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The Largely Unknown Success Story of Afghanistan's Television Network

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the all-day-all-night-we-know-what-you-need dept.

Media 78

Daniel_Stuckey writes in with an Afghanistan media success story. "I met Orner at South by Southwest, where she was hustling her latest film, The Network. The Network features a brighter side of Afghanistan's brighter side: the story of its television revolution. In Orner's opinion, it's a narrative that runs contrary to our common conceptions of a country that has spent decades in a state of war and instability. She followed Saad Mohseni, a media guru and founder of Afghan media firm Moby Group, who is credited for jump starting the nation's media transformation. Sometimes referred to as the Rupert Murdoch of Afghanistan, Mohseni, an Afghan expat and entrepreneur, explains how he and his siblings returned to Kabul from Australia in 2001, amidst the war shifting into gear. First, they launched a radio station, and by 2004 they'd shifted to television with Tolo TV, quickly turning Moby Group into the largest media conglomerate in the nation."

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78 comments

-1, SXSW (3, Funny)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year ago | (#43200451)

Can we get a new mod category? For hipsterish memes?

Point well taken (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a year ago | (#43202371)

And if the United States finds itself unable to export democracy, at least the World's appetite for it's entertainment industry is insatiable.

Re:-1, SXSW (1)

hierophanta (1345511) | about a year ago | (#43203685)

sure! i tagged the article with that just for you

Hooker Porn? (0)

Nyder (754090) | about a year ago | (#43200477)

I met Orner at South by Southwest, where she was hustling her latest film

Re:Hooker Porn? (1)

fonske (1224340) | about a year ago | (#43201355)

I first read Omer (from Arabic Umar) but since he was a she,it will be more of a "hey babe, take a walk on the wild side".
OK, I should update on my font settings...

Said it before. (0, Troll)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#43200503)

We are at war with the Muslim world.

They win by out-breeding us.

We win by infecting them with MTV middle east and feminism, then outlasting them.

Their grandchildren will act and speak in ways that would make the gayest emo kid blush and stutter.

Islam and secular-progressive culture (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43200541)

Problem is - perverted values do not have the same deleterious effect on Islam in the way they do on, say, Christianity. Reason being that Islam is very compatible with those values. For instance, men having multiple wives in different places and being at liberty to divorce them at will and take more - there is something in Islam that the hippie and punk movements would envy, and only resent that women don't have the same leeway. Free sex already exists in the Muslim world - for men. Muslim societies are already dysfunctional - introducing MTV values there isn't going to do more damage.

Homosexuality? In Saudi Arabia, due to mandatory gender segregation, men end up being more physically intimate with each other, and the punishment on gays - being thrown from high buildings - only applies if they get emotionally attached to each other. In other words, the things that civil unions are supposed to cover - hospital visitations, inheritances and the like - that's the sort of stuff they'd crack down on. Or take Afghanistan, with their bacha-bazis, or their equivalent of NAMBLA. How is it not readymade for homosexual activists who want it made?

In short, there are aspects of Islam very much compatible with the degenerate aspects of the secular-progressive culture. The parts that are incompatible - such as the misogyny of Islam - is not going to be rooted out by simply exporting Bollywood or MTV to Kabul or Riyadh or Teheran. That is something that would require Islam to be terminated in the same way Shintoism was altered in Japan, but that requires a universal recognition of Islam/Muslims as the enemy.

Re:Islam and secular-progressive culture (4, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43201013)

For instance, men having multiple wives in different places and being at liberty to divorce them at will and take more - there is something in Islam that the hippie and punk movements would envy, and only resent that women don't have the same leeway. Free sex already exists in the Muslim world - for men. Muslim societies are already dysfunctional - introducing MTV values there isn't going to do more damage.

So how do poor men get free sex when the available women have all been sold into harems of rich men?

Re:Islam and secular-progressive culture (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43201093)

There will never be a shortage. Islamic law allows men to seek out girls as young as 9 for marriage - following the example of Mohammed himself. So it's not like there will ever be a shortage of women - and also, not all women of age would get sold into the harems of rich sheikhs. The ones that don't, and also the divorced ones would always be available to the poor Muslims. And heavens forbid, if there are non-Muslim women in the neighborhood, don't be surprised if they disappear, as they regularly do in Pakistan, even when they are underaged: there have been hundreds of instances of Christian or Hindu girls being kidnapped and 'married' to Muslim kidnappers, and that has also caused a quiet exodus of a good portion of the remaining Hindus to India.

Re:Islam and secular-progressive culture (5, Insightful)

isorox (205688) | about a year ago | (#43201717)

There will never be a shortage. Islamic law allows men to seek out girls as young as 9 for marriage - following the example of Mohammed himself. So it's not like there will ever be a shortage of women - and also, not all women of age would get sold into the harems of rich sheikhs. The ones that don't, and also the divorced ones would always be available to the poor Muslims. And heavens forbid, if there are non-Muslim women in the neighborhood, don't be surprised if they disappear, as they regularly do in Pakistan, even when they are underaged: there have been hundreds of instances of Christian or Hindu girls being kidnapped and 'married' to Muslim kidnappers, and that has also caused a quiet exodus of a good portion of the remaining Hindus to India.

In a typical normal country of 10 million there are about 5 million women and 5 million men.

If you change this to exclude women under 9 and men under 25, you get about 4 million women and 3 million men.

This means 1.3 wives per man. In a middle-age country, where the men are dying by their millions in war, the numbers come out to be about 4 million women and 1 million men, 4 wives per man.

Islam's view that men should take wives made sense in the dark ages when women couldn't look after themselves, and men were usually dead.

Most Islamic countries are stuck in those dark ages.

Re:Islam and secular-progressive culture (1)

guacamole (24270) | about a year ago | (#43201329)

So how do poor men get free sex when the available women have all been sold into harems of rich men?

This question gives an explanation to the ages old tradition of waging wars on neighbors, specially the infidels, for the purpose of capturing women (and men of course, to be used as slaves).

Re:Islam and secular-progressive culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43202915)

So how do poor men get free sex when the available women have all been sold into harems of rich men?

This question gives an explanation to the ages old tradition of waging wars on neighbors, specially the infidels, for the purpose of killing off your spare poor men

.

FTFY.

Re:Islam and secular-progressive culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43201579)

They switch to young boys usually.

Re:Islam and secular-progressive culture (1, Funny)

isorox (205688) | about a year ago | (#43201723)

They switch to young boys usually.

Wrong religion, that's the Catholics.

Re:Islam and secular-progressive culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43202723)

Death toll of catholic religious wars over 2000 years : estimated at 10,000 to 300,000 people (including things like the inquisition, the crusades and incidents between gnostics and others).
Death toll of islamic religious wars over 1200 years : estimated between 300,000,000 and 1,000,000,000 people. (Mostly Indians and black Africans, and since muslims destroyed most of their own history, it is pretty hard to get reliable numbers)

Frankly, why anyone is suprised is beyond me : "Thou shalt not kill" versus "and when the holy month is past, kill the infidels. Any method, ambushes, tricks, lies is acceptable. Kill them all" ...

There is just no comparison. Yes, Christian on Christian violence is much better documented, because Christians (mostly monks) keep historical books. Muslims have a habit of, first, not writing nearly as many books in the first place*, and, worse, burning books (not just historical ones, the vast majority of ancient arab literature comes from Christian libraries, including, ironically, the currently used version of the quran)

* I read just last week that the entire literary output of the entire "muslim world" (~ 1 billion people) is slightly less than the literary output of Luxembourg (a little over half a million people and 200,000 expats).

Re:Islam and secular-progressive culture (1)

isorox (205688) | about a year ago | (#43202803)

Nice copy and paste, but no mention of wars here.

Shocked to see that luxembourg has so many ex pats though.

When Muslims rape kids, it's usually girls. When Catholics rape kids, it tends to be boys.

Re:Islam and secular-progressive culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203763)

your post is full of shit. please take your fox news fear mongering elsewhere.
To note, Islam has historically been the most peaceful of the big 3. Read this for some education - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People_of_the_Book [wikipedia.org]

Re:Islam and secular-progressive culture (1)

hierophanta (1345511) | about a year ago | (#43203791)

AC is right

Re:Islam and secular-progressive culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43201887)

fugly

Re:Islam and secular-progressive culture (1)

hierophanta (1345511) | about a year ago | (#43203967)

In short, there are aspects of Islam very much compatible with the degenerate aspects of the secular-progressive culture

I'd love to see you turn that microscope on Catholicism.

Re:Islam and secular-progressive culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43211237)

I'd be happy to, once we have countries like Italy, Spain, France, Austria becoming hotbeds of Catholic terror plots (like Afghanistan was in this story), or those countries adapting policies that they had during the 16th century, like the Spanish Inquisition or the persecution of Hugenots in France, or Catholics in non-Catholic countries spending all their time trying to destabilize their host countries and its laws with the ultimate goal of making them states answerable to Pope Francis. Only problem with your analogy - today, the countries I mentioned above are very Liberal-Progressive socially. Neither France nor Spain remotely resemble what they were in the 17th century, but all Muslim countries, except (for now) the ex Soviet 'stans' are pretty much what they were in the Middle Ages, or in some cases, such as Malaysia or Indonesia, even worse.

Afghan Star (4, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#43200543)

I'll just leave this [afghanstar...entary.com] right here.

Afghanistan may not be all that bad. (4, Interesting)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about a year ago | (#43200601)

Granted it's got a lot of problems. But Afghanistan is probably the best country to live in it's neighborhood. The leadership is a bit erratic, and the Taliban is a problem; but neighboring Pakistan has both problems worse. Neighboring Iran is Iran. Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan are dominated by the same ruling class that ran them when they were Soviet states, the elections are little better then jokes.

Technically China is also Afghanistan's neighbor, which means that Afghanistan may only be the second-most fucked up country in it's region. It's first if you don't think China's recent economic success is a) going to continue or b) worth all the prices the Chinese pay for it.

Is RF media fragile? (2)

goombah99 (560566) | about a year ago | (#43200813)

I recall how the Taliban kept sabotaging Cell Towers in the interest of enforcing some "islamic" ban on cell phone usage. It seemed like this was a pretty fragile system since it was hard to protect the towers. Did this ever resolve itself? I would guess that broadcast towers for TV and Radio have longer ranges and thus might have fewer locations to protect. But ultimately I wonder if those can be protected against a determined foe.

Re:Afghanistan may not be all that bad. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43200925)

Are you kidding me? I assume you must watch a fair bit of Fox News. Granted, the 'stans' are not great, but Afghanistan is undoubtedly one of the worst places to live in the entire world. Afghanistan is so bad that it even makes Pakistan, China and Iran all look like great places to live.

Life expectancy at birth: (CIA World Factbook)
Afghanistan: 49.72 years
China: 74.84 years
Pakistan: 66.35 years
Iran: 70.35 years

Literacy: (CIA World Factbook)
Afghanistan: 28.1%
China: 92.2%
Pakistan: 54.9%
Iran: 77%

Corruption Index (Transparency International)
Afghanistan: 174 (equal last with Nth Korea and Somalia)
China: 80
Pakistan: 139
Iran: 133

With such stark stats do I even need to mention that according to the UN, 90% of the worlds opium is supplied by Afghanistan? Do I need to mention that Afghanistan is in the middle of a civil war provoked by the ongoing US and Nato invasion?

Re:Afghanistan may not be all that bad. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43201047)

Do I need to mention that Afghanistan is in the middle of a civil war provoked by the ongoing US and Nato invasion?

You make a good point in your post, however... Afghanistan was already in civil war for about 10 years when the US and Nato invaded it and "joined" the losing side against the Taliban.

Re:Afghanistan may not be all that bad. (1)

Jappus (1177563) | about a year ago | (#43201335)

Dummy post to undo accidental misclick on moderation after a reload of the page. Too bad that Slashdot does not allow one to change a moderation.

Re:Afghanistan may not be all that bad. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43201417)

Says the guy who got his "experience" out of the "CIA World 'Fact'book", of all things.

Versus people who actually lived there.

Here, this is the spirit of Afghanistan, without you Americans, without the Soviets, and without the Taliban (a US creation, by the way):
Afghanistan in the 70s [twimg.com]
My dad can still remember the extremely short skirts, the debate and chess clubs, the modern university, the successful sports clubs and the country-wide irrigation channel system that made the whole place green and beautiful. It was a great and modern place. (And so was Iran, before the US and the Soviets also fucked it up until it got schizophrenic aka religious.)

That is the Afghani dream, that they want to come back.

Re:Afghanistan may not be all that bad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43201605)

I don't think most Afghans nowadays want your dream.

Plus quam perfectum... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43201631)

Re:Afghanistan may not be all that bad. (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about a year ago | (#43202703)

They were apparently even progressive enough to allow cross dressing. That man on the left would have been lynched in parts of the US for dressing like that.

Re:Afghanistan may not be all that bad. (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about a year ago | (#43201857)

I didn't say anything about corruption. There's no question that Afghanistan is horribly corrupt. But corruption is not the worst thing that can happen to a person. Believe me, my parents would have a lot more money if they'd fled corruption-free-in-1980 Detroit to corrupt-as-fucking-hell Chicago.

