September 23, 2003
"Did U.S. Forces Allow a Massacre of 3,000 Taliban Prisoners to Occur?" BuzzFlash asks Jamie Doran, Producer-Director of "Afghan Massacre: The Convoy of Death"
A BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW
This riveting documentary charges that American forces were present at and permitted the massacre of approximately 3,000 Taliban prisoners. Although it has been shown in Europe, "Afghan Massacre: The Convoy of Death" has received virtual little distribution or air time in the United States.
"Afghan Massacre" tells of how American Special Forces took control of the operation, re-directed the containers carrying the living and dead into the desert and stood by as survivors were shot and buried.
And it details how the Pentagon lied to the world in order to cover up its role in the greatest atrocity of the entire Afghan War. This is the documentary they did not want you to see.
"'Afghan Massacre' was produced over ten months in extremely dangerous circumstances: eyewitnesses were threatened and subsequently killed, the film crew were forced into hiding and our researcher was savagely beaten to within an inch of his life. He was recently awarded the 2002 Rory Peck Award for Hard News, The SONY Award and the film has been nominated for a Royal Television Society Award for Current Affairs."
BuzzFlash didn't want this grim, compelling documentary to become lost in the tidal wave of Bush Administration lies and deception. Worthy of note is also a bizarre interview with Richard Perle who feigns shock at the notion that such a war crime could have occurred, even though Rumsfeld was running around at the time proclaiming that he didn't care how we got rid of the Taliban.
The documentary can be obtained at (http://www.acftv.com/archive/article.asp?archive_id=1)
we interviewed Jamie Doran, the European-based
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BUZZFLASH: There are several events leading up the massacre that our readers should understand before we get into the more troubling issues in your film. Can you give us some history and background in Afghanistan and how you got involved in making a documentary about this tragedy?
JAMIE DORAN: In early December of 2001, I was a news reporter covering the war, or the so-called war, in Afghanistan. In early December, I was at the opening of the Freedom Bridge or Friendship Bridge –- depending on whose interpretation -- between Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. This is a major event because the bridge had been closed for all those years during Taliban rule. And of course, that meant that all the various war lords sent their people to give themselves representation -- you know there’s a kind of territorial approach to everything that happens in Afghanistan.
Anyone who knows Afghanistan knows that the various ethnic groups don't exactly go out to dinner together. They would probably rather blow each other’s brains out. And what I heard from two different ethnic groups –- two different warlord soldiers -– was that American soldiers had been breaking the necks of Taliban prisoners. Now this obviously was, you know, of interest to me because I thought it needed some investigation. So I began my investigation, first of all, to try and find out was there any basis to it, and secondly, to actually employ a full-time researcher on the job to actually do the work, because I couldn't spend my whole time in Afghanistan. It ended up that I actually spent an enormous time there, but that was unexpected.
Let’s go through some of the background. 8,000 Taliban soldiers had given themselves up at the siege of Kunduz, when the Northern alliance surrounded the town and Taliban soldiers were effectively stuck inside. Then we know that about 470 soldiers decided not to surrender and had gone off on their own to fight a "last stand" near Mazar-I-Sharif – they were all killed in the battle.
The rest of the surrendered Taliban –- about 7,500 -- were sent to a prison at Kalai Janghi including John Walker Lindh, the American Taliban. Kalai Janghi was an old 19th century fortress that was now being used as a prison. At the Kalai Janghi prison of course the riots broke out.
BUZZFLASH: Right, and that was where Mike Spann, a CIA agent, was killed during the prison uprising. Now the prison uprising at Kalai Janghi lasted three days. But one of the questions I have is how the Taliban were able to not only initiate a prison uprising, but also hold out for three days? The fighting was described as vicious. American and British -– as indicated in your documentary -- were involved in suppressing the insurrection. In fact, there was even a mortar attack from the prisoners that almost killed one of your researchers. How were the prisoners able to get access to arms? Did they find a cache of weapons in the prison?
DORAN: It was utterly bizarre. If you look at Kalai Janghi, you will find there are two main kind of quadrants to the fort. For some wildly crazy, perhaps Afghan reason, they hadn't considered the fact that they housed the Taliban prisoners in the section -– the quadrant –- where the munitions dump was. Their armory was actually in the same section that the Taliban had been housed in. So when the Taliban broke out, the first thing they did was head for the armory. And of course, there they had a plethora of Kalashnikovs and RPGs -– everything else you can imagine –- and were actually able to put up a hell of a good fight.
BUZZFLASH: General Dostum, a Northern Alliance warlord who was friendly to the U.S. whom we’re going to talk about later, said that he lost 47 men and that 205 were injured, in the documentary.
DORAN: He lost quite a number of his men, but also, crucially, he lost a couple of his very favorite generals. And as a result of that, if you like, revenge got in the air. Once the prison uprising was put down, the media found about the American Taliban, John Walker Lindh.
Everyone, as you know from the film, forgets about the other seven and a half thousand prisoners. The world’s media is obsessed with John Walker Lindh. When he’s captured, they get their interviews or they get their clips, and then off they go, and everyone disappears. No one bothered asking what happened to the other seven and a half thousand Taliban. And this, of course, was the key to my story.
Well those seven and a half thousand Taliban prisoners were first taken to a place called Kalai Zeini -- which was kind of a holding depot. The Taliban prisoners were to be taken to another prison in Sheberghan.
The American Special Forces and CIA had effectively taken control of Sheberghan prison where they could actually screen the prisoners. They have to filter to actually see who was there –- who were the bad guys and where they were from: who was Al-Qaeda, who was simple Taliban, who was heavy Taliban, et cetera, et cetera,?
And so the processing of the prisoners had to happen, but there was no place to put them. You understand? There’s no other major prison in the area. That’s the only prison. Although the Sheberghan prison holds 500 to 600 people, they squeeze in 3,000.
But there’s no room for the other 3,500 to 4,500 remaining surrendered Taliban soldiers. And remember, some of them were sold to their respective security agencies, and Lord knows what happened to them, because these are not the kindest people in the world.
Now the plan is that 7,500 Taliban prisoners were all being taken to Sheberghan Prison. Again, here’s a prison built to take 500 to 600 at most, okay? I was at Sheberghan. I was in Sheberghan a number of times. In fact, when I was there, there was only about 2,000 there. It was crammed. There was no room at the inn, as they say. So when you’re moving seven and a half thousand people into a prison that’s built to take 500 –- you squeeze two to three thousand in there. There isn't any room at the inn left. What are you going to do with the 3,000 that you can't squeeze into the prison? And what I’m suggesting to you is that in many ways, in the great Afghan tradition, sadly, this massacre was preplanned. A number of these people who surrendered at Kunduz were never, ever expected to make it alive.
BUZZFLASH: In other words, the implication is well, because these are Taliban soldiers, there’s no room or no place to put them –- no one can trust sending them somewhere else, or no other country wants them, so the last result is to kill them.
BUZZFLASH: And the Taliban fighters that were not from Afghanistan and were sold to their country’s security agencies, the probability is that they were tortured for information?
DORAN: Of course -- automatically. And almost certainly dead.
BUZZFLASH: Okay so let’s recap these events because this is important.
DORAN: --8,000 Taliban surrender at Kunduz.
--470 Taliban break away and end up being killed in a final battle near Mazar.
--At the Kalai Janghi prison where many surrender Taliban are held, an uprising breaks out and CIA agent Mike Spann is killed. The American Taliban John Walker Lindh is discovered. Most journalists go home.
--Okay, the other 7,500 are then processed through Kalai Janghi -– the plan is to take all the prisoners to the Sheberghan prison to be interrogated and to root out which men are Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters.
--The first 3,000 or so to move on to Sheberghan –- they were the lucky ones. They went transported in open-backed trucks and taken to Sheberghan where they were processed by the American forces on the ground, checking for identity, everything else.
--There’s another 3,500 or so yet to come to Sheberghan.
--Many Taliban fighters from other countries are handed over to the various security agencies.
--But you still have these 3,000 men who have to be processed by the American forces at Sheberghan. There is no room at the inn. The prison is several times beyond capacity. What do you do with them?
BUZZFLASH: And here is where we get to the truly disturbing part of your documentary. Trucks loaded with airtight containers are brought in. And surrendered Taliban soldiers are literally packed into the airtight containers to travel many miles to their destination -– the Sheberghan prison.
DORAN: That’s right. Before long, Northern Alliance soldiers hear pounding inside the containers as the men inside are gasping for air. And there are accounts of soldiers shooting into the containers, even admitting killing soldiers to create ventilation holes.
BUZZFLASH: One soldier who you interviewed saw blood pouring from the containers after he shot into them.
