Afghanistan Topics

Democracy Now! has regularly covered the Afghanistan War since it was launched Oct. 7, 2001. Over the years, we have interviewed dozens of independent journalists, civilians living in the conflict zones, scholars, veterans, and antiwar activists.

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  • Malaria_soldier
    As Staff. Sgt. Robert Bales is charged with murdering 17 Afghans, we speak with reporter Mark Benjamin, who revealed the Pentagon recently launched an emergency review of a controversial anti-malaria drug known to induce psychotic behavior. Mefloquine, also called Lariam, is used to protect soldiers from malaria, but has been known to have side effects including paranoia and hallucinations. It has been implicated in a number of suicides and...
    Mar 27, 2012 | Story
  • Afghantroops
    We speak with journalist Neil Shea, who has reported on Afghanistan and Iraq since 2006 for Stars and Stripes and other publications. Shea discusses his experiences witnessing disturbing behavior during his travels with U.S. troops in Afghanistan and offers insight into understanding the massacre of 16 Afghan civilians. "When we cycle our soldiers and marines through these wars that don’t really have a clear purpose over years and...
    Mar 16, 2012 | Story
  • Ranginahamidi
    Amid U.S. vows to stay in Afghanistan until 2014, we speak with Afghan businesswoman Rangina Hamidi, who argues the U.S. presence there makes the security situation worse. "If the U.S. soldiers cannot do their job, as we are now seeing even more evidence of that philosophy, then I think it is only fair to ask them to leave," Hamidi says. After residing in the United States, Hamidi returned to her native Afghanistan shortly after the...
    Mar 16, 2012 | Story
  • Splash_image20120316-3741-l104lq-0
    In a new film, psychologist and filmmaker Jan Haaken embeds with military therapists in Afghanistan and at their training at Joint Base Lewis-McChord — where the alleged U.S. shooter of Afghan civilians is from. Lewis-McChord has a controversial record of addressing mental health problems, including high rates of suicides, domestic violence and homicides by soldiers. It was also home to the notorious "kill team," a group of...
    Mar 16, 2012 | Story
  • Splash_image20120316-3741-8k3b07-0
    Afghan businesswoman Rangina Hamidi remembers the late award-winning photographer Paula Lerner, who has died of breast cancer at the age of 52. Lerner was the principal photographer for the Emmy Award-winning project, "Behind the Veil: An Intimate Journey into the Lives of Kandahar’s Women Featuring Photography." "Even though she’s physically gone, I would urge more Americans to get involved the way Paula did, because...
    Mar 16, 2012 | Story
  • Paulatakingpix-1466
    The award-winning photographer Paula Lerner has died at the age of 52. She was the principal photographer for the Emmy Award-winning project, "Behind The Veil: An Intimate Journey Into The Lives of Kandahar’s Women
    Featuring Photography." It appeared in the Toronto Globe & Mail. In 2009, she provided photographs to Democracy Now! for a remarkable interview with the Afghan activist Rangina Hamidi.
    Mar 15, 2012 | Web Exclusive
  • Amy-column
    By Amy Goodman with Denis Moynihan

    We may never know what drove a U.S. Army staff sergeant to head out into the Afghan night and allegedly murder at least 16 civilians in their homes, among them nine children and three women. The attack has been called tragic, which it surely is. But when Afghans attack U.S. forces, they are called “terrorists.” That is, perhaps, the inconsistency at the core of U.S. policy, that democracy can be delivered...
    Mar 15, 2012 | Columns & Articles
  • Button-massacre
    As President Obama vowed to "spare no effort" to fully investigate the Afghan massacre, we go to Kabul to speak with Graham Bowley of the New York Times for the latest. On Tuesday, hundreds of students in eastern Afghanistan protested against the United States. Many called for an end to the U.S. occupation in their country. Bowley has reported on the surviving relatives of victims of the Afghan massacre, including Abdul Samad, who...
    Mar 14, 2012 | Story
  • Button-ptsd
    U.S. lawmakers want the Pentagon to explain why the soldier accused in the massacre of 16 Afghan villagers was sent back into combat after suffering a traumatic brain injury in Iraq. We look at whether soldiers are receiving the mental health treatment they need with Kevin Baker, an Iraq War veteran struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder from the same base as the Afghan shooting suspect, Joint Base Lewis-McChord. "It’s not...
    Mar 14, 2012 | Story
  • Afghan-button2
    We go to Kabul to speak with an Afghan peace activist about the shooting spree by a U.S. Army sergeant in Afghanistan, which killed 16 Afghan civilians, nine of them children. Calls for a more rapid withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan have escalated after the U.S. soldier reportedly walked more than a mile from his base, breaking into three separate houses to attack families as they slept. Villagers say he then gathered 11 bodies and set...
    Mar 12, 2012 | Story