November 24th, 2010
12:28 PM ET

Desperate women burn themselves

This is not hard to write; it's cathartic. Shooting the story though was anything but: raw emotions accumulated - anger, sorrow, revulsion, and anger again, jumbled in some subconscious store to be sifted and sorted later.

It was a story about Afghan women, their oppression and their desperation.

For a few moments, some of these oppressed voices surface, enter our conscience, before sinking back into the social morass. They are absorbed and returned to the bosom of inhumanity, disappearing without trace, beyond reach, back to the isolated hell whence they came.

Afghan society is closed to outsiders. Even to neighbors. But if you are a woman here you risk entrapment, sealed off more completely inside the home than out. FULL POST

November 24th, 2010
10:44 AM ET

Afghan people: Why is U.S. here?

Norine MacDonald talks to CNN's John King about why most Afghan people don't understand the American military presence.


Filed under: Troops • Voices
Is U.S. on the path to 'permanent war'?
November 24th, 2010
10:32 AM ET

Is U.S. on the path to 'permanent war'?

When the president decided to send more troops to a distant country during an unpopular war, one powerful senator had enough.

He warned that the U.S. military could not create stability in a country "where there is chaos ... democracy where there is no tradition of it, and honest government where corruption is almost a way of life."

"It's unnatural and unhealthy for a nation to be engaged in global crusades for some principle or idea while neglecting the needs of its own people," said Sen. J. William Fulbright, then chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in 1966 as the Vietnam War escalated.

Fulbright's warning is being applied by some to Afghanistan today. The U.S. is still fighting dubious wars abroad while ignoring needs at home, says Andrew J. Bacevich, who tells Fulbright's story in his new book, "Washington Rules: America's Path To Permanent War."

As the Afghanistan war enters its ninth year, Bacevich and other commentators are asking: When does it end? They say the nation's national security leaders have put the U.S. on an unsustainable path to perpetual war and that President Obama is doing little to stop them.

Read the full story from CNN.com's John Blake


Filed under: Obama
November 24th, 2010
10:28 AM ET

Peace talks with a Taliban imposter?

A new report claims Afghanistan leadership may have been conducting negotiations with a "fake" Taliban leader.

November 24th, 2010
09:35 AM ET

Pentagon report: Afghans believe Taliban victory inevitable

A new Defense Department report on Afghanistan says dramatic increases in fighting against the Taliban have failed to convince the local population that the Afghan government and coalition forces will succeed.

"The Taliban's strength lies in the Afghan population's perception that Coalition forces will soon leave, giving credence to the belief that a Taliban victory is inevitable," the report says. FULL POST