DORAN: The key about the ventilation holes, by the way, is that if they were genuinely just trying to give air, they, of course, like any logical individual, would actually shoot just through the very top of the container, if you like. From a ground position, they would shoot along the top to actually allow air because, you know, their heads don't come up that high. If you actually see the containers, both in my film and the other ones I saw, they actually shoot sporadically right across the boards – you know, from the bottom through the middle, and up the top.
BUZZFLASH: When the trucks eventually reach Sheberghan prison and people open the containers, witnesses in your film describe a graphic scene. Of course there are these horrific accounts of how many people died in each container. But even more haunting, is that not everyone inside the containers did die according to some of your witnesses. Your film indicates that the 3,000 men that died inside these airtight containers was not a mistake. And those that survived the journey had to be executed, correct? Before all the bodies are buried in a mass grave at Dasht Leile?
DORAN: Well, that’s key to the whole thing, because the most important thing, from the American point of view, was that these people had to be processed -– interrogated by intelligence officials at Sheberghan. They needed to know more than anything else, the identities of the people, okay?
So the reason that this transportation of only 120 kilometers took up to four days was that the containers were actually queuing in long lines outside Sheberghan Prison. The containers were taken into Sheberghan. The living and the dead were poured off the containers. American CIA and Special Forces then searched for identification, along with the Northern Alliance and General Dostum. And then crucially, the living and the dead, many of whom had simply lost consciousness, were then thrown back onto the back of lorries and, under the orders of an American officer, taken out to the dessert. One of my witnesses was told, "Get rid of them. Just get them out of here before satellite pictures can be taken."
BUZZFLASH: You interviewed a Northern Alliance General, Abdul Ramatulah. At one point, your researcher asks him about the containers. And his demeanor changes, and he says, "Oh, you shouldn't ask me about the containers."
DORAN: That’s right.
BUZZFLASH: Watching the documentary, no one’s overtly suggesting that the American Special Forces who were there and in control, orchestrated the mass murder. The real implication is that -– and I’m not saying that this is any less serious –- that the American Special Forces just let it happen. That U.S. Special Forces watched and stood idly by as some Northern Alliance commanders basically did away with 3,000 surrendered Taliban soldiers. Would you agree with that?
DORAN: I have to tell you I think it’s stronger than that. In fact, I know it to be stronger than that. I don't know if you ever saw that shocking Newsweek report which they did entirely off the back of my film. And they came to see me and interviewed me. And then they called me up the week before publication for final quotes. And then suddenly, when the piece appears, I’m not mentioned, which is not a problem for me. But amazingly, it’s like an apologist’s piece, suggesting that there was no evidence of American involvement whatsoever.
But again, if you read the article clearly and carefully, you’ll see that there’s a beginning and there’s an end, and there’s nothing in the middle. And what’s the best way of putting this? I understand that there was more information in the original article which –- let’s just say it didn't make into the magazine.
When I was showing my film at the American University in Washington, one of the Newsweek authors was there –- and this is all on camera, not in the documentary but on camera –- and he admitted that the entire article was based on my film. But then he attempted to defend Newsweek’s approach and was suggesting that American forces were not involved and had no knowledge of the events.
The Newsweek journalist then, after this great attempt at defense -– and believe me, he failed –- just about an hour after that meeting, he called me on my cell phone and said, "Jamie, I didn't know you had so much information. Can I see the film again? Can I get a copy?"
If you remember Newsweek claimed that only, I think, four or four and a half thousand actually surrendered at Kunduz. And here I was, and the very points you make, with the General at Kalai Janghi admitting to processing over 7,000 prisoners. So Newsweek effectively had simply ignored the existence -- or frankly their failed journalism had not enabled them to actually even understand how many prisoners had been processed in the first place.
BUZZFLASH: There is potentially several levels of concern in regards to American forces. Some would argue that even if the U.S. soldiers weren't involved, they were in control of the situation. One implication could be that even if they didn't know about it, they should have known about it. Although some of your witness claim that U.S. soldiers were present when the 3,000 Taliban were buried in a mass grave at Dasht Leile and stood idly by as though Taliban that were killed being transported in the containers were summarily executed.
DORAN: Let me tell you something on that. If I had been in Dasht Leile, I could have stopped the massacre. Any Westerner could have stopped that massacre. I know Afghanistan rather well, and I know the way that Westerners are perceived by the Afghanis. Sometimes I would have 100 to 150 people running along the streets after me and my camera. And I would come and say, "Stop," and they would stop on the spot and not move.
