through those things and putting together this narrative about these principals. it is not that there are new discoveries of hidden documents as much as it is once you know all those documents and study them and put together, why this meant that or how they are all connected and what is meant gives adults great perspective cut about what those mean. that is historical grounding and deep historical grounding. ..
>> i read a couple of different ways. i read a lot on place but i have a candle so i can carry about six different books at one time. that's good for traveling. a special light and a whole lot to it. >> gwen ifill's brooke is "the breakthrough." you can go to booktv.org and go to the afterwards archive and check it out.
>> thanks. >> welcome to booktv's coverage of the 2010 virginia festival of the book in charlottesville, virginia. this is a festival held over five days in the town of charlottesville, including places at the university of virginia. coming up today are several different author panels. we're going to show you panels discussing early american scientist, the french and indian war, women at war, and the business book reviewing. we're also talking with several authors about their books. but first up today, reporting from pakistan and afghanistan, here are j. malcom garcia and nick schmidle. >> it's my pleasure to welcome you all here. thank you all very much for coming. my name is ted. i'm the editor at the "virginia quarterly review." and it's my pleasure to welcome you here on behalf of the virginia foundation for the
humanities, which is the producer of the virginia festival of the book. it's my obligation before we even get started to remind you that the festival and the foundation are both, have hit rocky financial times, and there are steps that you can take to help them. not the least of which is a tax-deductible gift to the festival, which would be a fine thing to do. you can also let your legislators know that you've been attending this festival, that you've enjoyed this, that you think this is culturally valuable and encourage them to support the festival and to keep the foundation stores open and the programs that it supports underway. i'm also encouraged to remind you that part of the way that the festival reports and shows that what it is doing is
valuable is by collecting the data from those sheets of hope for all of you have been handed as you came in. please to fill those out and return them to the people are gathering to in the back, the volunteers are graciously giving their time to make the festival possible. that information is extremely useful to keeping the festival going and keeping these events open and free to the public. two things. you're going to get a chance to hear these guys talk in just a minute, and i'm sure after you've heard them you're going to want to own at least one copy of their respective books. and you're in luck, they are on sale. [laughter] >> at the back of the room. and it is always our pleasure to have the uva bookstore selling
at these events. they do a great job, and once again, are here to make sure that those books are available. and the one last reminder before introduced the speakers, no doubt as you're trying to coordinate and get to the very see this with your friends you're a regular cell phone contact. however, now would be a great time to pause that cell phone, documentation, because you are where you need to be. and we're hoping not to have any interruptions during the event. so if you can just switch them off, that would be great. so, i think that gets the housekeeping stuff out of the way. and brings me around to our two speakers today, nicholas schmidle and jane occam garcia. i'm really pleased to have these guys here, not just because i
think they have really outstanding books, but i'm looking for to hear them talk about, but because each of them has played a really critical role in my time as editor of the "virginia quarterly review." when i took over as editor in 2003, i had this notion that i wanted the literary quarterly to be able to do something that was more, that was more tightly, that was more current, and was more international. i had that invasion but i didn't know exactly how to make it happen. and one of the earliest and luckiest coincidences was not malcom garcia sent me a piece that was called curfew, about his time in afghanistan, was about a specific set of occurrences in afghanistan on one long, treacherous evening.
it was something that i still don't know exactly why malcolm said it to us, but i'm really glad he did because it was exactly the sort of thing i was looking for. it appeared in the second issue i put out as editor. and malcolm has been writing for us on everyday basis ever ever since then. that piece of writing, along with some other pieces from afghanistan that he has written are part of this book that is out now. he's also reported for us from probably more places than i can remember. but i can say that his work, from our pages alone, it's been reprinted in three different best american anthologies. and it also appears in the current issue of the qr which is also for sale at the back of the room. and as a lead portfolio on
afghanistan and includes malcom's report in the days leading up to the afghan election. there's a summer after that, that time when we started to get a bit of a reputation as someplace that was publishing longform international coverage i got an e-mail out of the blue from nicholas schmidle. and the e-mail said something along the lines of i'm in pakistan for a couple of years. i'm here on a grant. there are some places that the pakistani government doesn't want me to go, and i'd like to go there. [laughter] >> and you know, how can you resist that? so i agreed to that, and again, nicholas has been writing for us ever since then.
i'm not sure how many times he is written forced out either, three or four at least. and among other things that reporting that he did from parts of pakistan, the pakistani government did want him to be in, one in the kurt schork award, which is an award for international coverage that shows unusual courage reporting. he also most recently, in our winter issue, had a story about the group of somali young men, somali american young men who had been returning to somalia as suicide bombers and jihadists there and that story will be picked up for reprint in the next issue also. so both of these guys, doing really, really outstanding work from all over the world, and as
i say, they also have these two marvelous books that are just out. one about pakistan, one about afghanistan. and i look forward to hearing what they each have to say, and we will have plenty of time for q&a afterwards. i'm going to nicklauses gophers. so it's my real pleasure to welcome both nicholas schmidle and j. malcom garcia. [applause] >> ted, thanks so much for the so generous introduction. and not a slut on how long it took. that's a comment on the content. is their feedback their come ons are. i'm going to try to keep this to eight or 10 minutes, till one or two stories that get back to this theme of me sticking into place as the pakistani government would have the rather not gone into. i'm actually, i'm going to talk about which malcom was recently
they're about to much ago. i was there about two years ago. so we can kind of compare as how things have developed their if he comes back to come back full circle. in the fall 2007, about a year and a half into a fellowship that i had been living in pakistan on behalf of, on the institute of current world affairs, i started working on a piece for the "new york times" magazine called nexgen taliban. is largely a profile of this emergent new generation of taliban following the governments storming of the red mosque in july 2007. what i found so compelling in the story idea was these taliban were no longer under the control, under the authority of the traditional authority structures that had fostered the first generation of taliban. that being, there were no longer abiding by the tribal authorities. they were no longer -- they were no longer under the control of the religious parties, the mainstream religious parties that often use conventional
politics, parliamentary politics is sort of a shield and a cover for jihadists activities. and finally, there were no longer under control even at the intelligence agencies, which by most conventional histories claims that the pakistani intelligence agencies largely were created the taliban in southern afghanistan in 1996. so i was doing the profile of this one individual who was this middle-aged mullah was undergoing a sort of midlife crisis, and this was a guy that had been referring to more wal-marts taliban, as our boy. sort of the godfather of the taliban and now the pakistani taliban were rocketing his house, and that's firing rockets, not throwing rocks at. he was severely under threat. this was the character study of what happens when the taliban sort of go wild. but i needed to meet the younger generation and be able to kind of figure out what was making them tick. so in october 2007, through
mutual friend a range to meet a young journalist about four hours knows wes from islamabad. and that is going to go spend several days with him as a guest of the squad, the pakistani taliban. this was a time because the taliban were very much playing for public sympathies. and they were interested in having journalists. they had so turn the corner yet where they had lost all inclinations toward being, toward providing some sort of alternative, judicial structure. i think now, now they're no longer sort of -- is not a heart to mine anymore. so in october 2007, we get in and come in on a wednesday evening, and my translator, just as a quick word, these people,
the sixers for translators, guides, second pair of eyes, second get instinct, throughout any good coverage throughout the developing world you see as large a result and a much better gauge of how good the fixer is, how could the journalist is, in fact. so this was a prime example where i show up and this fixers is quick, go to the hotel, drop your bags because we're going to meet this taliban leader for dinner this evening. and i thought all right. this is how we start off right. is that we get moving. i'm only here for three days and this will be good. it's during the holy month of ramadan. we're going to break the fast with this guy. it is about two hours outside and he was going to miss on the outskirts of bangor, jump in our car and we're all going to travel to his house together. break the fast, what do. at least are leaving, my fixer gets a phone call from someone who says listen, the report that the taliban have set up roadblocks all outside the city. and they're stopping cars,
looking for and properly covered women and looking for tape decks or cd players playing on the islamic music. so i'm sitting in the backseat with my hair dyed, with a local close on, he said in a really bad disguise feel like this is not going to work like a thought of going to work two hours before. so we call up to our buddy here. he was waiting on the outskirts of town. we said listen, this is my fixer saying this. we hear they have set up a roadblock and we got his american shows in the back seat. and he's like this isn't going to be good. ikbal is quick to be a distraction of your car and give me the license plate number and don't worry about it. and people often wonder how the foreign al qaeda leaders and groups are able to base themselves up and down the border areas. hospitality cannot be over emphasized. and the importance of connections cannot either.
so ikbal who has made offer come he is hosting us this evening says don't worry about it. he puts in a call and around the next bentley, and there are four flatbed trucks with about 50 to 70 taliban in the back of each one. rocket launchers, ak-47s, long hair, had. i'm in the back seat thinking, all made. this is it. this is the beginning, this is the end. so i've got my nose in a newspaper and i'm pretending to read but i'm kind of flipping down the page as we getting close to because this is something you don't want to make eye contact with anyone, but by the same token you don't get to drive to a taliban roadblock each day so you want to try to soak in as much as you can. as we pull up to the roadblock, they're pulling over every car. we look at the car behind us, the women, young lady are pointed headscarves of and everyone is nervous that every car is getting pulled over in trunks are getting popped open. taliban are searching the cars. and we inch up and they taliban take a quick look at our car, look at each other, part and
wave is stupid and i thought, all right, i don't know the ikbal is who is waiting for us but he has a little bit of pull. so ikbal gets in the car and you can see that we are sweating and nervous and he can probably see my heart is pumping out of my neck. and he says, he starts bust out laughing. he says don't worry, don't worry. you are a guest of the taliban this weekend and we will take care of you. i don't know what you're supposed to take that, if that's supposed to coverage or not. [laughter] >> ikbal gets in the car with us and we drive to his house for dinner that evening. as we're breaking the fast, ikbal senses -- i'm having a pretty good time. no doubt about it. this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and i think that ikbal begins confusing empathy for sympathy. and so ikbal takes out his cell phone and he wants to start showing me some of the videos he has download at he and his colleagues, supporters, blowing up american convoys in afghanistan and iraq. mostly in afghanistan. the others were friends.
is a little uncomfortable for me for two reasons. my father is a marine general. and my brother is a marine lieutenant who at the time of serving in iraq fighting against jihadi's. so ikbal torture and abuse and i'm trying to figure out a way, this is not the time, you know, night is falling. ikbal are shown as a bunch of guns. now's not the time to stand up and said my father and brother are part of the crusading army of swatter like against and i want to make that clear i don't want to watch this video in the longer. so i changed the subject and ikbal and i start talking to islamic philosophy and jihadists philosophy. ikbal asked me if i've ever read osama bin laden's philosophy book. and i said no, i haven't but now would be a great time. we can stop watching dvds and resort switched his focus of the conversation. so ikbal brings into another room adjoining the river we were
sitting. and he's got this bookshelf set up that a sort of all this al qaeda and taliban paraphernalia. a letter signed from omar thanking them for making a delivery, weapons that he is allegedly covered from american soldiers. and then a bunch of dvds. at the bottom there's a backpack that jesus actually he says the book is in that knapsack. and i promised the person left that knapsack that i wouldn't touch it until he returned. ikbal, we have benign manner biretta and we got ak-47s here. who left his baggage are so worried about? he said, this bag was left by out the bar, al qaeda's number two. and i thought all right. so now things are getting creepy. now we have the sense that people have been here that a deadly should not be in the same room. so went back into the adjoining room and made eye contact with my fixer and he said we should do.
and so that evening we went back. he drove me the two-hour drive back through the roadblocks, no issues. on friday morning we were set to go to meet the main militant leader. we were going to go for the friday prayer, and then after the friday prayer, these taliban which were a bit more hard core had promised that they were going, there's going to a big sort of rollout party. we were joined this meant that we want to be there. friday afternoon or friday morning, 11:00 as we're preparing to leave, my fixer and are looking at each other thinking this is not the greatest idea. were not going to go into the middle of the taliban camp and not really have a way of getting at because there are two ways to go. you can either drive through a series of taliban controlled villages to get to the mosque compound area, or you can park your car on the side of the swat river and get into a carriage attached a zip line that the taliban had set up. and this in the zip line and pushes up across the river and
go 50 meters over the river and watch or participate on the other side of the road. so we ultimately took the second option, and had a fantastic day there and i could talk about this a bit more later in the q&a. we witnessed a public lashing. we saw the taliban sort of really illustrate that there in total control of the area. but what was the most, most fascinating and telling thing that happened was that morning we called ikbal, and we said this was when we're having reservations about leaving the hotel even. we said, tremor, we don't know if we want to go there. we have the invitation, but these guys are serious. we have broken bread with you. you might be a pretty extreme dude, but at least you're not, we can hope you're not going to watch him cut our heads off or something because we've had some connection. ikbal's response was no way am i going with you guys because those guys over there are extremists. [laughter] >> and at that point the emergence of this sort of next
generation of taliban was very apparent and was on display. so anyways, that story appeared, or that tale appeared and a piece i did for the "new york times" magazine the first week of january 2008. and two days later, the police showed up at our house and ordered my wife and i from the country after living there for two years. and so i came back and that story, deportations were and all that. i will turn it back. >> thank you, nicholas. i will turn it over to malcom, who's got somewhat of a different story, but i'll let you set it up, malcom. tell us about the book in afghanistan. >> the story is i'm not going to travel with nick. [laughter] >> and i want to thank all of you for coming and also certainly ted and all the staff,
volunteers, interns at dq are who have given me so many opportunities. the story behind curfew that ted referred to, the reason i said to is it had been rejected at least 12 times. i stopped counting after that and i frankly, i can this now. didn't even remember sending it to vqr. when ted sent me his acceptance. but when he said he is going to pay me $100 a page i remember quickly. i said i'm down with it. [laughter] >> so thank you again. i came to journalism through the backdoor of social work. i worked in san francisco for 14 years with almost men, women and children in cambodia and salvador and refugees. i got into that word because i went through the jack caraway phase just hitchhiking across the country, at one point i picked up pneumonia and i landed in san francisco, weighing about 130 pounds in the indigent care hospital and you're guaranteed a bet at the shelter if you put down exercise mats.
