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- DescriptionThe war in Afghanistan has become the most complex foreign policy problem the United States has ever faced, spreading into Pakistan and involving the conflicting interests of Russia, India, China and Iran. Written as a companion to Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald's widely acclaimed book Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story, Crossing Zero focuses on the nuances of the Obama administration's evolving military and political strategy, the people implementing it, and the long-term consequences for the United States and the region. Fitzgerald and Gould have consistently raised the difficult questions and inconvenient truths about western engagement in Afghanistan. While many analysts and observers have attempted to wish a reality on a grim and tragic situation in Afghanistan, Fitzgerald and Gould have systematically dug through the archives and historical record with integrity and foresight to reveal a series of misguided strategies and approaches that have contributed to what has become a tragic quagmire in Afghanistan. I suspect that many of their assessments while presently viewed as controversial and contentious, will eventually be considered conventional wisdom. --Thomas Johnson Americans are w beginning to grasp the scope of the mess their leaders made while pursuing misguided military adventures into regions of Central Asia we once called 'remote.' How this happened--and what the US can do to extricate itself from its entanglements in Pakistan and Afghanistan--is the story of Crossing Zero. Based on decades of study and research, this book draws lines and connects dots in ways few others do. It is clear, sober and methodical--an ideal handbook for anyone seeking to understand how the US became the latest imperial power to blunder into this turbulent and fascinating region. --Stephen Kinzer, author of All the Shah's Men and Reset: Iran, Turkey and America's Future I loved it. An extraordinary contribution to understanding war and geo-politics in Afghanistan that will shock most Americans by its revelations of official American government complicity in using, shielding, sponsoring and supporting terrorism. A devastating indictment on the behind-the-scenes shenanigans by some of America's most respected statesmen. --Daniel Estulin Gould and Fitzgerald have identified the triumphalist strain that has marked American foreign policy over the past 100 years and documented President Obama's failure to introduce change to American national security policy. The war in Afghanistan is consistent with previous failures in U.S. policymaking over the past 50 years as well as with the misuse of military force. This book should be required reading at the National Security Council and the Pentagon. --Melvin A. Goodman; CIA Senior Soviet Analyst, 1966-1990; Professor of International Security at the National War College,1986-2004; Senior Fellow, Center for International Policy, Washington, DC. Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, a husband and wife team, began working together in 1979 co-producing a documentary for Paul's television show, Watchworks. Called, The Arms Race and the Ecomy, A Delicate Balance, they found themselves in the midst of a swirling controversy that was to boil over a few months later with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Their acquisition of the first visas to enter Afghanistan granted to an American TV crew in the spring of 1981, brought them into the middle of the most heated Cold War controversy since Vietnam. But the pictures and the people inside Soviet occupied Afghanistan told a very different story from the one being broadcast on the evening news.
- Author BiographyPaul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, a husband and wife team, began working together in 1979 co-producing a documentary for Paul's television show, Watchworks. Called, The Arms Race and the Economy, A Delicate Balance, they found themselves in the midst of a swirling controversy that was to boil over a few months later with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Their acquisition of the first visas to enter Afghanistan granted to an American TV crew in the spring of 1981, brought them into the middle of the most heated Cold War controversy since Vietnam. But the pictures and the people inside Soviet occupied Afghanistan told a very different story from the one being broadcast on the evening news. Following their exclusive news story for the CBS Evening News, they produced a documentary (Afghanistan Between Three Worlds) for PBS and in 1983 they returned to Kabul for ABC Nightline with Harvard Negotiation project director Roger Fisher. They were told that the Russians wanted to go home and negotiate their way out. Peace in Afghanistan was more than a possibility. It was a desired option. But the story that President Carter called, the greatest threat to peace since the second World War had already been written by America's policy makers and America's pundits were not about to change the script. As the first American journalists to get deeply inside the story they not only got a view of an unseen Afghan life, but a revelatory look at how the US defined itself against the rest of the world under the veil of superpower confrontation. Once the Soviets had crossed the border into Afghanistan, the fate of both nations was sealed. But as Paul and Liz pursued the reasons behind the wall of propaganda that shielded the truth, they found themselves drawn into a story that was growing into mythic dimensions. Big things were brewing in Afghanistan. Old empires were being undone and new ones, hatched. America had launched a Medieval Crusade against the modern world and the ten year war against the Soviet Union was only the first chapter. It was at the time of the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 when Paul and Liz were working on the film version of their experience under contract to Oliver Stone, that they began to piece together the mythic implications of the story. During the research for the screenplay many of the documents preceding the Afghan crisis were declassified. Over the next decade they trailed a labyrinth of clues only to find a profound likeness in Washington's official policy towards Afghanistan - in the ancient Zoroastrian war of the light against the dark - whose origins began in the region now known as Afghanistan. It was a likeness that grows more visible as America's involvement deepens. Afghanistan's civil war followed America's Cold War while Washington walked away. A new strain of religious holy warrior called the Taliban arose but no one in America was listening. As the horrors of the Taliban regime began to grab headlines in 1998 Paul and Liz began collaborating with Afghan human rights expert Sima Wali. Along with Wali, they contributed to the Women for Afghan Women: Shattering Myths and Claiming the Future book project. In 2002 they filmed Wali's first return to Kabul since her exile in 1978. The film they produced about Wali's journey home, The Woman in Exile Returns, gave audiences the chance to discover the message of one of Afghanistan's most articulate voices and her hopes for her people. In the years since 9/11 much has happened to bring Paul and Liz's story into sharp focus. Their efforts at combining personal diplomacy with activist journalism is a model for restoring a healthy and vibrant dialogue to American democracy. Ultimately their book, Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story lays bare why it was inevitable that the Soviet Union and the U.S. should end up in Afghanistan and what that means to the future of the American empire.
- Author(s)Elizabeth Gould,Paul Fitzgerald
- PublisherCity Lights Books
- Date of Publication17/03/2011
- SubjectMilitary History
- Series TitleCity Lights Open Media
- Place of PublicationMonroe, OR
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintCity Lights Books
- Weight342 g
- Width152 mm
- Height216 mm
- Spine14 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US)
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