July 5, 2007

You Are The Interviewer

Here's the situation. You're a New Media reporter, and you have an invitation to interview an intriguing guest: the ambassador from Afghanistan, Said T. Jawad. What questions would you like to hear answered?

CQ readers can leave those questions in the comments. I'll be interviewing Ambassador Jawad in early July, most likely live on CQ Radio, and I'm interested in what questions you have for both him and me.

UPDATE & BUMP, 6/24: This has now been confirmed. I will interview Ambassador Jawad live on CQ Radio from the Afghanistan Embassy on July 9th, at 2 pm ET. I'll travel to DC on Sunday and stay through Tuesday on other BlogTalkRadio business, but be sure to mark your calendars for that very special broadcast.

UPDATE & BUMP, 7/5: It's a great thread, and I'm going to push it to the top one more time. Keep the questions flowing! I'm going to try to hit the most popular topics on this post.


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» Cap'n Ed Taking Questions from Macker's World

Captain Ed from Captain's Quarters is taking questions from regular readers, and from these he will select a few to ask Said T. Jawad, Afghanistan's Ambassador to the United States, during an Internet Radio interview on Monday, July 9 at 1...

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» Operation Maiwand continues from Peace Like A River
Captain Ed has an upcoming interview with the ambassador from Afghanistan. Tune in. [Read More]

Comments (45)

Posted by Anthony (Los Angeles) | June 20, 2007 4:27 PM

1) "Do you feel Afghanistan has been shortchanged since the Coalition liberation of Iraq?"

2) "What steps is the Afghan government taking to increase girls' education?"

3) "What steps are being taken to bring justice to the non-Taliban warlords, many of whom now sit in Parliament, who are guilty of so many terrible crimes against the Afghan people?"

4) "What steps are being taken to control opium poppy production in Afghanistan, and is there any realistic hope of getting these farmers to produce other, less lucrative crops?"

5) "What is the airspeed of an African swallow?" :)

Posted by BoWowBoy | June 20, 2007 4:42 PM

Will western civilization always need to be "on guard" from Islamic Fascism?

Posted by Nellock | June 20, 2007 4:52 PM

How is education for the Afghan people? Has it improved since 2001?

What about Taliban forces in the South? Are they a threat to the country?

Are Afghans back to regular life or are they deeply scared by so many years of conflict? Are they working towards a comfortable life or is there still unrest?

Posted by richardb | June 20, 2007 4:55 PM

Should Islam go thru a Reformation the way Christianity did 400 years ago? How can the millions of uneducated Muslims with murder in their hearts be brought into a peaceful understanding of living?

Posted by Ed | June 20, 2007 5:04 PM

What should Afghanistan and the United States do if the government of Pakistan is overthrown by pro Taliban extremists?

Posted by onlineanalyst | June 20, 2007 5:15 PM

What do you think of the purchase of the opium crops for legitimate medicinal purposes to be available on the world market as a way to provide earning power for Afghanistan's farmers and make them less susceptible as a terrorism bankroll? Does such a purchase, perhaps by an organization such as WHO, stand to lessen the violence in your country and meet the needs for its economy?

Posted by Joe Doe | June 20, 2007 5:22 PM

How many tnukes have they already sold to their brothers-in-arms? Actually, that may be too ofensive for him, I hear that they are really sensitive.

Posted by Mike | June 20, 2007 5:31 PM

1:Do you and your government currently know the identity and location of any person or persons involved in the production, processing or transporation of opium popppies or their products?

2: Why have those people not been arrested?

3: Are any of those people currently officials in your government?

Posted by Joe Doe | June 20, 2007 5:38 PM

Oops - I though that to be Pakistan - apologies for the confusion.

Posted by NahnCee | June 20, 2007 5:48 PM

I have read that the only part of Afghanistan that is relatively stable is Kabul, and that all the country outside of Kabul is still in a state of intense flux with the Taliban still in control in many areas. Would you agree or disagree with this assessment, and give reasons for your answer.

Posted by lnk | June 20, 2007 6:04 PM

What are the most important stories about Afghanistan in the past few years that are not being told in the mainstream media?

