the corruption of the US war machine in other posts; here we’re focusing on what is going on in Afghanistan right now.

My interview is with Obaidullah Baheer, a lecturer of transitional justice at the American University in Afghanistan who decided to stay behind in Kabul although he was offered the opportunity to evacuate.

Having been educated at the University of New South Wales in Australia, Baheer is the grandson of a mujahideen fighter who then became an infamous warlord in Afghanistan. Baheer’s history is the embodiment of two worlds now clashing in his country - one very old and one very new. He himself is a shining example of both the perils and opportunities of this moment in Afghanistan.

Obaidullah has demonstrated tremendous courage; this interview is a moving reflection of the reality in his country today…

Follow Obaidullah on Twitter @ObaidullahBaheer

Peace Midst the Chaos: The Internal Journey | Obaidullah Baheer | TEDxDarulaman

Obaidullah Baheer on Democracy Now!

Audio of the episode: