AFGHANISTAN (2009) 1) MATHEW HOH, resigned Foreign Service, 2) MALALAI JOYA, expelled from ParliamentWritten on May 11th, 2021
President Biden will remove all troops from Afghanistan after nearly 20 years, the longest war in our nation’s history. Here are two interviews from 2009: First, MATHEW HOH, a former Marine who resigned from the foreign service in protest. “American families must be reassured their dead have sacrificed for a worthy purpose…and I have lost confidence such assurances can be made.” Second, MALALAI JOYA, youngest member elected to Afghan parliament in 2005, expelled in 2007. “The fact that I was kicked out of office while brutal warlords enjoyed immunity from prosecution should tell you all you need to know about the ‘democracy’ backed by NATO troops.”
From a small town in Northern Michigan to the mountains of Afghanistan and back, a raw and powerful documentary WHERE SOLDIERS COME FROM follows the four-year journey of childhood friends, their families, and their town. At its heart a story about growing up, the film is an intimate look at the young men who fight our wars, where they come from, and their struggles when they return and try to fit back into their previous daily routines. On the podcast, HEATHER COURTNEY, producer/director of the documentary, is joined by DOMINIC FREDIANELLI, one of the young veterans she follows in the film.
Heather Courtney has directed and produced several documentary films including award-winners LETTERS FROM THE OTHER SIDE and LOS TRABAJADORES. She was recently named one of Film Independent’s Top 10 Filmmakers to Watch. LETTERS FROM THE OTHER SIDE was the Closing Night film at the Slamdance Film Festival in January 2006. LOS TRABAJADORES won the Audience Award at SXSW and the International Documentary Association David Wolper award. She spent eight years writing and photographing for the United Nations and several refugee and immigrant rights organizations, including in the Rwandan refugee camps after the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
Just a quick reminder that the Indie Spirit Award-nominated film WHERE SOLDIERS COME FROM is now available on DVD, and if you order today, you’ll get it by Christmas!
You can go to http://www.wheresoldierscomefrom.com/dvd.php or see info below for more info on ordering, to read some reviews and to watch the trailer.
MALOU INNOCENT is a Foreign Policy Analyst at the Cato Institute, and her primary research interests include Middle East and Persian Gulf security issues and U.S. foreign policy toward Pakistan, Afghanistan, and China. Following dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Mass Communications and Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley and a Master of Arts degree in International Relations from the University of Chicago, she has appeared as a guest analyst on CNN, BBC News, Fox News, Al Jazeera, CNBC Asia, and Reuters, and has published in journals such as Foreign Policy, Wall Street Journal, Asia, Christian Science Monitor, Armed Forces Journal, the Guardian, and the Huffington Post.
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Malalai Joya is an Afghan politician who has been called "the bravest woman in Afghanistan." As an elected member of the Wolesi Jirga from Farah province, she has publicly denounced the presence of what she considers warlords and war criminals in the parliament.
The daughter of a former medical student who lost a foot while fighting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Malalai Joya was 4 years old when her family fled Afghanistan in 1982 to the refugee camps of Iran and later Pakistan. After the Soviet withdrawal, Malalai Joya returned to Afghanistan in 1998 during the Taliban's reign. As a young woman she worked as a social activist and was named a director of the non-governmental group, Organisation of Promoting Afghan Women's Capabilities (OPAWC) in the western provinces of Herat and Farah
Title of Joya's autobiography "Raising My Voice", which was published in the US/Canada under the title of "A Woman Among Warlords" was published in October 2009
Noam Chomsky writes: "Perhaps the most remarkable feature of this inspiring memoir is that despite the horrors she relates, Malalai Joya leaves us with hope that the tormented people of Afghanistan can take their fate into their own hands if they are released from the grip of foreign powers, and that they can reconstruct a decent society from the wreckage left by decades of intervention and the merciless rule of the Taliban and the warlords who the invaders have imposed upon them."