Invisible History
Afghanistan's Untold Story
Introduction by Sima Wali





Wikileaks: The Pakistan Connection
Jul 29, 2010

Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould discuss the WikiLeaks Pakistan Taliban connection in a three-part interview.

- Paul Jay, The REAL News Network

Is WikiLeaks the antidote to the Washington K Street Kool-Aid?
Jul 29, 2010

"Since the end of the cold war, the U.S. had been looking for an enemy to match the Soviet Union and came up empty handed until 9/11. Refocusing the efforts of the world's largest and most expensive military empire on Al Qaeda would provide the incentive for a massive re-armament, just the way the Soviet "invasion" of Afghanistan had done two decades before. According to a Washington Post report within nine years of America's invasion of Afghanistan, hunting Al Qaeda had become the raison d'être of the American national security bureaucracy employing 854,000 military personnel, civil servants and private contractors with more than 263 organizations transformed or created including the Office of Homeland Security. The sheer scope of the growth and the extensive privatization of intelligence and security was so profound that it represented 'an alternative geography of the United States, a Top Secret America hidden from public view and lacking in oversight.'"

- Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald, Sibel Edmonds' Boiling Frogs

Opinion: Unlearned lessons of the Soviet invasion
Dec 24, 2009

"Elizabeth Gould, the co-author of the new book, 'Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story,' says: 'The unlearned lesson of the Soviet invasion and subsequent occupation was that the Soviet Union was up against itself in Afghanistan, afraid to admit the failure of its mistaken adventure to its people, afraid of infiltration on its southern border and afraid it would look weak in the eyes of its chief adversary, the United States.'

'Afghanistan is not easy,' added Gould, a journalist and author who has researched its history for the last 18 years along with co-author Paul Fitzgerald.

'But Afghanistan is hardest on empires who cannot restrain themselves and who learn too late that it's not Afghanistan they're fighting, but the image of their own vanity in the mirror.'"

- C.M. Sennott - GlobalPost.com

The Mourning After: President's speech struck a new milestone for Washingtonian denial
Dec 3, 2009

"The President's speech is history now. Al Qaeda is still the objective and General Stanley McChrystal will get 30,000 more troops and 18 months to make his counterinsurgency plan work. In a country the size of Afghanistan, even ten times that number wouldn’t matter. What does matter is that little has changed in Washington and it appears that Washington cannot change. It’s too bad that the interests of the United States and those of the Afghan and Pakistani people are apparently mutually exclusive. Before this all began in the 1970’s and the U.S. support for extremist Islam began, Afghanistan did have a government. It was decentralized, but it was a government and it did function alongside a secular tribal structure that had been moving toward modernization for a century."

- Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, Sibel Edmonds' Boiling Frogs

Dissident Voice

"The history told within these covers is the story of an ancient nation whose intention in the past century or so has included the creation of a free and tolerant society. . . . It is the authors' contention that this struggle erupted into a civil war when the US began arming warlords and reactionary religious forces in its war against the Soviets. . . . This book puts the responsibility for Afghanistan’s desperate situation directly in the laps of US policymakers . . . It also asks whether or not this was the intention of those policymakers all along."
—Ron Jacobs


What are We Fighting for in Afghanistan?
Dec 3, 2009

"It was the opportunity for the president of the United States to deliver his most important address yet. America was entering a new era after failing to defeat an implacable foe in a far off and forbidding land. His speech was filled with Sturm und Drang, delivered to the finest young men and women the country had to offer and the highest defense and intelligence officials in the land at the world's most prestigious military academy. It should have been a sacred moment in American history."

- Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, Counterpunch

Rethinking Afghanistan
Dec 2, 2009

"We are regularly bombarded by news reports and political analysis that reflect certain underlying assumptions about Afghanistan. These assumptions range from claims that Afghanistan was always a backward state ruled by warlords, to assertions that the country was never really a nation at all, and proclamations that Afghanistan is unfit for Western-style democracy and that it is dangerously naïve to think otherwise.

Those who knew Afghanistan prior to America's current military engagement understand that these assumptions are wrong, yet they form the basis of a mythology that underlies the growing US military commitment and the shape of American policy toward the Afghan government."

- Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, Viewpoints

Charlottesville—Right Now! with Coy Barefoot: Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald
Nov 16, 2009

Podcast: "Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald joined Charlottesville Right Now to discuss their book Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story."

- Charlottesville Podcasting Network Charlottesville Podcasting Network

Sunday Gazette Mail

"Invisible History provides a wealth of often generally-unknown details about the tribal and ethnic alliances that created current divisions and government instability."
—Paul J. Nyden


Washington's Axis of Confusion
Oct 29, 2009

"We went to Washington to help launch the Afghan American Women's Association established in honor of a lifetime of humanitarian achievements by Sima Wali. We came away with a clear picture that the women of Afghanistan will continue to have a strong, clear and uncompromising voice in Washington. In listening to the women of this Afghan/American partnership two things were clear: 1. No matter what happens with American foreign policy, Afghan/American women are not going back to the depredations visited upon them by a political system maddened by greed and its dreams of conquest. 2. Afghan/American women will no longer be fooled by politicians who promise democracy and reconstruction but deliver warlordism and corruption."

- Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, Sibel Edmond's Boiling Frogs

A history of failed press coverage of Afghanistan
Oct 27, 2009

"For almost 30 years – ever since we got a close-in view of it – American press coverage of Afghanistan has been simplistic, misleading, unexamining, accepting and echoing government propaganda, and just plain wrong. There have been exceptions…but not many.

Beginning in 1981, we have experienced a process that has kept vital information away from the American people."

- Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, Nieman Watchdog

Dark Omens for the US in Afghanistan
Oct 8, 2009

"Now officially in its ninth year since the invasion of Afghanistan, the U.S. should have little reason to recount, in Chalmers Johnson's words, the Sorrows of Empire. By now everyone on the planet knows by heart the tragic tale. The U.S. invaded Afghanistan without a clear understanding of its goals and after eight years remains as torn as ever over defining them. It was hoped that the incoming Obama administration and its new AfPak strategy would finally end the drift toward quagmire, but that hope is fading fast. Last week, AfPak architect Bruce Riedel revealed in the Financial Times that 'Pretty much six months has since gone by without a rigorous implementation of what was agreed to and that has only made a bad situation worse.'

As Washington’s paralysis deepens and Afghanistan slips further into chaos, the U.S. faces a crisis of credibility. Can Washington shift its focus to nation-building and help the Afghan people restore their ravaged nation to health? Or should the U.S. continue to pursue what seems at this point an opium dream; hunting an elusive Al Qaeda, who are "believed" to be hiding in Pakistan? Last week one major player on the world scene made their opinion known, but nobody in the U.S. was listening."

- Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, Counterpunch

Nexus Magazine

"To understand Afghanistan's tragic circumstances, this well-documented book by journalists Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould is essential reading. . . . The authors urge US leaders to learn from the Soviet experience and adjust their policies to help the Afghan people regain their independence, especially from foreign-supported extremism, before it is too late. Engaging reportage."
—Ruth Parnell


A Hidden Denial in the Afghan Election
Sep 29, 2009

"The Afghan election results are finally in and, to no one's surprise, they have inflamed a crisis of credibility. Afghanistan's latest effort in democracy was marred by widespread fraud, violence, and intimidation...

(Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould are the authors of Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story, available from City Lights Books.)"

- Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, Global Post

The Inside Story of Afghanistan
Sep 10, 2009

"Listen for more on Afghan Quagmire: Elizabeth Gould & Paul Fitzgerald, authors of Understanding Afghanistan. This is a one-hour radio program."

- Danny Schecter, News Dissector

Book News

"Fitzgerald and Gould (journalists who have been reporting on Afghanistan and US policy towards Afghanistan since 1981) narrate the political history of Afghanistan and provide a critical analysis of US policy towards Afghanistan. They reveal the manipulations of Afghanistan by the United States and other great powers from the 'Great Game' of the 19th century through the current 'War on Terror' and describe its terrible consequences for the Afghan people."


The Inside Story of Afghanistan
Sep 2, 2009

"Gould points out, 'At this late date the American mainstream media is still delivering a lot of the propaganda aspects of the story about Afghanistan, when it was put out in the 1980s. [There are] a lot of Americans, who are very anxious about supporting a good policy, but have no idea how to know when they are being offered a good policy.' Now, with the increasing involvement of the U.S. in Afghanistan, it behooves every American to learn as much as possible. This extraordinary dialogue is your opportunity."

- Michael Toms, New Dimensions Media

Afghanistan's untold story: Stability, tourists, miniskirts
Aug 20, 2009

"As Afghans prepare to pick a president in their national election Thursday, much of the media has focused on pre-election violence. Afghanistan has often been portrayed as a barbaric country where warfare has been a way of life for centuries. But not long ago, Afghanistan was something else: a politically stable, religiously moderate government that recognized women's rights, Afghan natives and scholars say. Elizabeth Gould, co-author of 'Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story,' says a U.S. diplomat visiting Afghanistan in the early 1970s said its citizens were so passionate about democracy that he saw them debate their constitutional rights in the streets. 'The years after World War II, in the '50s, '60s and early '70s, were the golden years,' Gould said."

- John Blake, CNN

Afghanistan's Invisible History, Gould and Fitzgerald
Aug 20, 2009

"Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald offer their insights and warnings to President Barack Obama, and assess how US foreign policy is going. They also assess the role played by individuals with commitments to a form of mystical imperialism, with goals of dominating Afghanistan. They will not succeed, according to the authors."

- Dori Smith, Talk Nation Radio

Gould and Fitzgerald on Afghanistan's Invisible History
Aug 13, 2009

"Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald join us to talk about their book, Invisible History, Afghanistan's Untold Story. This book tells the real story behind the propaganda. (City Lights books, San Francisco). Their blog is Invisible History."


- Dori Smith, Talk Nation Radio

Hour.ca

"In Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story, journalists Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould outline striking historical accounts of an ancient nation, its borders shaped through colonial wars and conflicts between empires. Their style is reflective yet factual, delving into Afghanistan's key role in central conflicts that have defined global politics in the past century, from the Cold War to the "war on terror."

Stefan Christoff


When the Dead Have No Say
Aug 13, 2009

"'With the U.S. relationship with Pakistan still locked in a cold war embrace that accedes to Pakistani demands at the expense of Afghanistan, establishing a metric for anything is useless without reassessing the underlying assumptions,' Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald said last week. They're authors of the new book Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story, published after nearly 30 years of research.

'With Pakistan's creation of the Taliban, America's concept of "winning" entered a complicated phase that continues to haunt American decision-making to its core,' Gould and Fitzgerald added. 'Pakistani intelligence knows full well the American political system, its history of compliance with their wishes and the lack of appreciation for Afghan independence. America's war in Afghanistan is an ongoing bait and switch where the U.S. fights against its own interests and Pakistan plays the Beltway like a violin.'

Gould and Fitzgerald contend: 'The only metric that matters is how far Pakistan's military has moved from supporting Islamic extremism. With the insider relationship the United States has with Pakistan's military intelligence, that should not be a difficult metric to establish.'"

- Norman Solomon, Guernica

Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald on Afghanistan's Invisible History
Aug 13, 2009

"The US press has been documenting the increase of US forces in Afghanistan, but little has been said about the impact of US involvement since WWII, on this land known as 'the graveyard of empires.' Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald discuss their book, Invisible History, Afghanistan’s Untold Story, City Lights books, San Francisco. Their blog is Invisible History."

- Talk Nation Radio

Interview with Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould
Aug 4, 2009

"Accessing information from the vitally important recent (in 2009) book Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story, this interview with the book’s authors sets forth covert history of the Cold War and the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. (Subsequent interviews with the authors will present more information from this landmark book, bringing the Afghan tragedy up to date, through the Soviet withdrawal, the birth of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, the 9/11 attacks and the ongoing U.S. military involvement in that nation.)"

- Dave Emory, Spitfire List

Three Good Reasons to Liquidate Our Empire
Jul 30, 2009

"The region known today as the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan is administered directly by Islamabad, which -- just as British imperial officials did -- has divided the territory into seven agencies, each with its own 'political agent' who wields much the same powers as his colonial-era predecessor. Then as now, the part of FATA known as Waziristan and the home of Pashtun tribesmen offered the fiercest resistance.

According to Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, experienced Afghan hands and coauthors of Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story (City Lights, 2009, p. 317):

'If Washington's bureaucrats don't remember the history of the region, the Afghans do. The British used air power to bomb these same Pashtun villages after World War I and were condemned for it. When the Soviets used MiGs and the dreaded Mi-24 Hind helicopter gunships to do it during the 1980s, they were called criminals. For America to use its overwhelming firepower in the same reckless and indiscriminate manner defies the world's sense of justice and morality while turning the Afghan people and the Islamic world even further against the United States.'"
- Chalmers Johnson, Huffington Post

Afghanistan's Untold Story Is no Conspiracy Theory!
Jul 27, 2009

"Kenneth J. Cooper's Boston Globe review of our book, Invisible History, Afghanistan's Untold Story, titled 'Conspiracy-laden look at messy Afghan history' is a painful example of the magical thinking perpetrated by the media that has trapped the U.S. intelligentsia since the end of the Vietnam war. It is the kind of thinking that has maintained a fantasy land of bubble economics, Star Wars military budgets and cognitive suicide for over 30 years. It is the kind of thinking that left the U.S. unaware of and unable to deal effectively with the real threat represented by 9/11."

- Elizabeth Gould, Huffington Post

An Alternative History of the US Role in Afghanistan
Jul 23, 2009

"In 1981, Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald were the first US journalists to enter Afghanistan after the Western press corps had been expelled from the country a month after the 1979 Soviet invasion.  The footage that they shot for CBS News painted a far different picture of the occupation than had been portrayed in the US media. Yet they say that the story that Dan Rather aired that spring buried the most important revelations--a problem that they've seen with US media coverage of Afghanistan ever since. In January 2009, they published 'Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story,' a book that Selig Harrison, the Washington Post's former South Asia bureau chief, calls 'a much needed corrective to five decades of biased journalistic and academic writing about Afghanistan that has covered up the destructive and self-defeating US role there.' Mother Jones spoke with Gould and Fitzgerald last month."

