Why waste time writing, when Eqbal Ahmed can simply clarify with greater clarity and insight. An intellectual, revolutionary, activist, academic and a MacArthur Fellow, Eqbal Ahmed saw and spoke with a clarity and insight that few have been able to match. Edward Said dedicated his book ‘Culture & Imperialism’ to him (the credit says simply: For EA).

This is an important talk, a reminder of where we have come from, and why today’s ‘good war’ is a mess of our own making.

Eqbal asks the questions we here in America remain consistently afraid to ask. He offers answer that we consistently refuse to hear.

Too many today , particularly in our newspapers of note who tell us that they only print ‘the news that is fit to print’, work hard to hide and erase from our memories the continuities of policy and prejudices that have bought us to where we  are. They work hard to convince us that ‘the barbarism’ there has no connection to ‘the civilization’ here.  But Walter Benjamin would remind us that ‘There is no document of civilization that is not simultaneously a document of barbarism’.

A fascinating film which can now be seen on youtube is called ‘An Unholy Alliance’ which takes us back to our ‘jihad‘ against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, and the close relationship of the CIA and the drug trade. The roots of our ‘involvement’, or should i say ‘addiction’ to Afghanistan can be seen here (below is the 1st of 6 parts of this video):

We would do well to remember history, its inter-connections, and our deep, enmeshed and messy involvement and influence in a region we now stare at in confusion