Reaping the Whirlwind

Overview

Cut adrift after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Afghanistan has become a political no-man's-land.
Historically an artifical "buffer state", Afghanistan has in recent years become the geopolitical playground of a variety of competitng interests - the Americans, the Saudis, Russians and Pakistanis, let alone drug barons, arms dealers and oil interests.

Afghanistan's unstable and problematic history is now ...
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Overview

Cut adrift after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Afghanistan has become a political no-man's-land.
Historically an artifical "buffer state", Afghanistan has in recent years become the geopolitical playground of a variety of competitng interests - the Americans, the Saudis, Russians and Pakistanis, let alone drug barons, arms dealers and oil interests.

Afghanistan's unstable and problematic history is now further complicated by the emergence of the Taliban - one of the most conservative and least understood Islamic movements in the world.The Taliban continues to grab the headlines, most notably for their appalling treatment of women, and their connections to Osama bin Laden.

Investigative journalist Michael Griffin draws numerous interviews with key protganists, and offers a fasccinating eyewitness picture drawn from three extensive trips to Afghanistan. He paints the fullest picture yet of the Taliban movement, its origins, beliefs, religious and political ethos, and the character and impact of its particular brand of fundamentalism.
In the process he reveals the controversial nature of the Taliban's links with the CIA, Saudi Arabia and other vested interests. Who is to blame for the present situation? What conspiracies and collusions led to this pass? The author's conclusion reveals his view of where the "smoking gun" is pointed.
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Editorial Reviews

LA Times
A necessary book... a meticulous dissection of the limits of power in a violently sectarian society.
Middle East Journal
A timely and informative book on a topic that is certain to fire the imagination of both scholars and elements in the news and entertainment media.
New Statesman
A splendid book.
New York Times Book Review
Filled with dramatic moments, ironies and political intrigues ... Griffin writes engagingly.
NY Times Book Review
Filled with dramatic moments, ironies and political intrigues ... Griffin writes engagingly.
Booknews
An interpretive history, a whodunit he calls it, rather than a chronological account, though he appends a chronology, in which journalist Griffin sketches events from October 1994 when the Taliban first appeared in Kandahar, through their defiance of the US over Osama bin-Ladin and the military coup in Pakistan, to the imposition of US and UN sanctions in late 2000. Among his conclusions is both that the Taliban and the squabbling coalition of forces that ejected the Soviet Union and were defeated by the Taliban were both orchestrated by foreign powers whose interest lay less in the fate of ordinary Afghans than the country's role in a grander geopolitical design. Distributed in the US by Stylus. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745312743
  • Publisher: Pluto Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/2000
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.44 (w) x 8.62 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Griffin is a widely traveled freelance writer and journalist who has worked as an information consultant for UNICEF in Afghanistan. He is currently News Editor for Index on Censorship.
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Table of Contents

Maps
List of Abbreviations
Preface
Timeline
1 The Killing of Najibullah 1
2 City of Night 16
3 Warriors of God 30
4 Mission to Cleanse 48
5 Burning Down the House 63
6 The Zahir Option 78
7 The New Emirates 92
8 Nest of Vipers 105
9 Oblivion's Feast 118
10 Hostages 132
11 Ignoble Grave 147
12 A Fistful of Dollars 165
13 Satellites and Stars 180
14 The Bicycle Thieves 194
15 Mr. Sam vs the Food and Beverage Industry 206
16 Head of the Snake 218
17 Manual of a Raid 243
18 The First Circle 263
19 The Storm of Airplanes 283
20 The Road to Kandahar 308
21 The Battle of Shah-i Kot 334
22 The Raw and the Cooked 353
Notes 387
App. 1 The Who's Who of the Taliban 416
App. 2 Principal Characters 418
Index 421
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