- Josh Harkinson, Mother Jones

The Henry Raines Show
Jul 19, 2009

On the second hour of the Henry Raines Show on July 19, 2009, authors Paul Fitzgerald & Elizabeth Gould, talk about their new book, Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story

- The Henry Raines Show

17,000 Troops? What's Really Behind the Thinking?
Jul 7, 2009

"In the six months since the publication of our book,

Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story,

we've had the opportunity to address dozens of forums about Afghanistan. It has been a revealing exercise, not so much in terms of what Americans understand about Afghanistan (which unfortunately isn't very much) but by the way it reveals how Americans are struggling to catch up with a world that seems to have left them behind.

One well informed brave soul who admitted to being involved in politics since Adlai Stevenson's day, went so far as to admit last February at the Cambridge forum, 'I realize tonight how totally ignorant I am of the Afghan history, of the role of our country there. Nothing you told me tonight surprised me except how ignorant I was of all of this...'"

- Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, The Huffington Post

Pink Tank

"In Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story (City Lights Books, 2009), authors Paul Fitzgerald & Elizabeth Gould give a current examination of the last hundred years in Afghanistan. . . An excellent chapter at the end offers What Can President Barack Obama Do?, an organized list of  solid recommendations.  It includes 2. Stop humiliating Afghan men and desecrating their homes, a practice many say recruits militants. The list also acknowledges the problem of humanitarian aid trickling down slowly and meagerly: 4. Start helping Afghans in a way they can understand, see, and appreciate. . . Mr. President, are you listening?" —Lisa Savage


Irish Times

"In their recent book, Invisible History, Afghanistan's Untold Story, Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, two US journalists with a long involvement there, trace how it has re-emerged after being parked with a compliant Pakistani regime during the Iraq war. . . Speaking at meetings throughout the US, Fitzgerald and Gould report a bewilderment about why the extra troops are being sent there now. They believe the Obama administration is buying time to save face, redefine its commitment and reorganise its priorities."


US Policies Empower Afghan Taliban: Experts
Jul 6, 2009

"'Mission compromised' may best describe U.S. military efforts in Afghanistan. According to journalists Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald, American foreign policy and military officials are making several costly miscalculations of Afghanistan's politics, history, and culture. In their new book, Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story, Gould and Fitzgerald demolish the myths, falsehoods, and assumptions that are being perpetuated since the 1980s.

...What we've been observing over and over again is that the United States (and its goals and objectives) keeps coming up against a reality check that doesn't add up. One of the concerns that even though General Stanley McChrystal is making statements that Afghan civilians are his top priority, there are other issues which have been contentious and very difficult for the United States to really incorporate in a meaningful way. What we're dealing with is the follow-up, the actual ability to change the way in which we approach the region, which is still through a military lens and has already been designated as a failure."

- Christian Avard, The Huffington Post

Jeff Rense Program
Jun 30, 2009

"Gould and Fitzgerald were recently interviewed by Jeff Rense on his radio program."

- Rense Gs Radio

Challenge Yourself: How much do you know about Afghanistan?
Jun 26, 2009

"Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould have traveled to and from Afghanistan for the past 30 years. They were the first American journalists to acquire permission to enter Afghanistan behind Soviet lines in 1981 for CBS News and produced a documentary, 'Afghanistan Between Three Worlds,' for PBS. For twenty years they have continued to follow events in Afghanistan and write about its history and US involvement. They are out with a new book, Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Storyir?t=lauraflanders-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0872864944." 

- GRITtv

Afghanistan: The Invisible History
Jun 7, 2009

"The role America has played in Afghanistan is largely unknown to Americans, but is of critical importance as we face decisions now about how to proceed in rooting out the Taliban extremists threatening the region and the world. Fortunately, a new book, nearly thirty years in the making, has been released that may help fill this void in our national memory. It is 'Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story,' by Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald, a husband and wife team who began their experience in Afghanistan in 1981 reporting for CBS News. They've continued to research, write and lecture about Afghanistan history and U.S. foreign policy since."

- Michael Sears, Oregonlive.com

An Open Letter Rachel Maddow about Afghanistan

"It was  when Dan Rather told Rachel Maddow on her January 27th show, 'We are not seeking to colonize Afghanistan. The Soviets made no bones about it. They were coming in to take over the country. They wanted to run the country. They wanted to be there 100 or 1,000 years from now. That is not the case with what we're trying to do,..' we held our breath. There has been a controversy over the authenticity of Rather's coverage of Afghanistan going back to 1980. Now in 2009 Rather was building on the his own Cold War disinformation campaign from the 1980’s and taking it to an absurd new level. We had hoped that Maddow was up to the challenge. Unfortunately, she allowed Rather’s disinformation to go unchallenged. We assumed that Maddow must not have known that Rather’s views of Soviet motives in Afghanistan and the American role were propaganda from another era. We assumed that Maddow, along with most Americans, must not have known that Rather’s reports on Afghanistan were tainted and have been challenged by many journalists."

- Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald, Media Channel

Thinking like an Afghan

"For years now, Washington's political class has been locked in a hand-wringing debate over what to do about Afghanistan. Should the U.S. continue to plan for an extended military engagement?"

- Paul Fitzgerald & Elizabeth Gould, The Wall Street Journal

Afghanistan's Untold Story
May 24, 2009

"Former CBS journalists Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald's book describes:

* How an invasion of Afghanistan by the American-backed Shah of Iran was being prepared years before the Soviets invaded.
* How Afghanistan was used as a calculated pretext for the Reagan administration’s unprecedented arms buildup.
* How Afghanistan became a covert launch-pad for the greatest heroin smuggling racket in history as the CIA looked away.
* How Afghanistan is being used as a vehicle for Saudi Arabian colonization and control of Central Asia - blessed by the United States."

- Internet Time blog

Thinking like an Afghan
Apr 16, 2009

"Today, every beltway pundit and media talking-head wants to help president Bema finally get Afghanistan right. But if getting Afghanistan right in 2009 boils down to abandoning everything that the U.S. and the west have invested over the last 7 years, then what do they have to lose by abandoning their old misperceptions?

Understanding how to forge a workable strategy for Afghanistan may be far simpler than anyone to date has considered, if only those with the power to do so in Washington can finally shed their obsolete cold war thinking and start thinking like the Afghans who fought to establish and maintain an independent Afghan nation."

- Paul Fitzgerald & Elizabeth Gould, Counterpunch

Newshoggers

"Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story by Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould is a must read book for anyone who wants to understand world geopolitics since the Vietnam war and even before . . . . Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story, is a must read for anyone trying to understand AF/PAK policy.  I have not even scratched the surface of what you will find in this book. And how about a teaser? - Pakistan's ISI was involved in the 911 attacks." —Ron Beasley


Truthout

"Thirty years in the making, this deeply researched book is bursting with overlooked facts and unauthorized insights. Through their erudition, prescience and passion, Gould and Fitzgerald have provided us with an urgent and necessary history, one that pierces through the haze of misinformation that has, for far too long, obscured the guiding light of an authentic past. The timeliness of this book cannot be overstated." —Ryan Croken


Tikkun

"Invisible History shows us that we now have an opportunity to transform ourselves through an honest confrontation with our past: a confrontation that would lead us to reorient our national policies around the tabernacle of our professed moral values. If we choose to ignore this opportunity, and once again turn a blind eye to history and its lessons, then we may find ourselves in grave danger, not just from the threat of terrorist attacks, but from falling victim to the same folly that has toppled empires throughout history." —Ryan Croken


Present Magazine
"In order to understand why the United States currently finds itself at war in Afghanistan, one must turn back to the terrorist attacks of 9/11. In order to understand why 9/11 happened, one must turn back to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the measures taken primarily by the United States to arm and train the radical Islamist fighters who drove the Soviets out. In order to understand why the Soviets invaded in the first place, one must do what Fitzgerald and Gould have done, which is to look critically at Soviet-Afghan relations in a way that cuts through the mythology of the Cold War and lays bare the facts." —Kale Baldock

Asia Times
"Nearly 30 years after their first foray into the land-locked buffer state, married couple and journalist-historians Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould could not have chosen a more appropriate time to publish their comprehensive Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story. . . A chronically disinformed US public should leap at the chance to familiarize themselves with an honest overview of their country's historically scandalous involvement in the region." —Anthony Fenton

Afghanistan, a New Beginning
Apr 2, 2009

"For 8 years, the Clinton administration bought the idea of a 'moderate' Taliban. But the very idea was a chimera, played skillfully by the ISI in a double game that saw Washington unwittingly support ISI's interests while undermining its own. Today, the Obama administration resumes where the Clinton administration left off, but if it really wants a fair and lasting solution for Afghanistan, it must begin by helping the Afghan people fulfill their democratic and progressive potential, and in doing so, it will help them lead this whole part of the Islamic world."

- Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, Informed Comment

Midwest Book Review
"There's more to Afghanistan's history than the rise and fall of the Taliban. Afghanistan's Untold Story is a look at the oft forgotten long and storied history of the Afghani people. Drawing the tale from thousands of years ago in ancient times to what Afghanistan was like before the infamous wars with the Soviet Union, it tells the story from the Afghani perspective, leading to a fascinating story of a war-torn people. Afghanistan's Untold Story is enthralling history reading, a great pick indeed." —James A. Cox

Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story
Mar 30, 2009

"Peter Werbe interviewed the authors, Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, on this Sunday's show. They have a comprehensive and accurately detailed knowledge of the how and why the US with Pakistan and others turned an isolated and largely unknown and relatively hospitable and peaceful land into a killing field with millions of dead. If you want to understand the details of how and why the US (Brzezinski/Kissinger) began funding, organizing and encouraging religious fanaticism within Islamic nations, read their book."

- Democratic Underground

Nightcall
Mar 29, 2009

Detroit's award-winning, phone-in talk show, Nightcall, hosted by Peter Werbe, dicusses Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould's Invisible History.

- Peter Werbe, Nightcall, WRIF

Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, Activist Journalists
Mar 16, 2009

"Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, a husband and wife team, can be described as Activist Journalists. They were the first American journalists to acquire permission to enter behind Soviet lines in 1981 for CBS News and produced a documentary, Afghanistan: Between Three Worlds, for PBS.  Their new book about war in Afghanistan, Invisible History, is a fresh, comprehensive analysis of Afghanistan that begins at the roots of tribal leadership and emphasizes our present political and military impact on the country. Speaking Monday night to the World Affairs Council, they join TMS first."

- Shelley Irwin, WGVU

World Focus
Mar 8, 2009

Interview with Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould from the Sunday, March 8th World Focus show on Pacifica Radio KPFK. (The interview takes place during the last 30 minutes of the hour-long show.)

- Blase Bonpane, World Focus, KPFK

The Middle East Journal

"Utilizing 20 years of experience of researching and reporting on Afghanistan, Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould seek to clarify and contextualize the current situation in conflict-torn Afghanistan with this comprehensive history. The material covers events starting in ancient antiquity, but puts a heavy emphasis on the second half of the 20th century through the end of 2007. The work concludes with analysis and strategy recommendations for the incoming American President and is supplemented by an appendix of historical maps."

—Shannon Rosenberg


NightSide with Dan Rea

Journalists Paul Fitsgerald and Elizabeth Gould discuss their long time reporting on and inside Afghanistan, which is detailed in the book Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story. (19 minutes)

- Dan Rea, WBZ News Radio

Paul Fitzgerald / Elizabeth Gould : The Man Who Shouldn't be King (of Afghanistan)
Feb 26, 2009

"It was hoped that the election of Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States would bring a change of course to the beleaguered US effort in Afghanistan. But word that representatives of the Taliban and the infamous Afghan drug trafficker and..."

- Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, USA Today

The Philadelphia Bulletin

"Unhinged by war for nearly 30 years,  Afghanistan's tragic  story and how it got where it is, teetering on the brink of collapse as a nation-state, is described  by Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould in Invisible History — Afghanistan’s Untold Story. The book’s approach is comprehensive, combining the sweep of interpretative, historical survey with a current-affairs analysis in the latter chapters, which guides the reader to understand the issues that have plagued Afghanistan for the past two centuries. . . . Afghanistan’s Untold Story raises many questions — not all readily answerable — about America’s role in Afghanistan, and by extension, in other troubled parts of the world."

—Sam Oglesby


The Man Who Shouldn't be King (of Afghanistan)
Feb 24, 2009

"It was hoped that the election of Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States would bring a change of course to the beleaguered US effort in Afghanistan. But word that representatives of the Taliban and the infamous Afghan drug trafficker and extremist Gulbuddin Hekmatyar might be on the president's list of possible solutions, looms as a clear sign that the United States is about to step into a trap of its own making.

Employing Afghanistan’s drug-dealing warlords is nothing new for Washington. The U.S. elevated Pakistan’s drug-warlords to beltway cult status vis a vis Charlie Wilson’s War during the Soviet occupation and insisted on including them in the new Afghan government in 2002.  Numerous observers claim that Washington had a hand in the Taliban’s creation as well, standing by as they rolled over Afghanistan in league with Al Qaeda and Pakistan’s Intelligence Service (ISI) in the late 1990’s."

- Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, Counterpunch

The Man Who Shouldn't be King (of Afghanistan)
Feb 24, 2009

"It was hoped that the election of Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States would bring a change of course to the beleaguered US effort in Afghanistan. But word that representatives of the Taliban and the infamous Afghan drug trafficker and extremist Gulbuddin Hekmatyar might be on the president's list of possible solutions, looms as a clear sign that the United States is about to step into a trap of its own making."

- Mostly Water

Obama's War: US Involvement in Afghanistan, Past, Present & Future
Feb 23, 2009

"President Obama is speaking before a joint session of Congress Tuesday night in what is being described as the first State of the Union address of his presidency. While the economy is expected to dominate the agenda, Obama will also talk about his top foreign policy initiative: the war in Afghanistan. Last week, Obama ordered an additional 17,000 US combat troops to Afghanistan. The new deployments will begin in May and increase the US occupation force to 55,000. Today, we spend the hour looking at US involvement in Afghanistan with five guests: Anand Gopal, Afghanistan correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor; Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, authors of Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story; Gilles Dorronsoro, visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; and documentary filmmaker Kathleen Foster." (59 minutes)

- Democracy Now!

Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story
Feb 12, 2009

"Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould talk about the history of Afghanistan, including their own first-hand accounts of the U.S. government's involvement there in the late 1970s and 1980s.  This event was hosted by Back Pages Books in Waltham, Massachusetts." (53 minutes)

- Book TV, C-Span 2

Afghanistan: To Surge or Not to Surge
Feb 9, 2009

"As Barack Obama's administration shifts the U.S. government's focus away from its "bad war" in Iraq and engages its "good war" in Afghanistan, crucial questions are arising about the plan that have yet to be asked.

Unfortunately, the media's questioning has been reduced to the simplistic repetition of whether the United States should engage in an Iraq-style "surge" or negotiate with the Taliban and resort to its ineffective pre-9/11 strategy of targeted assassinations.

In the run-up to the election — with the surge's credibility enhanced by pundits like the New York Times' David Brooks and MSNBC's Chris Matthews — the belief that a surge would also be the magic bullet for Afghanistan became a basic assumption on which much future media debate would rest. But the validity of the assumptions underlying the media's support for its effectiveness were never really established."

- Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, ZNet

Opinion: To Surge or Not to Surge
Feb 7, 2009

"As Barack Obama's administration shifts the U.S. government's focus away from its "bad war" in Iraq and engages its “good war” in Afghanistan, crucial questions are arising about the plan that have yet to be asked.

Unfortunately, the media’s questioning has been reduced to the simplistic repetition of whether the United States should engage in an Iraq-style 'surge' or negotiate with the Taliban and resort to its ineffective pre-9/11 strategy of targeted assassinations."

- Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, Global Post

Afghanistan's Untold Story
Feb 6, 2009

Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould discuss Afghanistan's political history in their book Invisible History: Afghanistan’s Untold Story, emphasizing the impact of US interventions in this war torn country. 

- Meredith H. Keffer, Harvard Crimson

Paul Fitzgerald and Elisabeth Gould: Afghanistan's Untold Story
Feb 4, 2009

"Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, authors of Invisible History: Afhanistan's Untold Story address Afghan policy choices facing President Obama."

- WGBH Forum Network

What's Our Plan in Afghanistan?
Feb 2, 2009

"President Obama is in the beginning stages of shifting military resources from Iraq to Afghanistan. What is his goal? On the next Your Call, we'll have a conversation with Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald, authors of Afghanistan's Untold Story. Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently said Afghanistan is 'our greatest military challenge.' The U.S. plans to send 30,000 additional troops to the region. What has failed to this point? And what is the U.S. trying to accomplish by escalating the seven-year occupation? It's Your Call, with Rose Aguilar, and you."

- Rose Aguilar, It's Your Call Radio

Book of the Week
Jan 26, 2009

Invisible History by Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould is Book Soup's Pick of the Week!

- Book Soup

Mumbai Terror's Afghan Roots
Dec 16, 2008

"After early speculation that the recent Mumbai attacks were linked to Pakistan, a former U.S. Defense Department official now asserts that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) had a hand in training the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists.

Earlier this year Afghan president Hamid Karzai blamed Pakistan for a brazen assassination attempt from which he barely escaped, and U.S. officials contend that the July 7, 2008 bombing of India's Kabul Embassy, which claimed 41 lives, had also been aided by the ISI.

The roots of the Pakistani military’s complicity in acts of terror in both India and Afghanistan go back many decades. In 1981 for CBS News we interviewed a Soviet- sponsored Afghan president Babrak Karmal, who assured us that Soviet troops would leave Afghanistan if the U.S. and China stopped the war from Pakistan. Today, a U.S.- sponsored Afghan president Hamid Karzai faces a similar fate."

- Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, Counterpunch

The Dallas Morning News

"The fog obscuring U.S. policies in Afghanistan is thicker than elsewhere in the region. The authors cut through it meticulously, exposing layers of cultural arrogance and myopia. They demonstrate with painful clarity how these traits helped push our would-be ally into the Soviet orbit, causing us to arm and promote the violent extremists we're fighting today. When confronted with al-Qaeda's nihilism on 9/11, our response was 'wildly exaggerated, dangerously reckless, and ... ineffective.'"


Elliott Bay Book Company
Apr 14, 2009

"GLOBAL ISSUES & ETHICS BOOK GROUP
Tuesday, April 14th at 6:30 p.m.
(second Tuesday of each month)

Our Global Issues & Ethics Book Group is devoted to discussing books that cover the most relevant topics of our everyday lives.

Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story

by Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould presents a fresh, comprehensive analysis of Afghanistan from its roots in tribal society to the country's current political complexities. Fitzgerald and Gould tell the hidden story of how the United States came to be in Afghanistan and present a comprehensive analysis of what should be done next."

- Elliott Bay Book Company

From the CIA to the ISI to the Lashkar-e-Taiba: Mumbai Terror's Afghan Roots
Dec 16, 2008

"After early speculation that the recent Mumbai attacks were linked to Pakistan, a former U.S. Defense Department official now asserts that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) had a hand in training the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists.