Equally, at one point during the war, I affected 40 Northern Alliance soldiers baying for the blood of the first Taliban prisoner who was captured. And I was lucky enough to interview the guy. I then stopped him being murdered, okay? I turned to them all. I formed every single face in the room, and I said, "You will face war crimes -– a war crimes tribunal -– if anything happens to this man." He’s probably one of the few Taliban who actually made it out alive. But this guy was absolutely scared beyond belief. And these guys clearly were about to murder him. And I’ll bet you he’s still alive today.
And the point I’m making is that when you have fifty-plus American Special Forces in effective command and control of Sheberghan Prison, there is no way they are taking orders from Afghans. They are in charge. And don't forget one of my witnesses specifically says that an American officer ordered the removal of the bodies -– the living and the dead –- out to the desert.
BUZZFLASH: Your documentary talks about the existence of a smoking gun -- which you haven't seen -– that implicates U.S. soldiers involvement in the form of a videotape. Allegedly the videotape documents when the containers were ordered out to the desert to dispose of the bodies in a mass grave. Those men that hadn't yet died were summarily executed. Your researcher, Najibullah Quaraishi, saw part of that videotape and attempted to make a copy of it. While attempting to make a copy he was attacked and beaten. Do you have any idea if the videotape still exists? There’s some implication in your documentary that the Northern Alliance warlord, General Dostum, keeps it as an insurance policy so that if there was ever a war crimes tribunal, Dostum could show American soldiers involved or complicit in the massacre and create an utter military and political disaster for the United States government.
DORAN: It’s pretty obvious that it is an insurance policy. And the answer to your question is I have no idea if the videotape still exists.
BUZZFLASH: What else besides that videotape, or some other videotape or pictures of some kind, could be conclusive enough to essentially force a serious international inquiry into the massacre?
DORAN: That’s actually damned easy to answer, and it’s in the film, in the sense that it is the witnesses. I mean, as you know, normally these massacres -– for instance, Bosnia or whatever –- are not videotaped, okay?
As one professor of international law has said very clearly, instances like this massacre rely on eyewitness testimony. And that the diversity of the witnesses is key to the evidential nature of what we were producing. And we have this diversity of witnesses, I can assure you.
As I said to you at the very beginning, you have to understand that the various ethnic groups do not mix. They simply don't mix. And when I have people from every single ethnic background, from very different –- I mean, widespread regions of Afghanistan –- the drivers of the containers for example, giving this evidence, then that evidence is easily sufficient to bring about an investigation. As I say to you, it’s not about a videotape of one event or another, because normally these things are not videotaped. It’s about the strength of the witnesses. And this is why some of my witnesses have been murdered.
BUZZFLASH: You interviewed Richard Perle. Perle acknowledged that if your claims in the documentary are true, then there should be an investigation. It does seem to bother him, at least for the sake of the cameras, that there’s an implication that U.S. soldiers may have been involved. Tell me more about your interview with Perle -– what you did not put on the film. And secondly, why hasn't the Pentagon and the U.S. Administration authorized an inquiry?
DORAN: Well, I’ll answer the second one first, and then go back to Perle. And that is, of course, because they know they’re guilty. They know their men carried out war crimes. They know their men were in command and control of the operation. And they know that their men will, if an open investigation takes place, will face courts martial at the very least.
The American authorities will hide behind this statement that’s been made very clear that their men will not be tried for war crimes abroad. What they don't seem to recognize is that these are crimes under American military law also. You know that -– was it Lieutenant Calley and My Lai? He was not tried by a Vietnamese Court. He was not tried at the Hague. He was tried by an American military court in the United States.
DORAN: That’s what this is about. These are crimes under American military law. And all I’ve ever asked for is an open investigation. Let’s put all the cards on the table here. Let’s be utterly open. Let’s give security to these incredibly brave witnesses to actually be able to tell what they saw, what they witnessed.
Now going back to Richard Perle. You will notice that I didn't try and interview what some people would describe as the usual suspects -- i.e., some kind of people with a left-wing agenda, or something like that. I went specifically for people like Robert Fox from the Institute of Strategic Studies, which is a right-wing group in the U.K.
I love one of the phrases of Richard Perle in the film: the U.S. wasn't particularly keen on having General Dostum as an ally. They would have preferred Mother Teresa, but she wasn't available. Well, you know, no one would ever describe Richard Perle as Mother Teresa either, but he, in the film, specifically says that, if this evidence is available, then there should be an investigation.