i did such a good job in the exercise mats that they had me for $400 a month full time. and that was my introduction to social work. it took me 14 years to realize i wasn't getting paid enough so went into journalism. [laughter] >> september 11 happened, and i was working at the "kansas city star" newspaper, and i realized that the cliché was true that september 11 among many other things was the d-day for the current generation. so i told my editor i've wanted to go overseas. i didn't tell him that i didn't know where afghanistan was. that i don't really know about it from rambo three your but i just knew i just wanted to go. and i figured out where i was going later. fortunately, unfortunate for the newspaper business, but fortunately for me overseas bureaus have been cut so much
and on september 11 happened, newspapers were scrambling. they didn't have anybody over there. so the "kansas city star" at the time as part of the knight ridder corporate chain which a 32 newspapers. and they just put out an apb and effects in who wants to go to afghanistan. and they sent me. i was told on friday that i was living on saturday, the following day. and so i spent friday night, frankly, drinking and looking at maps. [laughter] >> because i thought at the very least i should learn where this place was. telling people far to the right of the united states just in have much credibility. and that resulted in return trips pretty much every year after that, november of 2001 to as recently as last august. and obviously there are a lot of stories in between. for this segment of this part i'd like to refer to one incident that happened in 2003.
by that time, i was close friends with my colleague who i call brother because he is already correcting my pronunciation of his name. and as a social worker all the people that i worked with they all had straight games. if i call them by their proper name basic no-no, i'm gypsy, i'm alabama, i'm too tall. whatever the name is. they had nothing but they have their moniker, so to speak. so is very natural for me after he corrected me a thousand times to just calling him bro. and he accepted that and he butchered my name. i used to tease him about that so he started calling me a man who comes from outside. and throughout the years that we work together, we were always dealing with a lot of war orphans, homeless kids on the street. and they are literally like fleas on a dog. they don't just ask for money, they will fall you for blocks and clutch at you and everything
like that. you find yourself having to get kind of callous, as i found as a social work with homeless people say no, i can't give you another quarter today. a particular morning, there were five boys outside the hotel i'm staying at. the astra money and i said no. they didn't follow me. that made me depressed. so the following morning when i saw them i would give them candy. and i thought i would leave it at that. i'm going to give them candy. they are not counted me. that's good. and then one day they sent we're not eating the candy. i said why not? they said it upsets their stomachs because they are not eating real food. so i said okay. i'll take you to lunch. and this, get some real food anywhere back to candy. the lunch progress from once a week to every day. and then, you know, i started sounding like my parents.
i said why aren't you in school? we are war orphans. so we found a school that they could actually enroll in that didn't charge them. it was a very interesting school because they worked around the street schedule of the kids that if you made more money begging in the morning you what to school in the afternoon. if you make more money begging in the afternoon he went to school in the morgue. that certain intrigue me. i wish i'd thought of that when i was a social worker working with people. so we put them in this school. and then we started tutoring them at night making sure they did their homework. i'm saying this not to elevate bro and i as the heroes of afghan social workers. but to point out a certain night to be a both our parts. we didn't realize by initiating this would cost the line and they have an expectation. you know, we've given them a kind of attention and affection
they had received before. certainly from westerners. and quite frankly from their own people. and i don't see that critical of afghans, but when you have nothing it's very hard to give to other people who have nothing and you can get very hard on your children. you see that in the united states among impoverished neighborhoods and we sorely see that in third world countries. well, i have really thought that through. and so the problem came along when, after five months in afghanistan, it was time for me to go. and there was no real follow-up plan for these kids. because i hadn't thought through so i did a mad scramble, i talked to eight organizations and they said, you know, we got our hands full, or you can tell these kids to come here. i'm not what i used to experience in social work weren't boils down to is are not going to come down to you, trust issues, et cetera, et cetera. and i realized at that moment, well, i'm not sure if i realized it but i question it because i ended up wondering if i'd done more harm than good.
because i it's an expectation and i was going to lead. i had planned to send bro money and that type of thing. but i knew in my heart that wasn't going to work, that trend i was going to get on with his life. when i wasn't there he was going to have to make a living. sending money to afghanistan can be difficult. and that when people get it, i'm not disparaging bro family, there is no guarantee who's going to get what he forgets to the kids because everyone is scrambling. and so i set up false expectations, and in the end, disappointed myself and i disappointed the kids. and i'm saying that not to make myself a whipping boy, but because i realize to a certain extent what i had done was a metaphor, if that's the right word for u.s. policy in afghanistan. i know it's easy to beat up on the united states because the perceived failures in both iraq and afghanistan, it's important to note those failures. i don't say this to beat up on any government as much as to
but the united states chose and the western countries chose to have other prioress so a lot of promises are made in the years i was there, they'd never cancer like promised and then the country deteriorated and with the deterioration of the country in terms of the war effort came deterioration of morale for the afghan people were very angry with the western countries and they began to kind every right there on his repaired after a while the senate and of the soviet union in really wasn't that bad and under the taliban it wasn't that bad. we have security. at least in the taliban said they were going to cut off our heads they did when the western countries say they give us money they don't. it has reached such a point that on my last trip it was a dangerous place for westerners to wander around the country because the discipline and is so vast and also what they see a representative of western countries are huge, use or hummers or whatever they're called, big black trucks is on
talking about with the windows painted black and you can see in them. ngos who are unsure are doing god's work but they get huge amounts of money. they will spend two energy thousand dollars on security to drive from point a to point b and that may make for a $0.6 but if you are the guy on the ground waiting for this aid to come in since 2001, you know, the feelings are real and are really good and i think that's something we're forgetting as we proceed with our policy some with the policy has to be careful but it doesn't set up great expectations and then does of follow-through because that has been the problem, one of the many problems all along. in my ranch, and get off my soap box and drink a glass of water. [laughter] >> before opening up to general questions i want to follow up
with each of you a little bit. first, nicolas i want to ask little about some some of the weather reporting and the human or did in pakistan, you have gone loss of other places, looking at terror networks in other regions and i wonder if you talk a bit about that and which receive happen and globally. >> it's a good question. i think that -- i think we can -- it's become sort of a truism to talk about pakistan been the center of all global activities and all global jihad activities, but to try and put it this theory to test and december of 2008i was in north africa for two weeks doing a piece about al qaeda as franchise and looking
at how the franchise model had worked for them. we had one franchise in iraq and one by franchise in north africa called al qaeda and we've since have won a franchise that emerged in saudi arabia and yemen which oddly has still yet to be officially blessed by al qaeda, and the thing that was interesting was the franchise model is now working. so was you have a great -- it's an interesting dilemma for them for these militant networks because you have a rising resentment against the united states, you have an increasing amount of news anchor and willingness to take up arms and willingness to blow themselves up and yet the organization can't -- al qaeda as it exists in caves and what not on the pakistan the afghanistan border but mostly in pakistan can't. >> to them so these groups are
fledgling. the under were bomber could have caused a great amount of harm to that one kid on an airplane with a bomb strapped in his underwear. years after 9/11 when you had 18 reorganized well-trained suicide bombers so i think that's kind of a testament to where we stand now in terms of the it diffusive mess of the global jihad for lack of a better word. everyone wants to get in, but the organization superstructure is in their. >> it's a related question for you malcolm because nicolas mention you recently been in pakistan and swat talking to some of the al qaeda affiliated groups, but al qaeda proper, and just wonder if you can tell us a bit about that trip and what she saw.
