Saturday, September 03, 2011

Anderson Cooper in Afghanistan 2006, A Look Back, Part 2

It's Septmber 12th, 2006 and Anderson is in Afghanistan for the 5th Anniversary of 9/11. Once again, he's anchoring AC360; embedded with U.S. troops at a forward operating base. If you missed part one of the series, please click here.

This literally is the ground zero of the war on terror here in Afghanistan. This is a forward operating base very close to the Pakistan border. The men here are soldiers with Bravo Company, 3rd Brigade, of the 10th Mountain Division. They are tough, brave men, who every day go out beyond this wire and patrol in Taliban territory. They see al Qaedas, al Qaeda fighters. They hear them. They intercept them. They kill them. There is active fighting going on. It's a very dangerous part of the world, literally the front line of the war on terror. Incoming rockets, as we said earlier, a daily fact of life in this part of eastern Afghanistan for these soldiers.

They go out on patrol every day beyond this wire, not only just to go on patrol, but also to search known launch sites, where some of these incoming rockets are coming from. Today, we went out on patrol with them. And it was an eye- opening experience, to say the least. Take a look.

The terrain is extremely difficult, the slopes steep, the environment, treacherous. ~

Power here in Afghanistan. Some five years ago one of the most controversial aspects of the rule was a government ministry called the Vice and Virtues Ministry. They had police literally roaming the streets, intercepting women if their veils were showing too much of their (AUDIO GAP) -- or if their beards were too short. Or if women were unaccompanied by men. Some here believe that some of the freedoms that democracy have brought have gone too far, and now the government of Hamid Karzai is talking about bringing back the ministry of Vice and Virtue. Take a look.

Who is the Taliban and why have they been able to come back? We wanted to talk about that with Sarah Chayes. She was a former reporter with NPR when she first came to Afghanistan back in 2001 to cover the -- the new Afghan government. She's stayed here, living in Kandahar. She now runs a relief group there. Her book is "The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban". She joins me now from Kansas City, Missouri.

You know, yesterday on the program we took you on a tour of Osama bin Laden's last known residence here in Afghanistan, in the city of Jalalabad. That compound pretty much destroyed and looted. It was from there that he fled under U.S. pressure, under bombing pressure to the mountains of Tora Bora and then simply disappeared. The question is, how did he disappear? Well, here's a quick look at some ideas of how he got away.

Want to thank a number of people for their hospitality to us here at this forward operating base and in our time so far in Afghanistan. Lt. Col. Paradise (ph), Sergeant Major Wood, Sergeant Fiddler (ph), also Captain Jason Dye, who we went on patrol with, who was commander of this base, Colonel Nicholson, as well. And of course, General Eikenberry as well. They've given us amazing access and we really do appreciate it. Also, our thanks to all of the men here on this base from the 10th Mountain Division, Bravo Company, 3rd Brigade. They're doing remarkable work in very dangerous circumstances. We'll be from Kabul tomorrow. I hope you join us for another special edition of 360.

A few photos of Anderson on the base ~

Since next Sunday is the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 and Anderson is scheduled to anchor CNN's coverage from Ground Zero with Candy Crowley, I will be posting the third and final installment of this series next Saturday. We will be covering Anderson at Ground Zero on Sunday. I hope you've enjoyed this look back and also enjoy your Labor Day Weekend ~ Wonz.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This all seems lie a lifetime ago.