The World Factbook's literacy numbers are from the Taliban-era. Now millions of Afghan kids go to school, including most of the girls. It's not a good sign that nobody seems to have newer numbers, but it's also clear the situation is improving dramatically.

In '09 the BBC reported life expectancy of 44:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8339593.stm [bbc.co.uk]
So life expectancy in Afghanistan is improving at a rate more then 1 year a year.

I don't like Karzai's corruption. But the simple fact is he's improving his country at a speed which boggles the mind, and everyone else in his region is a) stagnating or b) China.

Re:Afghanistan may not be all that bad. (1)

jonadab (583620) | about a year ago | (#43214895)

> I don't like Karzai's corruption. But the simple fact is he's
> improving his country at a speed which boggles the mind,
> and everyone else in his region is a) stagnating or b) China.

Afghanistan could continue improving at that mind-boggling rate for another fifteen years, and China would still be a better place to live (assuming China doesn't get any worse, meanwhile). China has basic societal order, effective nationwide rule of law, a functioning economy (not quite a first-world economy at this point, but a functioning economy nonetheless), overall pretty decent infrastructure (for things like transportation and electrical power and whatnot), and a meaningful national identity.

China also has some unfortunate limitations on political speech, a bit of a smog issue, and some exploitation of the labor force, but these things are small potatoes compared to Afghanistan's problems.

Re:Afghanistan may not be all that bad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43201937)

Well of course it's going to be a crappy place if you're not corrupt.

Re:Afghanistan may not be all that bad. (1)

Sigg3.net (886486) | about a year ago | (#43202103)

The Chinese literacy statistics are jacked up or has an interesting interpretation of 'literacy'.

Re:Afghanistan may not be all that bad. (1)

T.E.D. (34228) | about a year ago | (#43203465)

You're using old data. I'm going to do something heretical here, and consult TFA [vice.com] ...

From a country that 12 years ago was about 300 years back in time and had no interest in anything but water, was wanton to get to where it is now, which you'll see in the film is the change. It's been extraordinary. Just the change in life expectancy has gone up from about 46 to 64 in the last 10 years. The illiteracy rate, which is between 60 and 70 percent is falling rapidly.

Re:Afghanistan may not be all that bad. (1)

jonadab (583620) | about a year ago | (#43214651)

> Do I need to mention that Afghanistan is in the middle of
> a civil war provoked by the ongoing US and Nato invasion?

There has been ongoing civil war there, continuously, since well before the US existed. There have been changes now and again as to exactly who is fighting on each side and even how many sides there are (the Soviet Union was even involved for a while -- and the soviet puppets were one of the better governments Afghanistan has ever had), but the last time there was anything resembling peace in the part of the world was... I'm not even sure how long. It's been a really long time.

I'm not saying everything the US has done in Afghanistan has been entirely good. No. But I am saying it's not reasonable to blame us for the bare fact that Afghanistan has civil war. They already had it before we were involved. They had it in spades. All we've done is meddle in their affairs and (predictably) failed to really fix anything.

Re:Afghanistan may not be all that bad. (1)

peppepz (1311345) | about a year ago | (#43201053)

Can you explain your point a bit better? I mean, in which of those countries can I have a better expectation not to get killed? Which country is better for me if I am a woman? Which one is better if I want to set up an enterprise? The country where I have the best chances to get cured should I fall ill? Where can I expect my kids to get a better education? The one where it's less probable to step on a mine while traveling?

Re:Afghanistan may not be all that bad. (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about a year ago | (#43201903)

The mins problem in Afghanistan is solved.

If you're a woman the former Soviet states are probably better, because they do a really good job at clamping down on the Taliban. But they're also stagnating. Not to mention the fact that one of them (Uzbekistan) has been known to boil people alive without trial.

As for setting up a business, why would you do so in Iran or Pakistan? China makes some sense, but corruption there is almost as bad as Afghanistan, it's a lot harder to know who you were supposed to bribe, and if you fail to bribe said person your first inkling that something is wrong will be the trip to the re-education camp.

Afghanistan has a massive growth rate, vastly improving public health, etc. It's not paradise, but if your alternatives are the countries it borders then it's got a lot to offer.

Re:Afghanistan may not be all that bad. (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#43201107)

Oh please! Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan are still very tolerant countries and liberal societies, and they have the same regimes that they had under the Soviets. Yeah, Islam has been trying to make a comeback in those countries, but hasn't yet. These 3 countries are light years ahead of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran!

Re:Afghanistan may not be all that bad. (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | about a year ago | (#43201479)

Really? All these countries were better off (some far better off) in the Soviet times, when some actual infrastructure was built, civil unrests were unheard of and there was actually some medical service.