>> what stood out to me is when i talk to some of the al qaeda affiliated groups their critical of the pakistan taliban which i thought was interesting. the only reason that i could think about was when the taliban occupied it swapped valley it spreads such fear that the conclusion i reached was a political or tactical move up to disassociate from the pakistan taliban and say they're nothing but bandits and that people really don't represent us because right now there is some support for pakistan military tupras back against the taliban and it struck me that there are kind of trying to disown -- we can cut off her right hand and still hover left hand into all sorts of things without a strategic move of disowning them for the moment. >> related and this is sort of for each of you, are the issue
that we just put out has a number of essays about afghanistan and that sort of as you alluded to, there seems to be some slippage going on now between what we mean when we're talking about our strategy that al qaeda and taliban are often talked about as a single group even though it doesn't seem to be the way they're operating and it's created something of at least public confusion if not military confusion in afghanistan and again if you been there really recently. was your sense of the progress of events there?
>> well, i think the conclusion i reached from this last trip to pakistan the only way i can understand and my own head was in some ways these al qaeda groups are kind of like the mafia. you're chicago branch, your new york branch and to open branches of line with each other because there's so many people getting involved in nicolas may know more about this and i do, but the unifying factor is a huge and rage against the united states that really struck me in this most recent trip both in the afghanistan and pakistan from the most educated people who had gone to mit etc. to the beggar on the street with polio, they all said 9/11 was a crock, an inside job by the united states to give the u.s. and the western countries in excuse to invade central asia.
it renders one speechless when you hear that, but the same time i heard it so often that to the hard questions that i sometimes think we as a country avoided is why would an otherwise reasonable person say that? what have we done to contribute to that kind of thinking or to create the kind of reaction that one would come up with this friction? 9/11 is such an emotional point for all of us is really hard to deal with that question without getting either angry at the person asking its or angry at -- just a rich the people who say it's nonsense without figuring out how can somebody who went to school and mit really believe this stuff. >> he mentioned this rage against americans but to have also told me that when you were most recently in pakistan and meeting with some of the young
recruits, the l.a. t, that she met with them and was an unexpected place. can you talk about that practice. >> that was great. we met at a mcdonald's. [laughter] and one guy told me that he had been in a metal band and he insisted that i play the guitar because i had a ponytail. [laughter] and so he was insistent and i said i couldn't play guitar to save my life. you want to kill me, this was a good time. [laughter] he said you were too modest, you're a very modest man. and then under the golden arches i got this stream of stuff about how the united states is this and that and it's okay to blow things up in this that and the other. as nick was referring to the boys. >> you are a guest because i would always put -- put shrek and say you can't hit a
government review contained obama but you can hit the government. two have to have something physical so when you say you hate the american government and i am sitting here i and the tangible thing of the american government so you must take me and that's why i can't go prancing around this country without dressing up as nicklaus did and feeling equally foolish. especially when people came up and started sneaking me -- speaking in their native language. i didn't think i would pass and actually passed with people asking me questions. i can't say anything. [laughter] and from chicago. i started planning and my mouth and ears trying to say i was deaf mute. [laughter] it is strange to feel scared and embarrassed at the same time. [laughter] there something that is right about that. and i really got off the subject.
but it was interesting discussion that only about tangible versus santangelo because they insisted that we would never do anything to you because you are a guest. but obviously they are doing things to people because they represent the bad things that they attribute to the united states and. >> actually on that point, you referred to being i guess i don't know if your officially deported, you're asked to leave, but then he made a return trip to pakistan that was a little heroine. >> officially deported, we have a deportation order that says you're reset has been cancelled and you are to leave the country immediately sold to my wife's connections, this is my wife and the front, she is the unsung hero of the whole pakistan experience in that i had it been -- when the cops came i had been
there for two years and haven't been part of the terms of my fellow shipper that i stay there and only for two years and that was a the thing. she was allowed to go to the states twice in get a little piece of america, take a deep breath and go back to pakistan. so when the cops came i was like this is actually not going to be the worst thing. ricky had just made the spa director at the five-star hotel in islamabad the issue is the only non muslim american two ever attended is like university and she had just been commission to start posting a reality tv show which she was making over pakistan women. [laughter] session was extremely well connected so when the cops came in deliver this deportation order is said to have 44 minutes to get your stuff together and go to the airport, we called one of ricky's clients to happen to be a cousin of the prime minister who at that moment when