What fraction of the Afghan people really want the Taliban back? Or support Wahhabi-ism (sp?) in general? Vs want the current situation to continue and continue improving?

Who is Kharzai's likely successor, and will there be a peaceful, legitimate, legal transfer of power?

Are women making progress in terms of legal rights, property rights, education, etc, or regressing ?

How on earth do Muslims cope with large numbers of self-proclaimed imans issuing large numbers of silly and/or contradictory fatwas? Seems like if you obey any one, you violate the rules of another. How can people function in a situation like that?

Posted by Joshua | June 20, 2007 7:32 PM

There's a very real danger that domestic political pressure in the U.S. will force an American withdrawal from Iraq before its government is ready to stand on its own. How concerned are you that the same thing will happen in Afghanistan?

Are average Afghans aware of the growth of Islam, and Islamic supremacism, in the West itself, particularly western Europe? If so, what do they think of this?

Posted by Mr. Michael | June 20, 2007 8:58 PM

As an addendum to the question asked by Ink above: When multiple Imams invoke contradictory fatwas, how does an Islamic based GOVERNMENT deal with that? Is there a 'ranking' process, negotiation, political expediance?

Which 'Western' Governments have shown real support for Afghanistan, and which ones have claimed it but not followed through?

How do the Islamic Nations view the Purpose of the UN?

Should the 35 year separation of Egypt and the occupied territories of Gaza & the West Bank continue, or should Israel allow Egyptian control of Gaza and the West Bank to be reestablished?

Posted by Debbie K | June 20, 2007 11:38 PM

Mr. Ambassodor - one component of the war against Islamism is the military component like the actions ongoing in Iraq and Afghanistan. But it seem that in order to ever truly have success, the ideology of Islamism must be defeated so that it no longer appeals to a siginificant segment of the Islamic population of the world. What actions do you believe the United States could be/should be taking in order to help win this "war of ideas" both in Afghanistan and elsewhere?

Posted by Mark L | June 21, 2007 12:38 AM

When will your country be able to provide its own security without needing foreign military forces to protect your government?

Posted by Ric James | June 21, 2007 7:30 AM

1) Do you consider the governmental situation in Afghanistan to be one where the federal govt is able to effectively mandate to the local govts (provincial/regional/city) or do the local govts have a wide latitude in implementing federal policy?

2) What are the requirements still outstanding that must be met for Afghanistan to be fully self-sufficient in terms of your national security? Put another way, what remains to be done to allow foreign security forces to largely leave? Based on current progress, how long to you estimate it will be before those requirements are met?

3) What is the current state of the infrastructure improvement efforts in Afghanistan? (Water, sanitation, transportation, telecom, etc?) How highly are these efforts prioritized, federally and locally?

4) Do you feel that the international media is portraying the situation in Afghanistan accurately? What stories would you like to see covered that are not being given attention? Are there stories that you perceive to be overly covered at present?

5) One social question: If a Christian faith were to attempt to start a church in Afghanistan, what would the federal government's position be on that effort? Is the government of Afghanistan ready or willing to protect citizens that would choose to participate in that effort?

Please thank the Ambassador for his time on behalf of the rest of the blogosphere. I find his willingness to reach out to the new media to be a wonderfully forward-thinking feature.

Posted by Ken Coates | June 21, 2007 11:45 AM

Why can't Afghanistan field an army that can fight the Tailban instead of having NATO on the front lines?

Posted by Dante | June 22, 2007 2:59 AM

I have read the a number of the tribes on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan are very hostile to all outside powers. That includes Taliban and other Islamic forces. While they have a system of government very different from western standards, they seem happy with it and willing to die to defend it. They joined with Americans when pushing the Russians out, and now they work with Taliban forces to push Americans out. My question, is how much our being in the country is driving these two forces to work together in ways that they otherwise would not.

Posted by Jabba the Tutt | June 24, 2007 10:29 AM

What type of investment would be most appropriate in Afghanistan and how could I make that investment?

