This movie by Zev Deans and Jacqueline Castel presents the heroic work of journalist-researchers Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould. They are among the few American journalists who could actually go to Afghanistan in the ’80s during the war between the U.S.S.R. and proxy Afghan warriors financed and armed by the U.S. After this trip and another one a few years later, they had quite a different story to tell about the war, very different indeed from the one we got through the mass media here in the West. They have presented their findings and conclusions in two books principally, Afghanistan’s Untold Story and Crossing Zero The AfPak War at the Turning Point of American Empire. You can visit their website at invisiblehistory.com. The movie consists mainly of a conference given by Fitzgerald-Gould supplemented by additional footage, pictures, maps, etc, to enhance the experience of viewers. It is certainly a must-watch, especially if you don’t know their work already. For those who would like, I have already covered their great work in this earlier post. Please take the time to see that movie.
Since the early ’80s Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould have been highly devoted to expose the truth about what is really going on in Afghanistan. They have travelled there on a few occasions, notably at the very inception of the Afghan War in 1981, in 1983 and also more recently after 9/11. What they have found is extremely different from what you would expect, judging by what you can hear in the mainstream media in the western world. They have produced a documentary titled Afghanistan Between Three Worlds, worked and delivered stories for CBS, ABC, PBS and also have published two very important books, Afghanistan’s Untold Story and their latest, Crossing Zero: the AfPak War at the Turning Point of American Empire. This is an overview here of what they have found in their research.
First of all, I don’t pretend that I can summarize the situation in Afghanistan. It is extremely complex, far more than any westerner can imagine, because Afghanistan is another world. The mainstream media doing the job of blurring all those areas where our thought needs to be educated and informed, we have most of the time a vision of Afghanistan that is caricatural, grotesque, appearing almost coming out of a Lord of the Rings novel. I will try to do my best to sketch the situation as it appears to be according to the information available in the interviews and videos that you can consult on this page. To be able to get the picture about what is going on in Afghanistan, you have to do the efforts yourself to dig in the information and learn. I can’t do it for you.
To begin with, the ISI, the Pakistani intelligence service, which has strong ties to the military, was a creation more or less of the United States from the start. They are in control of the government of Pakistan since its inception in 1947. The Taliban, in turn, are a creation of the ISI. The ISI bring candidates for the Taliban into « seminaries » where they are formed and trained in Pakistan. Also, you have to realize that there are several branches of the Taliban, active in Pashtun territory, in Punjab territory, in Baluchistan which seeks its own independence, and in various areas of Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. So, understandably, the whole region has to be considered as a same geo-political entity. And the Durand Line (1893), which separates Pakistan and Afghanistan, is highly contested and a serious source of conflict that complicates the situation even more.
Second, a long-term geo-political agenda is at play here, which was first implemented in early 19th century by the British Empire. You will remember that Great Britian and Russia were at war at the very beginning of that century (1807-1812) and at other occasions later on, for example during the Crimean War (1853-1856). That was what is called the « Great Game ». But here, it is the reminiscence of the Anglo-Afgha War, with its two phases, 1839-1842 and 1878-1880, that is even more determinant. The foreign policy of Great Britain and of the United States since the beginning of the 20th century is simply an extension, a continuation of that state of perpetual conflict with Russia through Afghanistan and other states in the same area, which were and still are a proxies. Zbigniew Bzrezinski with his Grand Chessboard game is one of the most proeminent modern architect of that strategy today. The general idea is to seal off China and Russia by creating a wall of states and territories that would be friendly to the interests and to the agenda of the U.S. and of other western states. The end goal here is obviously the control of resources, oil, mines, lands, etc. That is why that part of the world is called the Earth Island, a stretch of land that begins at the Detroit of Gibraltar and goes way up to the confines of China. It is in that part of the world where we find the most resources, the most population, the most lands, etc.