i called him and said we're in a bit of a bind, i've got these cops in the driveway looking kind of scary an angry, he said don't worry i am playing bridge with musharraf advisers so pass the phone to the senior police officer and will pass the phone to the president of his national security adviser so that was what got us today is and allow us to leave under threat of deportation i think was but when i went back there was a change of government in february in the new government to allow me to come back and write a story about this sort of mainstream peaceable moderate form of islam that in my view the taliban make a lot of noise and have the guns but these people have the numbers and if you want to understand mainstream islam and pakistan attending these festivals is the place to be. so i had gotten an assignment to go to this smithsonian and 10 days into what was supposed to be a free trip began with a new research getting back to the
point of incredible importance of the fixtures we started getting phone calls from the same cell phone-number from someone pretending to be people that didn't exist wanting to meet me in karachi first interior minister initial and second in newspaper editor. i would have never looked at this phone-number and says something's funny about this, let's follow up and i fixer said this guy said he was interior ministry official, no government business as dilva on cellphones soren going to call them ministry and ask about this individual. sure enough recalls the ministry and they said neither does the person or does that always exists. so we thought all, right this is a bit creepy, this is actually very much a page from the daniel pearl playbook. so i played -- i call the embassy and mean that with the zadari of the night before who then became president so we called his office and said we're getting really got your phone calls from intelligence agencies and so to make a long story
short about an hour later the phone rang again, friends in islamabad were watching television and a local tv was reporting i had been kidnapped in karachi. whoever was making these phone calls apparently wanted to get us out and this was, whether this was them forecasting intend to or whether this was just that and try to get into my head they being intelligence agency is the latter work and i said okay out of here. this let me get this festival for couple of hours into what i need to do so i left in a hurry and eventually the u.s. embassy, i couldn't get a ticket out of the country and all the plans were booked in the u.s. embassy helped me get out, bois so i'm inclined and it is because as a stick and the airport in this big as to be i was thinking as a freelance and been a journalist if you have to be taken out of a country by the u.s. embassy in a bulletproof car that's when you know your time is down there for
a least a while. so i pledge to keep my wife, my parents that i probably am not going back to pakistan any time soon so we will find it somewhere else to travel together. [laughter] >> well, we've got time enough for a few questions from the audience to open up. go right ahead. >> [inaudible] >> i will tell a quick success story. there are no agencies involved but it reflects very well on pakistan public opinion in the course of the past. that is that when we talk about the taliban there has always been a distinction that i think mainstream pakistan of wealth between the taliban as an
abstraction which was very appealing, these guys -- every pakistan person is angry against u.s. policy is so here you have these guys in the hills who are balkans, a little backwards but at least they're fighting the good buys in the name of islam so their support in the cities for them, there was, but there was never -- you had admiration for the taliban as a distraction but in an ideal reality the guys with the bears and the guns standing on the street corners, no educated pakistani really wants that so that distinction have held for several years up until last spring and the taliban move status swat into the neighboring district and came within 60 miles of islamabad and 70 from then until now the distinction has began collapsing and i think the public opinion has certainly turn and now the newspaper editorials while still a list conspiratorial are less should we fight against the taliban and
out more had to be applied against the taliban so i think that's been encouraging. you've got to -- it's once public support begins to dissipate in the military cannot more effectively on to counter insurgency. >> i think in afghanistan and there are two points. i don't think anyone really wants the taliban to come back. when i said earlier that they rewrite history, mw is an indication of their frustration. there's a lot of good will there that the u.s. could tap into. if it really follows through on what committed to and also takes a hard look at the karzai government. the election showed is a very corrupt government and again people in the u.s. should ask afghanistan is asking do we want our sons and daughters of afghanistan mostly sons to die on behalf of this corrupt government.
and you're right, there's a lot of bad news, but i think the news is bad because a lot of the hard questions have been asked and there were things or thought through. there are a lot of agencies that are doing excellent work and again just like in this country from my social work background i can see a lot of nonprofit groups doing great work but the real question is whether in this country dealing with poverty or s. bet -- afghanistan dealing with what they're doing with our these individual great works actually trading cumulative hold that will stand the test of time. and right now in my very small and isolated opinion i don't see that. frankly in the united states and in afghanistan. >> we will take one more question before we will have these guys go to the back of the truman signed books and they can talk one-on-one. go right ahead and.