Posted by ddh | June 24, 2007 10:47 AM

1. Afghanistan is famously a country of minorities in which no ethnic group is the majority, and the authority of the central government for most of Afghan history has been tenuous outside Kabul. Is the current government working to strengthen the national identity so that a Sunni Pashtu might see a Shia Hazara as equally Afghan? If so, in what ways?

2. President Karzai and other Afghan leaders have complained that Pakistan is doing too little to control its border with Afghanistan. Is this a case of Pakistan lacking the means to do so, the will, or both?

3. Coalition military and governments point to Iranian assistance to Iraqi insurgents--Shia and Sunni--as well as al Qaida. Is Iran helping the Taliban in a similar fashion?

Posted by FredRum | June 24, 2007 11:40 AM

I second Anthony's question about equal educational opportunities for girls:

When will the Afghan government make elementary and secondary school education mandatory for ALL children--boys and girls--with approprite punishment for parents who attempt to keep their children (particularly little girls) uneducated?

Posted by brooklyn | June 24, 2007 12:03 PM

Are the Afghani People aware of the Liberal Democrat Party's attempt to undermine the effort to defend the new Democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq for their own partisan gain?

How does true freedom feel, after being oppressed for so long?

To be able to listen to Music again?

Posted by Scott Malensek | June 24, 2007 12:23 PM


I know!

Why can't Idema take his dog with him?


Posted by bulbasaur | June 24, 2007 12:31 PM

Many liberals in America insinuate the theory that Muslims are by nature too tribal to embrace liberty. It is suggested that Muslims are by nature better off being ruled by dictators.

What do you think of this theory? What would you like to say to those in America who still hold this view?

Posted by Scott Malensek | June 24, 2007 12:36 PM


I know!

Why can't Idema take his dog with him?


Posted by MichelleO | June 24, 2007 2:00 PM

Certain US presidential candidates say that the primary front on the global war on terror is Afghanistan and that we are ignoring it and instead focusing too much of our energy on fighting in Iraq. Would you agree? Are we losing Afghanistan to the Taliban and Al Qaeda?

Posted by judd | June 24, 2007 2:46 PM

How would the elimination of the US prohibition against opium and derivatives affect the Afghan economy?

Posted by KW64 | June 24, 2007 3:07 PM

In view of the truckloads of weapons recently captured coming from Iran to Afghanistan, do you believe, do you believe elements in Iran are seeking the overthrow of the Karzai government or merely trying to tie down American and coalition troops?

How would an American retreat and defeat in Iraq affect the situation in Afghanistan?

Posted by Stewart J Mart | June 24, 2007 8:31 PM

How does your government intend to deal with the hostile armed force just over the border in Pakistan complete with training camps, arms depos, and entrenched fanatic leadership?

Posted by Philip | June 24, 2007 11:47 PM

When will I be able to take a vacation in your country and go dirt bike riding on all those frickin' awesome rocky hills I see on the news?

Posted by Robert I. Eachus | June 25, 2007 8:22 AM

President Hamid Karzai recently criticized foreign troops for killing Afgan civilians:

Has your government made any effort to determine whether any of the Afgan civilians killed were supporters or even members of the Taliban or Al Queda? Yes, I know that some innocent civilians were killed--that happens in any war. On the other hand, rules of engagement cannot require identification of nationality before shooting back.

Also has the government of Afganistan attempted to educate its civilian population about what to do when the shooting starts? Or more to the point, what should be done when people with AK-47s but not wearing uniforms show up? If the local population is not willing to provide guerillas with cover, insurgencies quickly end.

Posted by Mr Michael | June 25, 2007 9:44 AM

When you give interviews with the MSM, how much of what you say is reported correctly?

What kind of subjects do they not report that you think are important for Americans to hear?

Posted by Pecozbill | June 25, 2007 10:49 AM

I double "second" the question posed by RichardB back on June 20th.

"Should Islam go thru a Reformation the way Christianity did 400 years ago? How can the millions of uneducated Muslims with murder in their hearts be brought into a peaceful understanding of living?"

Posted by: richardb at June 20, 2007 4:55 PM

Or one very similar to it!!!!!