Of the three countries you have mentioned, only Uzbekistan resembles a civilised country.

Re:Afghanistan may not be all that bad. (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#43201599)

I didn't disagree w/ that. What I said was that each of those countries are far better off than Pakistan, Afghanistan & Iran!

Re:Afghanistan may not be all that bad. (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about a year ago | (#43201951)

Depends on your definition of "ahead."

The Uzbek equivalent of Aaron Swartz gets boiled alive. The night life may beat Kabul, but boiling--people-alive is just not something I will ever be cool with.

I'm not claiming any of these places is a particularly good place to live. I'm claiming that, compared to the places it's actually near Afghanistan has a hell of a lot to offer. Too often Westerners freak out because it's worse then even Alabama. Well yes. But it's also rapidly becoming a better place to live then Pakistan, which is probably the second-least-bad option in terms of Central Asian states.

Re:Afghanistan may not be all that bad. (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#43211295)

Well, Uzbekistan has, since its independence, been the target of Jihadis who want to revive the Timuride empire and set up a huge Islamic state comprising of all the stans, and probably Afghanistan as well. Yeah, I can understand why anyone would be hostile to anything Soviet, but at least w/ the Soviets (like the Chinese today), as long as political dissidence is not there, people don't get persecuted. Were Uzbekistan to become an Islamic state, like Egypt, you'd start to see the persecution of non-Muslims in that country.

I don't pretend to support this. Ideally, who wouldn't like human rights to be respected everywhere? But a good place to look is the Arab Spring countries, where 'democracy' has meant replacing secular repressive dictatorships w/ Islamic theocracies, albeit democratically elected ones. Treating Islamic insurgencies, like the Islamic party of Turkestan, w/ kid gloves, has never resulted in a free and open society. Rather it has meant the islamization of countries that were on the path to modernizing. Best examples being what I mention below - Turkey and Tunisia. While they were under military or dictatorial rule - enlightened ones, of course (not like the ones in Pakistan which would try to islamize the country even more) - they looked like they were on the road to progress. But ever since the Turkish army loosened its grip (in response to EU demands) or the Ben Ali regime collapsed, both those countries have been re-Islamizing fast. Same would happen to the stans, were they to let go and become more 'democratic'.

So much as I disdain it, the Niyazov cult that existed in Turkmenistan was a good start to making sure that Islam was marginalized - even Quran's out there were contaminated w/ Turkmen propaganda. Karimov regime in Uzbekistan is the best hope to make sure that the jihadi dreams of the Islamic parties in the region don't come true. Tajikistan is closest to becoming an Islamic country, since culturally, that country's language is similar to Iran's, and they get Radio Teheran broadcasts and follow what's happening in Iran. Danger is that as Turkey Islamizes even more, the stans - which are the original homes of the Turks - like Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan - may decide as populations to follow suit, and there will be one huge Islamic empire w/ the area of China east of the Caspian. Thankfully, neither the Russians nor the Chinese would allow that to happen.

Re:Afghanistan may not be all that bad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203029)

Yeah, Islam has been trying to make a comeback in those countries, but hasn't yet.

Islam is pretty strong in all of these 3 countries. But it is the rather progressive Ismaelite tradition that is followed.

Re:Afghanistan may not be all that bad. (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#43211253)

In Uzbekistan, the Karimov regime has had a policy of cracking down on anything Islamic, so there, while the campaign to Islamize is the strongest, it also has the most aggressive resistance. Yeah, it would be nice if human rights weren't violated, but problem is that in no Muslim country has a peaceful tolerance of Jihadi protests ended up with that country not becoming Islamic. That's the whole fallacy about the Arab Spring movements in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and now Syria. Turkey loosened the grip of the army, and the result has become a rapidly re-islamizing country. The regimes may get overthrown, but what replaces it will not be liberal democratic societies that uphold human rights for all.

So bad as the Karimov regime is, the alternative is even worse - Uzbekistan and the other countries in the region would be another Egypt, Libya and so on.

Re:Afghanistan may not be all that bad. (2)

guacamole (24270) | about a year ago | (#43201295)

What a bizarre post. Honestly. As if many people have to face the choice of choosing a country in the region. Anyways, I disagree.

