Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Very informativce, Chris, thanks a lot!

I once had a hero named Ahmed Shah Massoud, whom I learned about throw a journalist friend of the family when we were living in Taschkent (Uzbekistan). This journalist was a good friend of Massoud, and had at times accompanied him as a freelance during the resistance to the Soviets.

I remember one night in college, some time later ... I had arrived at this binge-bar frat-type occasion with an Afghan hat and had screamed for people to listen to what was going on in Afghanistan. At the end of the night, about two dozen of us were hollering "Masssouuuuuud". Ahhh the respect I had for the man.

The man was far from perfect (aren't we all). Yet, whatever mistakes Massoud may have made (like at times joining with the fundamentalists to fight the invaders), he was a man of honour and a true Afghan freedom-fighter.

Massoud was killed 2 days before 911, and our journalist friend, Marc Brunereau, died in a swimming pool 5 days before 911 (he would never go to the pool though, as he didn't know how to swim very well, this was the type of incident to make you wonder about conspiracy). Doctors concluded that he died of an embolism, a result of a schrapnel wound he had received a couple of years ago when bombed in Taloqan while accompanying Massoud. His death was very sad for his wife which we were close to, she informed us at the time that she couldn't really tell us about any suspicions she had, as the French secret service had hinted to her that her life may also be in danger. But his death was also sad for the world of free reporting, as the NATO operation in Afghanistan followed and he would have been one of the handful of honest foreign journalists that knew Afghanistan inside out, with contacts everywhere.

by Alex in Toulouse on Wed Dec 7th, 2005 at 07:06:40 AM EST
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