A rare, 21-minute video by Norwegian journalist Paul Refsdal, who embedded with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Released by an Australian tv program a few days ago. This is pretty amazing (and extremely dangerous), only ever been done before by a Western journalist. It offers a glimpse into the day-to-day life of the Taliban, which includes hiding in the mountains, praying, and firing on US convoys from up above.
Spend the next 21 minutes of your day watching this extremely rare footage of the war in Afghanistan’s Kunar Province — from the Taliban’s perspective. The video, released by an Australian TV news program, comes from Paul Refsdal, a Norwegian documentary journalist who embedded with a Taliban commander named Dawran earlier this year.
Most American troops spend their tours in Afghanistan with only the vaguest idea of who they’re fighting. In June, a Special Forces A-Team in the south reportedly couldn’t find the Taliban. It wasn’t so hard for Refsdal. This self-described “tall white man” managed to effectively infiltrate the insurgency in one of its bastions. The only other person we know to have done anything similar is our crazy friend Nir Rosen, who’s been known to pass himself off as a Bosnian Muslim.
Refsdal portrays the Taliban as a bunch of dudes goofily hanging out: combing their long dyed hair; joking with one another; praying a ton; and repeatedly firing on U.S. convoys from high in the mountains. (“Use the rocket launcher, Rafiq, the rocket launcher.”) Dawran is a doting father of young kids who tells the reporter stories about how he came this close to killing a “traitor” but then took mercy on him. His men gawk at how scared Refsdal appears and can’t seem to load their ammunition properly. “These guys sound and act a lot like a U.S. small unit, but replace all the quotes from ‘Anchorman’ and ‘Talladega Nights’ with ‘Allahu Akbar,’” observes Andrew Exum of the Center for a New American Security.