Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 18 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Life Arts    H2'ed 1/9/10

Veteran Journalists Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould Give OpEdNews the Lowdown on Afghanistan

By       (Page 1 of 3 pages)   No comments
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Joan Brunwasser
Become a Fan
  (89 fans)

Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould are a husband and wife team of journalists who have spent the last thirty years keeping a close eye on Afghanistan. They are the go-to folks if you want to really understand this hot spot and its history. Welcome to OpEdNews, Paul and Liz. Your book, Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story, came out last year. Please tell our readers a bit about your background and what made you the right ones for the job.

(Image by Unknown Owner)   Details   DMCA

Big things were happening in 1978, with new approaches to old problems as the Carter administration vowed to eliminate the threat of nuclear war and reevaluated detente with the Soviet Union. The Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty, SALT was a major vehicle for these changes and by 1979 we had focused on its impact by interviewing the central figures. By the end of 1979, we had finished a documentary called the Arms Race and the Economy, A Delicate Balance, analyzing the effects of defense spending on the US economy. Having experienced a decade of improving relations with the Soviet Union our documentary was received with great interest.

Then, on December 27, 1979, the Soviet invasion of neighboring Afghanistan rocked the world. Weeks later the government of Afghanistan expelled 1,135 Western journalists, leaving what President Carter had labeled "the greatest threat to peace since the Second World War," cloaked in a veil of darkness. Officially viewed as a long awaited thrust by the Soviet Union toward the Persian Gulf and a dangerous threat to American interests, dialogue with the Soviet Union ceased. Within months, we witnessed not only the dismantling of detente, but a near complete suspension of the cautionary approach to nuclear weapons born of the Cuban missile crisis.

Then, an article in Foreign Policy magazine in 1980 caught our attention. Titled Victory is Possible Colin Gray and Keith Payne laid out what was to become the Reagan Doctrine. "If American nuclear power is to support US foreign policy objectives," they wrote, "the United States must possess the ability to wage nuclear war rationally." Since 1945 the U.S. had struggled with the idea of using its nuclear weapons to fight a war rationally but had come up empty handed. But here were two thinkers doing just that and justifying it with a medieval concept known as the Just War Doctrine of the Catholic Church:

"Force can be used in a just cause; with the right intent; with a reasonable chance of success; in order that, if successful its use offers a better future than would have been the case had it not been employed; to a degree proportional to the goals sought, or to the evil combated; and with the determination to spare noncombatants, when there is a reasonable chance of doing so."

Somehow, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan had thrown American thinking back to the Middle Ages and into the realm of Holy War to justify what all sides had heretofore considered the madness of nuclear war. As we watched the Washington bureaucracy empty of moderate voices, Afghanistan became the rallying cry for an arms buildup that would end public debate about American foreign policy.

But how could the media after Vietnam and Watergate almost en masse take the Afghan story at face value, refusing to question serious omissions that emanated from Washington? That January, we appealed to the Afghan Charge d'Affaires at the United Nations to allow us to bring a TV crew into Kabul to see for ourselves what the Soviets were up to. Six months later, our request for the first visa to enter Afghanistan behind Soviet lines was granted. When CBS News wanted our exclusive story we were on our way.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

Joan Brunwasser Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Interview with Dr. Margaret Flowers, Arrested Tuesday at Senate Roundtable on Health Care

Renowned Stanford Psychologist Carol Dweck on "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success"

Howard Zinn on "The People Speak," the Supreme Court and Haiti

Snopes confirms danger of Straight Ticket Voting (STV)

Fed Up With Corporate Tax Dodgers? Check Out!

Literary Agent Shares Trade Secrets With New Writers

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend