Seeing America’s Longest War Through Afghan Eyes

Later On

An excerpt from the book No Good Men Among the Living: America, The Taliban and the War Through Afghan Eyes , by Anand Gopal:

The old man sat legs folded on the asphalt, facing a bullet-ridden building. Spread out before him were Colgate toothbrushes and colored plastic combs and glossy cigarette packs promising “American flavor.” The building was like a crumbling cave, with its collapsed roof, buckling support beams, and a yawning hole for a front door. He pointed to the structure. “There,” he said, “was once something glorious.”

He had lived in this sweltering city of Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand Province, selling trinkets and toiletries for as long as he could remember—“before the Americans, before the Taliban, before the Russians,” he explained. In the 1970s, the building had served as the Helmand Cinema House, the only movie theater in all of southern Afghanistan. On a Friday afternoon…

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