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  • Approved for CNN

  • Click to view WDAGarner's profile
    Posted September 26, 2011 by
    WDAGarner
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    10 years in Afghanistan

    More from WDAGarner

    Inside a Taliban Village

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     WDAGarner shares these snapshots from his 2009 tour of Afghanistan. He traveled to the country to interview people and do research for Joseph David Osman's book, 'Surrender to Kindness: One Man's Epic Journey for Love and Peace.' He tells us that, in his experience, Afghans are generally welcoming of U.S. troops: 'Some Afghans ran up to soldiers and to me, shaking hands and offering flatbread and tea.' However, he says that regarding U.S. civilians, Afghans were generally wary. 'They knew these Americans were there for a reason other than to help the Afghans and their country,' he says.

    Of life after the Taliban, he comments: 'Way out in the countryside where there are more goats and lambs than Afghans, life hasn't changed too much since the Taliban left. Only in those districts and villages where the Taliban were active and present do we see a real change: the people are now free. [...] Unfortunately, though, in small districts and almost all villages, the women still suffer the arcane laws of the past -- they are not allowed out except in the company of an adult male, and they must wear the infamous burqa.'
    - elchueco, CNN iReport producer

    Traditional Afghan values do not apply inside a Taliban village.

     

    In other villages, the elders are highly respected, as they are in all tribal societies, for their wisdom, justice and oral history.

     

    Young adults, teens and children rule in a Taliban village, where anarchy seems the norm. Visitors are largely not welcome. And when one does stray in, they're swarmed by an army of little stinging and biting ants that don't stop until only a carcass remains.

     

    The Taliban have always sought to rewrite the societal, religious and moral traditions, and history of Afghanistan. If we in the western world allow radical groups like the Taliban to flourish, we will see a new brand of terrorism, one born of fire and anger and determination.

     

    Remember: those to whom evil is done will in turn do evil to others. . . .

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