First, Afghanistan's government is one of the most corrupt in the world. It would suffice to investigate what happens to the aid money they get from the west to rebuild the country. As I query google for "Karzai", Google kindly suggests a bunch of auto-completions. The first one is "Karzai corruption". Enough said. Karzai is hardly a democrat. Just look at the recent elections. He will make sure his clan will remain in power in future. Second, the prospect of political instability is real. No one knows what will happen once Americans fully pull out of the country. The economic prospects are bleak. This is a land-locked, agricultural country surrounded by, as you imply, "not so bright" neighbors.

I would certainly rank Iran higher than Afghanistan. At least the people living in Iran can enjoy a real rule of law without having to sleep with an AK rifle underneath the bed. Iran is much more technologically advanced society, blending old and new, with a significant Christian minority that lives and practices its religion without fear. They have oil. Yes, Iran's rulers are a bunch of crazy theocrats, but what's new?

And then China.. it sort of does not belong in comparison with the rest of Afghan neighbors. For one, it's not muslim. I am certain though that China's economic success will continue. It's a huge market and an emerging economy, ripe with business opportunities. The western businesses are willing to invest tons of money there and even do business on the terms of Chinese government, which are not always nice. Certainly, the Chinese government will have at some point to revise its "social contract" as well as the policies pertaining its economic growth (including environmental policy).

Re:Afghanistan may not be all that bad. (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about a year ago | (#43210221)

Yeah Karzai's corrupt, and his country has no obvious economic resource. But you could say the same of Korea in the 60s and 70s. It's really hard to know how much of Karzai's success is a "dead cat bounce," but the simple fact is that Afghanistan is #1 in terms of rate of improvement in almost every metric.

As for Iran, I'm smelling blood in the water. And it's not Obama's. Regimes like that tend to look incredibly stable for years, and then collapse in a matter of months. Their Syrian allies are on the ropes, their strategy for dealing with crippling sanctions is apparently to pretend that they have weapons as good as the US. That is not the kind of thing you do if you aren't running out of options.

I included China for two reasons. First it actually shares a border with Afghanistan. Second, it really strongly illustrates just how crappy Central Asian governments are when you compare them to the Chinese.

Re:Afghanistan may not be all that bad. (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year ago | (#43201623)

Yes, China, the most terrible place. The place that pulled 350,000,000 people out of abject poverty in under 30 years by applying something that was very widely used to build the USA at some point... what was that thing.... oh yeah, a relatively free market given the size of Chinese government.

Will Chinese economic success continue? Let's see, they are producing all the things that everybody in the world wants and they can stop subsidising the world with these products by consuming the output of the productive labour themselves. Clearly they are fucked!

Re:Afghanistan may not be all that bad. (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about a year ago | (#43209999)

China is hard to rank.

Yeah the economic growth is amazing, and the world is a much better place for it.

OTOH political freedom is also a good thing, and the Chinese have no political freedom. Being able to breathe is also really nice, and the Chinese don't seem to have figured out how to get rich without physically destroying the country.

Whether you prefer China to Afghanistan basically boils down to whether you prefer political freedoms to economic prosperity.

Re:Afghanistan may not be all that bad. (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year ago | (#43211571)

Whether you prefer China to Afghanistan basically boils down to whether you prefer political freedoms to economic prosperity.

- right, because Afghanistan has so many more freedoms than China? Economic prosperity of China is entirely dependent on many individual freedoms, without which prosperity is impossible.

Re:Afghanistan may not be all that bad. (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about a year ago | (#43212389)

In Afghanistan you have a right to criticize Karzai. You have a right to run against Karzai. People's votes won't necessarily be counted accurately, and it's likely some-one will try yo intimidate and/or bribe them away from you; but you have the right try.

China has no elections. It has no opposition parties. In theory such parties are legal, but the state cracks down on anyone trying to set one up.

I'm not saying that China's prosperity isn't an amazing accomplishment that counts for a lot. What I am saying is that prosperity isn't everything, and if you count the ability to vote in a shitty democracy as more important then the ability to buy a fake iPad then Afghanistan is better then China.

Re:Afghanistan may not be all that bad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43214211)

But in Afghanistan, the right to apostize from Islam does not exist. The right to criticize Islamic laws doesn't exist. Even with the NATO occupation, Afghanistan is still not a free society, and won't be, due to Islam. And they don't even have economic prosperity to show for it, as the Chinese do. Yeah, the Chinese don't have political freedoms, but the Afghans don't have the freedom of conscience either. China is way ahead of Afghanistan, no matter how one looks at it.

the Largery is Success (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43200623)

osfir jus said this is good
http://osfir.blogspot.com

USA Has its own arab language network (2)

lemur3 (997863) | about a year ago | (#43200655)

its little known, i guess.. and i dont know if its been a great success either but the united states govt has its own arab language network..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alhurra [wikipedia.org]

a United States-based Arabic-language satellite TV channel funded by the U.S. Congress that broadcasts news and current affairs programming to audiences in the Middle East and North Africa.

Its stated mission is to provide "objective, accurate and relevant news and information" to its audience while seeking to "support democratic values" and "expand the spectrum of ideas, opinions, and perspectives" available in the region's media

it says its available in nearly 2 dozen countries.. i dont see afghanistan on the list.. it looks like the US wont have to worry about competition in that country?

Re:USA Has its own arab language network (1)

Pinhedd (1661735) | about a year ago | (#43200705)

They don't speak Arabic in Afghanistan so why would they consider broadcasting it?

Re:USA Has its own arab language network (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43200769)

"They don't speak Arabic in Afghanistan"

Who is this 'they' you are talking about?

There are a number of Arabs, in Afghanistan - they came in to fight the Soviets, and then the Americans.
There are a number of languages spoken by the native Afghans but many of them know Arabic because it is the language of the Holy Q'uran.
When the Taliban was in control, that was the only thing that was allowed to be taught.

(Compare with the Catholic Church and Latin, but remember that Islam is a newer Religion, and that Arabic is still a everyday spoken language for a substantial part of the Islamic world.)

IANAM (I am not a Muslim)

Re:USA Has its own arab language network (1)

peppepz (1311345) | about a year ago | (#43201129)

Propaganda is meant for the masses, not for the elite. Moreover there are different dialects of the Arab language, and sometimes even in officially Arab-speaking countries the less cultured have little love for Modern Standard Arabic.

About Latin in the Catholic Church: until the use of Latin for the liturgy was abolished in the 60s, regular people living in catholic countries knew Latin just as much as was needed to memorise utterances and prayers, and would never dream (nor be able) to watch a TV program in Latin.

Re:USA Has its own arab language network (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43201437)

PROTIP: Everyone but you delusional Americans knows it's a pure propaganda network.

Like if Iran had a US TV station, and an Iranian shill* would go "I don't know if its [sic] been a great success".

LOL. Just LOL.

You and the Iranians and Pakistanis, and the North Koreans.. Put you all in a bag, shake, grab one, and you will always pull out a crazy person.

__
* All Americans are American shills. It's conditioned into them from birth. See: 'merica, fuck yeah!

more zionist crap from Slashdot's owners (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43200657)

Today was the day when Seth MacFarlane rewarded Rupert Murdoch and the zionists that gave him his Hollywood Oscar's gig with an episode of 'The Family Guy' that stated "all Muslims are terrorists". Today means another dose of zionist propaganda on Slashdot.

Funny, one might have expected Slashdot to highlight the terrifying financial events in Cyprus, where the same forces that invaded Afghanistan and brought such horror and destruction to that nation, have just announced that they will be stealing from the saving of every bank customer in that country. But, hey, plans designed to cause a run on the banks in much of the EU is nothing compared to CIA propaganda about the 'great freedoms' the zionist invasion has brought to Afghanistan.

Decent people weep tears when they see the destruction US backed forces wrought in Afghanistan (back when the 'Taliban' were the 'good guys' fighting alongside Rambo and James Bond). The Soviets brought socialism, religious freedom and women's rights to Afghanistan, something the filthy US State department, with its ruthless support of the Siamese-twin depravities of Saudi Arabia and Israel, could not tolerate. The most recent US invasion was even more evil, slaughtering the citizens without reason or mercy.

Today, US torture camps litter Afghanistan. Today, US death squads operate freely outside the major cities. None of this is any kind of secret to people in the rest of the world.

Slashdot's owners cheer and hoot when media outlets from Iran are closed down by their team under any excuse, no matter how pathetic. The same EU 'leaders' that authorized the unbelievable action in Syria (ending the post WW2 project to maintain confidence in the European banking system) have also recently created sanctions against the journalists and news editors of PressTV in one of the most extraordinary attacks against the freedom of the press seen in Human history.

The 'Family Guy' episode could easily have been entitled 'The Eternal Muslim'. We are at the stage where the war-mongering filth doesn't even care how pathetic their propaganda is. America is just about to be subject to zionist Hollywood trash where 'Koreans' invade the Whitehouse. Do none of you braindead Yanks have any awareness of Human history? Do you really think this screaming insane propaganda that sites like this push is indicative of nothing?