Earlier this year Afghan president Hamid Karzai blamed Pakistan for a brazen assassination attempt from which he barely escaped, and U.S. officials contend that the July 7, 2008 bombing of India’s Kabul Embassy, which claimed 41 lives, had also been aided by the ISI."

- RAWA News

Message to Obama: Stop Killing Afghanis
Dec 5, 2008

"Come January, President-elect Barack Obama will confront the most difficult foreign policy crisis of his administration with the region-wide-war developing in Afghanistan. If he is to succeed, the new president must immediately change the tone of U.S. engagement. He can do this by first establishing a revised set of rules by which the United States must play, stressing the rule of international law and respect for civil and human rights. The president must then initiate these rules by announcing that the first priority of U.S. foreign policy in Afghanistan is the preservation of human life. In other words, stop killing Afghanis."

- Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, IndyBay.org

Paul Fitzgerald / Elizabeth Gould : Message to Obama: Stop Killing Afghanis
Dec 4, 2008

"Come January, President-elect Barack Obama will confront the most difficult foreign policy crisis of his administration with the region-wide-war developing in Afghanistan. If he is to succeed, the new president must immediately change the tone of U.S."


- USA Today

A Message for the New President: Stop Killing Afghanis
Dec 4, 2008
"Come January, President-elect Barack Obama will confront the most difficult foreign policy crisis of his administration with the region-wide-war developing in Afghanistan. If he is to succeed, the new president must immediately change the tone of U.S. engagement. He can do this by first establishing a revised set of rules by which the United States must play, stressing the rule of international law and respect for civil and human rights. The president must then initiate these rules by announcing that the first priority of U.S. foreign policy in Afghanistan is the preservation of human life. In other words, stop killing Afghanis."
- Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, CounterPunch

500: Deadly U.S. Milestone in Afghan War
Aug 6, 2008
"With U.S. troops at record levels and the violent threat from the Taliban expanding, the conflict in Afghanistan is roaring back into public view." - Kirk Semple and Andrew W. Lehren, New York Times

Struggle ahead for Aghanistan
Jul 30, 2008
"When the next president enters the Oval Office in January, he will face the toughest foreign policy decisions of any president since Franklin Roosevelt. But the toughest of all will involve the struggle for Afghanistan." - Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, Boston Globe

Kirkus Reviews
"Seasoned journalists Fitzgerald and Gould—co-producers of the 1981 PBS documentary Afghanistan Between the Wars—deliver a probing history of the country and a critical evaluation of American involvement in recent decades. The authors had just finished a documentary in late 1979 on SALT II (Arms Race and the Economy) when Russia invaded the seemingly insignificant country of Afghanistan. In this densely researched work, they study the ancient ethnic makeup of the country, its fledgling attempts at democracy and the catastrophic rise of the Taliban, introduced by Pakistan refugee groups and funded by the Saudis. As the 'meeting place of four cultural zones,' Afghanistan has constantly been overrun by invaders eager to get somewhere else, including Alexander the Great, early Arab armies that converted the country to Islam, Genghis Khan, and the mid-19th century invasion by the British, which sowed the seeds of destabilizing colonial politics that would wreak havoc until the present day. The country lived in perpetual fear of Russian invasion of its northern territories, and it became a natural base for Cold War confrontation. Internally, a conservative, traditional society in which Islam played a pious rather than political role was being radically transformed by the 1970s, 'under the influence of outside religious and intellectual forces.' Most chilling to read is the American government's hot-cold manipulation of the region for its own purposes. As the situation devolved into 'a sea of drugs, covert operations, Islamic revolutionaries, and Maoist cadres,' and U.S. ambassador Adolph Dubs was murdered in February 1979, an aggressive anti-Soviet stance was set in play from Brzezinski to Reagan, and the entrenchment of Islamic extremism was assured. The authors ably demystify Afghan efforts in the wake of 9/11, delineating its destroyed culture and offering a cogent plan for the next American president. A fresh perspective on a little-understood nation."

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Journalists Fitzgerald and Gould do yeoman's labor in clearing the fog and laying bare American failures in Afghanistan in this deeply researched, cogently argued and enormously important book. The authors demonstrate how closely American actions are tied to past miscalculations—and how U.S. policy has placed Afghans and Americans in grave danger. Long at cultural crossroads, Afghanistan's location poised the country to serve as 'a fragile buffer' between rival empires. Great Britain's 1947 creation of an arbitrary and indefensible border between Afghanistan and the newly minted Pakistan 'from the Afghan point of view... has always been the problem,' but particularly after 9/11 American policymakers have paid scant attention to the concerns of Afghans, preferring to shoehorn an imagined Afghanistan into U.S. power paradigms. 'The United States is in a fight for its life, not because of [9/11]... but because of the way America responded.... That response was at once wildly exaggerated, dangerously reckless, and... ineffective,' the authors argue, calling on the incoming president to make radical changes. 'Osama is not beating the United States.... The United States is beating itself, and beating itself badly.'"