September 9, 2021

Paul Fitzgerald And Elizabeth Gould - Crossing Zero: The AfPak War at the Turning Point of American Empire

Paul Fitzgerald And Elizabeth Gould - Crossing Zero: The AfPak War at the Turning Point of American Empire. (Published in February 2011).

Excerpts from Amazon:

"Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, a husband and wife team, began working together in 1979 co-producing a documentary for Paul's television show, Watchworks. Called, The Arms Race and the Economy, A Delicate Balance, they found themselves in the midst of a swirling controversy that was to boil over a few months later with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Their acquisition of the first visas to enter Afghanistan granted to an American TV crew in the spring of 1981, brought them into the middle of the most heated Cold War controversy since Vietnam. But the pictures and the people inside Soviet occupied Afghanistan told a very different story from the one being broadcast on the evening news." 

"Gould and Fitzgerald have covered Afghanistan and the surrounding region for 30 years, as both documentary filmmakers ( Afghanistan Between Three Worlds) and authors ( Invisible History: Afghanistan’s Untold Story). This long involvement with the issues has made them sharply critical of America for its lack of understanding of the ethnic diversity and social relations of the people, its application of Cold War thinking and strategy to a new and different kind of conflict, its military’s current counterinsurgency strategy, and its failure to define Pakistan as the real challenge. The authors portray policies of previous years (e.g., U.S. support of insurgents fighting the Soviet invasion) as now coming back to hurt us, part of a repetition of errors previously made by European powers in the region over the past 400 years. They have marshaled an impressive array of sources, both journalistic and academic, to demonstrate that their ideas have long been available, if only policymakers had chosen to heed them. VERDICT Bob Woodward’s recent Obama’s War focuses on the administration’s AfPak deliberations, but this book provides a wider perspective. Readers with a serious interest in U.S. foreign policy or military strategy will find it helpful in thinking about a long-lived issue. —Marcia L. Sprules, Council on Foreign Relations Lib., NY."

Here is a 10 minute clip from their presentation of "Crossing Zero" at City Lights bookstore in San Francisco in March 2011. You can watch the whole event on the C-Span website.

This Issue: "Crossing Zero: The AfPak War at the Turning Point of American Empire"