>> [inaudible] >> -- you talk about the anger with the u.s. but i don't seem to present an explanation for the roots of that anger. and is that because you never planned out or you just dismiss it out of hand as being irrational? or did you try to find out what was behind it and maybe you could share some of the issues like the problems in india versus pakistan for example and with a u.s.-supported between those countries? or any other explanation you have for it. >> well, you actually touched on it, many people said until the kashmir problem is solved and the palestinian issue is all there will never be peace in the region and there are people who, history holds sway in this in my experience in afghanistan and pakistan and people working back to a time before my parents were born they can recite the wrongs
of history from my back. so i did this message. as early down on how to address when people are reaching back so far back and saying we have been wrong, this time 80 all the way up to the current time. i don't have an answer to how to address a neighbor so deep they are reaching for these points. i do think though to begin addressing that a your you have to deal with obvious issues that haven't been dealt with and that certainly from and i heard from people who beat kashmir and the palestinian issue. >> i think -- i think that is a fantastic question. in my mind there are two sides of it. the one of which is that in 2007 there was a broad based movement led by lawyers but for the
restoration of a sect chief justice. the u.s. stance and that whole a fiasco was terribly wrong headed and what happened is you saw pakistan sees middle-class and this is why i use the english newspapers, you see i really educated people in the capitals and the main cities being so angry at the u.s. was that during that whole time we have the bush administration or whenever administration, i don't know what position the obama and administration would have taken but none the less you have them supporting clearly undemocratic dictator will still parroting the talk about promoting democracy in the muslim world and that hypocrisy burned into the public imagination for that year. and so i think it is built off of that. the second thing is from a security standpoint from pakistan emma pakistan for the first 58 years of its existence it was always the student as pakistan and india from the u.s.
perspective. it was always balancing one against the other so when the u.s. made this nuclear deal to start sharing nuclear technology within india and pakistan's thought we are next and they didn't get it and then became very angry. now though you have 180 million people come in nuclear-weapons, you got al qaeda based in the country, all they want is two have the pakistan problem viewed as a pakistan problem and you got out from pakistan and india to the silly moniker s. park and they are like what they have to do to be referred to as our own problem. but it's the sense that pakistan is an attachment to what is the larger u.s. security focus whether india or in this case be one. so i think it's the sense of being old is used. we can say this on c-span but they always talk about pakistan q1 naiveté been used in the runaway and whether that be regards to india or afghanistan
so that sentiment is certainly there. >> before selling these guys to the back of the room to sign books, i wanted to mention to everyone that if you are interested in these questions of the region, you're in luck. there are a couple of additional ovens that we're sponsoring over the next two days that you should try to make plans to attend. the first of which is in the event with photographer lewis blew who will be showing his photographs from the southern part of afghanistan. he spent the last three plus years there autographing and he will also be playing in audio slideshow and talking and showing videos that he shot over there. i've seen the material, it's really outstanding and you
should try to attend. that is at 8:00 p.m. this evening at the bridge progress of arts center at the end of the downtown mall and just across the bridge. also toman night at 7:30 p.m. at jefferson hall which is just across the street from us here, there will be three reporters who all are featured in this issue. louis is also featured in this issue appear in jason maude, eliot was an neil shea who is hiding in the back of the room here as we speak. all three of them haven't been in afghanistan reporting for us in the last few months and so there's still plenty more to be set on the subject and each of these guys has covered different parts of the country, and derrin aspects of what's going on there if you can make plans to attend i thank you will find that
they've got a lot to stay and are just as fascinating as accessible as the these two gentlemen are. thank you again all of you for attending and to you guys. [applause] i'm going to send it to a view to the back of the driveway. so if you let them proceed to so that they can start to sign so that they don't get swamped and never get to sign any books. [inaudible conversations] >> up next on charlottesville in the virginia festival of the book, a look at the french and indian war. james warren has a book called "a kingdom strange: the brief and tragic history of the lost colony of roanoke" and john ross "war on the run: the epic story of robert rogers and the conquest of america's first frontier". that starts now.
>> midafternoon. my name is henry, an affiliate fellow at the virginia foundation for the humanities. welcome to the festival of the book and welcome to the small special collections at you virginia harrison institute. i will give a very brief introduction and then some of introductions. we are -- i should also say the virginia foundation is the producer of the virginia possible of the book and if you wish to help us to keep this a wonderful festival going there are two ways to do it. you can make a tax-deductible gift to the festival and, please, let our virginia legislators know that you have attended and that you're interested in seeing this continue because i'm sure that many of you know the difficulties that we just want prepared and at the and, please, fill out your reader evaluation forms, those are very important to us. also at the end of the event we will be selling books a