BUZZFLASH: Did you ask him specifically about the fact that there are eyewitness accounts –- that a researcher of yours saw footage of U.S. involvement in the massacre?
DORAN: Let me tell you: Richard Perle was absolutely shocked. Let’s just say that I haven't given him all the detail I had before the interview. Perle was absolutely shocked by the detail I gave him, and if you look at him in the film, you can actually see the shock in his face. And it was very interesting that, after the interview, I went outside to have a cigarette, as I do after interviews. And Richard came out after me and said specifically, "Jamie, how high does this go?" And my answer to him was that I know at least it goes as high as Rumsfeld’s office. And we’re talking about the cover-up.
BUZZFLASH: There’s no question that if this was ever exposed or could be proven -– if these allegations are true that it would be a crisis to say the least.
DORAN: So many people have lied about this story, so many people have defended the indefensible, that, yes, I mean, heads would roll. I’m talking about people like spokespersons for the Pentagon, who must know that they aren't reflecting the true facts. And frankly, some of them will appear at a forthcoming inquiry, because, believe me, there will be an inquiry.
BUZZFLASH: Conducted by the Hague?
DORAN: I don't know if it will be the Hague. I’m certainly hoping that it will be under American military law. I won't go into too much detail –- far more evidence will come forward on this story and I would be amazed if, coincidentally, it didn't actually come out at the time of the Guantanamo trials. And thus, if America is trying Taliban prisoners for war crimes -– many of whom, incidentally, were taken from Sheberghan Prison for the great crime of speaking English -– then I think it’s going to be fascinating when further evidence comes out during the Guantanamo trials of war crimes committed by their own men.
BUZZFLASH: Are you trying to get your documentary distributed in the United States? How can people get the film? Is it appearing in different film festivals?
DORAN: I think actually this month alone, it’s being seen at seven different festivals around the world. It’s been seen at countless festivals. I’ve done so many interviews it would bore you, frankly, to every single country you can imagine, including countries like Iran.
I think it was Tehran radio came on and they would say things to me like, you know, "So these American men -– these American soldiers –- they murdered the prisoners in front of these people." And I would say, "No, that’s not true."
Then again, "and so these American soldiers –- they were cutting the neck of Taliban soldiers." No, that’s not true. "So these . . ." and I said, "Look, do you want to hear the truth? Because you know I have no political agenda. If you check my background, I have no affiliations of any kind whatsoever. I have no political affiliations of any kind. And the reality is that the film has now been seen in almost thirty countries worldwide. And why? I have to laugh. Why are the American people being denied the opportunity to make up their own minds on the evidence? Isn't that democracy: that people can actually make up their own minds? This is the home of press freedom, the world’s largest of all, in fact, apart from India –- certainly the world’s foremost democracy. And yet at the moment, you have this pervasive atmosphere of fear and control through paranoia in your country, whereby broadcasters are frightened to even consider showing such a film.
BUZZFLASH: You mentioned Newsweek. Why is it that American journalists haven't contacted you? Or have you contacted them about the information in the documentary?
DORAN: Well, American journalists have contacted me, and it’s been rather fascinating. I think I may have mentioned to you before, but if I didn't , one journalist who’s rather well-published in the NYT, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal –- she was following this story down and couldn't understand why none of the nationals would touch it. You know, a few regional newspapers took it, but the nationals wouldn't take her article, which was obviously a very big story. Why wouldn't they touch it?
Well, one journalist told me that she talked to a high ranking State Department spokesperson and asked him why this was being covered up. "You have to understand we’re in touch with the nationals on a daily basis," he told her. "This story just won't run, even if it’s true." Now if that doesn't explain to you why the story isn't appearing across America –- although I have to say to you now, including your own interview, it’s beginning to happen. It’s coming up. I’m interviewing with a Chicago publication. I had a New York Film Festival on this morning. I’ve been offered a forty or fifty cinema or theatre release across America. I’m supposed to be doing a tour of America in, you know, January-February, to the universities and et cetera. So it’s not going away. That’s the key thing. It’s not going away. And frankly if any of your readers want to get hold of the film, they just go onto the website acftv.com.
BUZZFLASH: We should point out that since you’ve finished the documentary, two eyewitnesses that you interviewed were killed. And several other witnesses -- some involved with your film, some not -- have been arrested, detained and tortured. The people you interviewed are at great risk essentially.
