Feb 23, 2008

Report from Afghanistan

Sarah Chayes—former Monitor Radio, Paris-based freelance reporter, and NPR reporter, whose work was always admirably hard-nosed and of high quality—stopped reporting in 2002 and returned to Afghanistan to at the invitation of the uncle of Hamid Karzai, and worked in Afghans for Civil Society, a non-profit group founded by Karzai's brother. She left that post after less than a year but has stayed, at great danger to herself, to help form a cooperative--the Arghand Cooperative--that produces fruit, nut and botanical skin care products. She is a brave woman. Only Bill Moyers would even think of having her on to get the story about her work in Afghanistan. The interview presents unique viewpoint on the conflict in Afghanistan and most importantly suggests why the efforts of the United States and NATO are going badly.

It is not the story you get from the mainstream media. Her reporter's eyes are still sharp and her analysis of the situation on the ground will help educate the American public.

Catch it here and watch it a couple of times if you can. Here's the final moment, the question asked by a Bill Moyers who is almost embarrassed to ask it, admiring her dedication and fearing for her survival:

BILL MOYERS: There's a thin line. As I listen to you, there's a thin line we sometimes walk, we human beings, between hope and folly. . . Are you very close to that line?

SARAH CHAYES: I don't think that hope is relevant. I think determination is all that counts. You just have to try. It doesn't matter if you hope you're going succeed or not. You have to keep trying.

She is a brave woman. After you see her speak out passionately about her life and her work and criticize the situation on the ground, you have to wish her well and, like Moyers, have the hope that she will survive.

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