You are being dragged to war. Not the 'little' wars where American bullies get to holocaust citizens in a nation with no means to fight back or make you pay any real price. No, we are talking about the wars you saw in WW1 and WW2. The coming US holocaust in Iran will involve the US military openly using nuclear weapons for the first time since Japan. The genocidal slaughter in Iran is designed to make American citizens shed their concern about their military being the 'good' guys. Iran is meant to be like basic training for US troops- where new recruits are made to sing marching songs about murdering all the kids in a nursery (and YES, America's frontline uniformed butchers ARE conditioned this way).

QUOTE: One that stands out in my mind is—it goes, "I went down to the market where all the women shop/I pulled out my machete and I begin to chop/I went down to the park where all the children play/I pulled out my machine gun and I begin to spray."

The US army is proud of such training. I have seen ordinary documentaries, made with the support of the US State department, proudly showing troops marching to such songs. The owners of Slashdot push garbage about the 'successes' in Afghanistan, while cheering the dehumanizing methods their team uses to produce the most ruthless uniformed butchers that are to fight in their team's wars.

Re:more zionist crap from Slashdot's owners (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43200685)

James bond is British, and Seth's only goal in life is to piss every possible demographic off to the point of no return

you terrorist moron

Re:more zionist crap from Slashdot's owners (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43200759)

Funny, I was just watching that episode of Family guy.

Re:more zionist crap from Slashdot's owners (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43201965)

Islam encourages deceiving and/or killing anyone who doesn't think like you. Saddam Hussein was right: running a country full of Muslims is REALLY difficult.

Support my kick starter (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43200695)

For now, this content only reaches the upper class, and I would like to provide it for all afghanis.

I am currently working to make a device for modern Afghanistan. The goat-powered television set. Please donate if you would like to help.

Tempory citizen (1)

godel_56 (1287256) | about a year ago | (#43200811)

Mr Mohseni and his employees will be out of business or dead as soon as the western forces leave and the Taliban take over again. Or they may just be put out of business by the corrupt present government who don't want the distraction of an independent media.

Re:Tempory citizen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43200871)

Who says they'd stay independent? All of USA's media conglomerates push their own agendas. This new conglomerate will probably do the same.

Afghanistan media (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43200851)

Is Junis involved with it at all? Whatever happened to that guy?

Success? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43200895)

quickly turning Moby Group into the largest media conglomerate in the nation.

Having different media all under the same commercial interest is considered a "success"? Only from the view of the US, I suppose.

The rest of the world would probably consider the flourish of different medium under different interests more desirable.

Free Press (2)

KGIII (973947) | about a year ago | (#43200917)

I need/want more information. Sure, this is great from a tech viewpoint but from a humanitarian view... Well, I want to know if they have free press AND if that press is what it needs to be in order to do its job. We have that right here in America and we tend to use it fairly well, more so when we get away from mainstream media but pretty well regardless. What free press demands, to be effective, is an inquisitive and persevering group of people to perform that task. Without that you have nominal free press that doesn't do any good. The article touches on this and hopefully the movie covers it more. I'll watch it when it is available to me. Also, the lady has a big nose. (I'm a little high and couldn't help but notice and comment on it.)

fuck afghanistan (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43200939)

why we ever spent a dime to 'save' them i'll never know.

oh wait. oil.
and to piss the russians off.

but still. fuck those guys.

Re:fuck afghanistan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43201123)

With the bacha-bazis - their equivalent of NAMBLA - they do a fine job of it just by themselves. Don't get involved. Just pull out all US & NATO troops out of Afghanistan, and let them all kill each other on whatever grounds they like - Pashtun vs Tajik vs Hazara, Sunni vs Shia and whatever else might come to mind!

Rupert Murdoch? (2)

sincewhen (640526) | about a year ago | (#43201277)

Sometimes referred to as the Rupert Murdoch of Afghanistan

Oh, so he's an asshole then?

Makes it sound like another propaganda network... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43201399)

Murdoch is probably the worst comparison anyone cold ever have made while staying in the media business. It's like comparing a head of state to Adolf Yong Cheney-Mobutu.

Then again, with the name of the station being English, it's very likely that that's exactly what it is: A US propaganda station.
Wouldn't be the first time.

Commodore (1)

isorox (205688) | about a year ago | (#43201729)

Re:Commodore (1)

unapersson (38207) | about a year ago | (#43202201)

I opened this story expecting an article about a TV network powered by Commodore 64s, imagine my disappointment when I see your comment is the only reference to the venerable beast.

What? No mention of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43204829)

Baywatch? Dallas?

Junis returns! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43206477)

The troll that was true! [slashdot.org]

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