DORAN: They’re at enormous risk. The two men that died, I mean, all the witnesses who took part, were phenomenally brave, beyond belief. And in fact, the terrible sadness, as you know, I disguised their voices and their faces. But the two men who died hadn't even asked for their faces to be disguised. It was a decision I took myself. And I have to tell you: I’m fantastically angry over their deaths for other reasons. I understand that certain groups knew that they had been taken three weeks before they were finally killed. These men were being tortured for 21-22 days before they were finally killed –- "dispatched" was the phrase, one of the phrases I heard. And what shocked me about that is that I understand the Afghan system, and you should know that we’ve managed to be able to get about five guys who were also arrested, who were taken in –- we’ve managed to get them away.
I openly admit to paying ransoms, to paying this, that and the other thing –- also into many, many thousands of dollars -- to save, to get these guys out of there. I was not given the opportunity even to save these two men. And I still feel, to this day, and would have been willing to do so, I still feel that I could have paid to save their lives. And I was not given that opportunity. And certain Western groups knew that these men had been taken, and did not tell me. And for me, that’s entirely unforgivable. I look after my people. I look after my witnesses. These people knew about this and didn't tell me. We were specifically keeping a low profile to give them, if you like, space –- not to draw attention to them. When these men were taken, I should have been informed immediately, and this did not happen. And as I said to you, when that happened, we managed then to get five others out. Three others were actually taken in, and I paid money to get them out. One of them -- one of the three, incidentally -- was beaten within an inch of his life.
BUZZFLASH: And you yourself have been threatened, correct?
DORAN: Of course. It goes with the territory. We leave these people there. It’s all my life, you know, from places you cannot imagine. I’ve gone into silly places, and, you know, we think we’re all big tough journalists going into these places, okay? But we’re only there for a week, two weeks, three weeks. We then leave, and we will leave the people whom we were with, fighting on in their way. They’re the ones who are in danger -– not people like me.
I am someone who loathed the Taliban beyond belief. I was fired upon by them on a good number of occasions, because, frankly, unlike the other brave 600 journalists or so in Northern Afghanistan, I paid enough money in bribes to actually live on the front line during the war. And, you know, I got to know these people. And frankly, it’s a bizarre thing, I have to say to you. The Afghans are absolutely beautiful people, they’re beautiful, but the value of life is almost zero. And America got into bed with one devil opposing another devil, and is now trying to, if you like, almost apologize for its association with one devil when their men actually got involved in murder and war crimes.
BUZZFLASH: I know you interviewed at length and relied on a lot of the work of Andrew McEntee, a human rights lawyer whose investigated the mass grave at Dasht Leile. What’s next in terms of what is he doing and how are other people involved in getting the word out about what happened and about "Afghan Massacre"?
DORAN: Well, Andrew McEntee is now the head of Human Rights at the OSCE -– that’s the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe –- based in Belgrade now, and he’s still following his human rights drive. I think the man, more than anyone else we should be talking about, is Najibullah Quaraishi, who was an astonishingly brave man. After his beating, we had to put him into hiding, as you know. And finally we brought him and his family to London, where they are now living. Najibullah would love one day to return to his homeland. He doesn't want to stay in Britain. He’s an Afghan, and would love one day to return. But that can only be under circumstances where the whole regime has changed.
I understand in recent days that General Dostum has effectively been given control of Northern Afghanistan. Just in the last week and a half, there have been major battles in Northern Afghanistan that no one refers to in the Western press anymore, because they’re still trying to portray Afghanistan as something of a success. Afghanistan is in a bigger mess just now than it ever was before the war.
Albeit, we got rid of the Taliban, but did we? They’re still ruling half the hillsides of Afghanistan. They’re still killing God-knows-how-many people. As I told you before, I have no time for these people whatsoever. But, you know, we replaced one bad bunch with another bunch of warlords. And when Hamid Karzai talks about running the Afghan government, that’s only if the Afghan government remains within the boundaries of Kabul. Outside Kabul, he has no influence.
And the warlords are stronger and richer than they ever were. The amount of money being taken in import duties, bribes and drugs is absolutely mind-boggling. We are now talking billions of dollars. These men have everything at their hands, and, you know, this is called a liberated country.
BUZZFLASH: Jamie Doran, thank you so much for your time. Good luck with your film.
DORAN: Thank you.
A BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW
otherwise noted, all original