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Rethink Afghanistan (2009)

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Rethink Afghanistan is a ground-breaking, full-length documentary focusing on the key issues surrounding the war. The film raises critical questions regarding Afghanistan. Segments of this ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Tariq Ali ...
Himself - Historian / Author
Faiysal Alikhan ...
Himself - Founder, FIDA / Director, RSPN
Andrew Bacevich ...
Himself - Professor & Author
Robert Baer ...
Himself - Former CIA Operative, Middle East
Shukria Barakzai ...
Herself - Member of Afghan Parliament
Thomas J. Barfield ...
Himself - Professor of Anthropology
Ramazan Bashardost ...
Himself - Afghanistan Presidential Candidate (as Dr. Ramazan Bashardost)
Christopher Bentley ...
Himself - United States Marine Corps (as Staff Sergeant Christopher Bentley)
Linda J. Blimes ...
Himself
Pratap Chatterjee ...
Himself - Managing Editor, Corpwatch
Juan Cole ...
Himself - Author
Steve Coll ...
Himself - President & CEO, New America Foundation
Catherine Collins ...
Herself - Co-Author of 'The Man From Pakistan'
Jo Comerford ...
Herself - Executive Director, National Priorities Project
Carl Conetta ...
Himself - Co-Director, Project On Defense Alternatives
Edit

Storyline

Rethink Afghanistan is a ground-breaking, full-length documentary focusing on the key issues surrounding the war. The film raises critical questions regarding Afghanistan. Segments of this documentary: Troops, Pakistan, Cost of War, Women of Afghanistan, Civilian Casualties, Security and Solutions. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | War

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2 October 2009 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

 
An informative DVD against the Afghan expedition
23 September 2010 | by (Netherlands, Utrecht) – See all my reviews

In 1982-1983 president Reagan proclaimed with regard to the mujahideen: "With little in the way of arms or organization, the vast majority of the Afghan people have demonstrated that they will not be dominated and that they are prepared to give their lives for independence and freedom. ... Afghanistan Day will serve to recall not only these events, but also the principles involved when a people struggles for the freedom to determine its own future, the right to be free of foreign interference and the right to practice religion according to the dictates of conscience". The fate of Afghanistan and the USA appear to be intertwisted. Therefore it comes as a surprise, that the documentary film Rethink Afghanistan is not yet reviewed here. I am the first to take on the challenge. Personally I never liked the occupation of Afghanistan, not even in 2001. However I got really interested when in 2005 the Dutch involvement in Afghanistan increased, and the first Dutch military casualties were recorded. In 5 years time I have learned a lot, and consider myself to be somewhat of an expert on the matter. The web site of the Brave New Foundation attracted my attention, and I bought their DVD. It is definitely a good produce. The narrative is divided into seven chapters: the effect of sending troops, the role of Pakistan, the cost of war, Afghan women, civilian casualties, homeland security, and possible solutions. Besides the main film the DVD contains extras: additional interviews and debates. Many of the speakers are illustrious, for instance Ahmed Rashid. However, we also hear the story of the simple farmer and the hungry fugitive. This makes the DVD into a highly informative collection of film material, which covers approximately all of the common arguments and standpoints against the military strategy. Of course the film is not neutral, but the message is presented in a fairly objective tone. The wide range of interviewed opponents prevents the proclamation of a clear ideological stand. After all, the discussion ranges from women's rights to civilian casualties. For me, the information is not new (but here I do not present the average). I was especially intrigued by the many film shots of daily life in the war zone. The film asks you to reconsider, and I pondered: can I empathize with the Afghan farmers? Do they understand? I also looked at the young disabled soldiers. I know that many of these kids travel to Afghanistan with comic magazines in their suitcases. Was it worthwhile for them? Do they cope? I hold the principle that in any land or nation the legitimacy of the use of violence belongs to the native inhabitants. The military should as much as possible be restricted to a defensive task. And then there is reality: ISAF and NATO can not win this war. And homeland security and safety in the Netherlands or the USA are protected by our watchfulness at home, not by the suppression of islamist fighters. A further important point is in my opinion the supply of more aid and development (although in this matter our countries hold somewhat different views). Note, that although the aid programmes are touched by the film, they are evidently not its main focus. However, it is vital that the Afghan government should get the means to rebuild its country, and this task should not be left to private international partners. The government should be able to prove its value to the Afgan people, and not be a tool of foreign policy. You might consider, for the sake of your own country, to see this DVD.


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