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

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Joan Brunwasser       (Page 1 of 5 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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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.



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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.

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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:


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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...)
 

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