Pot-use in America is rising sharply, and voters may make it fully legal in two states this fall…Tony Dokoupil meets two weed-entrepreneurs banking on that happening…plus Shehrbano Taseer whose own father was killed by the Taliban takes an insider’s look at 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai and how she may finally help turn the tide on extremism in Pakistan…and our annual green rankings reveal the planet’s biggest protectors - and polluters. Get the issue on iPad now http://bit.ly/TjJF2y or at newsstand tomorrow!
Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy. That’s critical. There is not a single statement that the president has ever made in any of our policy assertions that the Taliban is our enemy because it threatens U.S. interests. If, in fact, the Taliban is able to collapse the existing government, which is cooperating with us in keeping the bad guys from being able to do damage to us, then that becomes a problem for us.
But are they actually our enemy? We originally went to Afghanistan in search of the terrorists behind 9/11. Now, Al Qaeda’s mostly moved on to other countries. But the Taliban, many argue, are just as guilty for harboring the terrorists in the first place—not to mention their continuing to kill American troops. What do you guys think?
A Taliban commander interviewed by NEWSWEEK, on the assassination of Punjab Gov. Salmaan Taseer, one of Pakistan’s strongest voices confronting Islamic extremism. Some worry Taseer’s killing may launch a wave of attacks against other like-minded Pakistanis.
The threat t burn Qurans in Florida is a prime example of how America’s own Christian Taliban are creating and exploiting our national paranoia. Christopher Dickey reports.
When the bombing started, I was commanding some 400 fighters on the front lines near -Mazar-e Sharif. The bombs cut down our men like a reaper harvesting wheat. Bodies were dismembered. Dazed fighters were bleeding from the ears and nose from the bombs’ concussions. We couldn’t bury the dead. Our reinforcements died in their trenches.
I couldn’t bring myself to surrender, so I retreated with a few of my men in the confusion. Everything was against us. The highway south to Kabul through the Salang Tunnel was blocked. We walked four days in the deep snow without food or water. Kids started shooting at us from the hilltops, hunting us like wild animals.
By the fifth day I could barely walk. I hid my weapon and walked to a village, saying I was a lost traveler and asking for food. The villagers fed me, but I had lost touch with my comrades. I walked on until a minibus came along; I aimed my gun at the driver and forced him to stop. The van was full of Taliban. They said they had no room for me, but I threatened to shoot out their tires unless they took me. I had to lie on the floor with their feet on my body. It was uncomfortable, but I was warm for the first time in days.
A group of local militiamen captured us the next morning at a checkpoint on the Kabul-Kandahar highway. We were nearly dead. Our mouths were dry and cracked, our lips bleeding. It felt like Judgment Day. I lay in their filthy jail for a month before they let me go free, just after the Eid holidays. With the strength I had left, I made it to Peshawar. Our Islamic Emirate had collapsed with less than 40 days of resistance—I couldn’t accept that. Allah would let us rise again, I thought, because of all the blood we had spilled for Islam.
From Ron Moreau and Sami Yousafzai’s amazing oral history of the Taliban