Posted by Larry | June 25, 2007 5:25 PM

How much of the fighting is actually being done by our Nato allies. Are they still limiting their involvement to the safe areas and to efforts short of actual combat?

Posted by RAMMER | June 25, 2007 9:26 PM

What can I buy here in American stores that is produced in part or whole in Afghanistan that would help develop the economy there? I'm only just beginning to return to French wines, but would be happy to spend that money on something that would help you instead.

Posted by SoldiersMom | July 5, 2007 7:25 PM

I too, would like to know where I can purchase Afgani produced products.

Karzi (sp?) is a dashing dresser. Who designs/sews his clothing? Is his dress typical of the "elite?". This is a girly question, I know, but I"ve always been curious.

Posted by J R Beck | July 5, 2007 7:50 PM

Starting now, in what capacity do you think the US military should serve?

Posted by SkyWatch | July 5, 2007 8:39 PM

Do the regular people of your country (the masses) keep up on the news from around the world or are they just living day-by-day?
Do they get accurate news or propaganda one way or the other?
Do we in this country get the truth?

Posted by Don | July 5, 2007 9:55 PM

[Off topic, comment deleted. -- CE]

Posted by Nedra Lee | July 6, 2007 3:40 AM

After reading 4 or 5 rants from Don all of which are dreadfully OT one is left wondering how these will be posed as questions to the Ambassador?

Posted by Nicholas | July 6, 2007 6:00 AM

Does he feel that Pakistan's lack of desire for dealing with the Taliban is negatively impacting Afghanistan, or will negatively impact her in the future? Does he see any way to prevent cross-border raids, if Pakistan aren't willing to fight the Taliban?

What does he think Afghanistan will look like twenty-five and fifty years from now, assuming that no major disasters occur? What would he like Afghanistan to become?

Does he think it's best if the West intervenes in other nations under despotic rule, or should we leave them alone? If we should intervene, how far should we be willing to go?

Posted by Joel | July 6, 2007 6:04 AM

Can you compare and contrast the US military with that of the former Soviet Union in the 80s occupation?

Posted by ralph127 | July 6, 2007 6:48 AM

Please provide a list of Muslim religious leaders in Afghanistan who are praying for the success of American arms in their country.

Please provide a list of Muslim religious leaders in Afghanistan who are calling on their god to bless the Americans who have scarified their lives in the hope of bring freedom to the Afghani people.

Please provide a list of Muslim religious leaders in Afghanistan who espouses freedom of conscience for all men and do so publicly, unconditionally and in terms of Islamic theology.

Please provide a list of Muslim religious leaders in Afghanistan who are preaching peaceful coexistence with unbelievers and are doing so publicly, unconditionally and in terms of Islamic theology.

Can any Muslim profess freedom of conscience for all men and espouse peaceful coexistence with unbelievers and remain true to the central tenets of Islam? Can there even be freedom of conscience and peaceful coexistence with unbelievers under Sharia? Please provide any historical instance where freedom of conscience and peaceful coexistence with unbelievers has been obtained where Sharia is enforced. Why has America consented to the enshrinement of Sharia in the Afghan Constitution?

Posted by bulbasaur | July 6, 2007 8:37 AM

Pope Benedict XVI gave a lecture at the University of Regensberg, Germany last year wherein he recalled a Byzantine Emporer asking a Muslim whether violence was theologically consistent with Islam.

Can you help us understand why this question could be respectfully asked in the Middle Ages without fear of violent reprisal, but can't be asked in the 21st century?

Posted by TW | July 6, 2007 8:49 AM

How is that Unocal pipeline project coming along, and was it worth being invaded for it?


"Unocal was one of the key players in the CentGas consortium, an attempt to build the Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline to run from the Caspian area, through Afghanistan and probably Pakistan, to the Indian Ocean. One of the consultants to Unocal at that time was Zalmay Khalilzad, now US ambassador to Iraq. The CentGas pipeline was not built, due to inability of CentGas and the Taliban to come to a mutually acceptable economic understanding. Shortly thereafter, the US invaded Afghanistan, removing Taliban control from Afghanistan and making moot the question of their remuneration."