From the archive, originally posted by: [ spectre ]

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/talkingtothetaliban

The Questions

For this project, The Globe and Mail sent a researcher into the
dangerous rural districts of Kandahar to meet Taliban fighters.

Here are the questions he asked:

1. How old are you? What is your tribe?

2. What is your profession? (Farmer? Land owner? Mullah?)

3. Are you a fighter for the Taliban? (If no, stop the interview.)

4. Why do you fight against the Karzai government?

5. Has your family been attacked by bombs or foreign soldiers? Is that
why you joined the Taliban? Are you taking revenge against the foreign
soldiers?

6. Is there anything the Karzai government can give to make you stop
fighting? What if the government gives you money, or a job, or a new
house, or a promise that you won’t go to jail?

7. Can this fight be finished if the Taliban talks, or negotiates,
with the government? If the foreigners go away from Afghanistan, would
you accept an Afghan government without Mullah Mohammed Omar?

8. Do you grow poppies? Does anybody in your family grow poppies? Has
any government person tried to cut down your poppy fields? What is
your opinion about growing poppies: Is this allowed for Muslims or
not?

9. How do you get money? Does the Taliban pay you for fighting? Do you
get more money if you kill a foreign soldier? Do you get zakat (an
Islamic payment similar to tithing) from other people? How much money
do you get every month?

10. Do you accept the Durand Line as the real border between
Afghanistan and Pakistan? Do you think Quetta and Peshawar belong to
Afghanistan? Or do you think the Pashtuns should have their own
country – Pashtunistan – separate and different from Afghanistan and
Pakistan?

11. We want to ask your opinion about some politicians.

Who is George Bush? What do you think of him?

Who is Hamid Karzai? What do you think of him?

Who is Pervez Musharraf? What do you think of him?

Who is Gulbuddin Hekmatyar? What do you think of him?

Who is Stephen Harper? Do you know him? What do you think of him?

Who is Stéphane Dion? Do you know him? What do you think of him?

12. What is NATO? What do you know about this thing?

13. What is the difference between the soldiers from the United
States, Canada and Britain (England)?

14. If you are looking at a map and you can see the United States in
the middle, where is Canada? On the left side? The right side? The
top? Or the bottom?

15. Some Canadian soldiers speak French and some speak English – just
like some Afghans speak Pashto and some Afghans speak Dari. The
Afghans who speak Pashto usually come from the southern part of
Afghanistan. What part of Canada do the French people come from?
North? South? East? West?

16. In the last month (August, 2007), French Canadian soldiers came to
Kandahar to fight against the Taliban. Before that, the English
Canadian soldiers were here. Who do you think are the stronger
fighters, the French Canadians or the English Canadians?

17. The Taliban have been fighting against Canadian soldiers in
Kandahar for more than one year (as of August, 2007). What do you know
about these Canadians? Can you tell me something about the country
where they come from? Is it a big country? Small country? Rich or
poor? Hot or cold? What kind of food do Canadians eat? How do they
behave with their women? Are there any Muslims in Canada?

18. Some countries are enemies of the Taliban; some countries are
friends. What countries are good? Which ones are friendly to
Afghanistan?

19. What do you think about suicide bombers? Who are these people? Are
they Pashtuns? Or foreigners? Is suicide bombing allowed in Islam?

20. Hundreds of foreign soldiers have died in this jihad. What do you
think – how many must be killed before they leave? How many years
until they leave, do you think?