Ted Rall for October 06, 2010
In Afghanistan, I grew a beard and wore a Shalwar Kameez. I tried to blend in. I got arrested instead. (Man: You are American? Why are you here in Afghanistan?) (Man 2: I am a journalist.) I told officials I was a journalist. They didn't believe me. (Man 1: You are not a journalist. Journalists travel with soldiers and armed guards.) (Man 2: Not real journalists.) (Man 1: You are terrorist, yes?) (Man 2: No!) The only reporters Afghans had ever seen were embedded with heavily armed troops. (Man 1: We never see this. You say you are reporter, but you travel just by yourself? You stay where?) (Man 2: With Afghan people.) That's right: Independent journalism in Afghanistan has been abandoned to cartoonists. (Man 1: But real reporters never talk to afghans.) Explains a lot.