Afghanistan, Taliban, United States discussed on Morning Edition

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And from the listeners who support this NPR station. Thanks for joining us on Thanksgiving Day. It's morning edition from NPR news. I'm Steve Inskeep. And I made till Martin a suicide bomber detonates in the middle of a religious gathering in Kabul. Afghanistan, killing at least fifty five people injuring more than ninety that happened just this week. But for the people of Afghanistan it could describe almost any week. The bloodshed persists in that country, even as much of the world has grown weary of hearing about it. The Taliban has retaken half of Afghanistan, Afghan forces are dying in an average rate of twenty five a day and a resolution to end the war is still out of reach Kathy Gannon is a senior correspondent with the Associated Press. She has covered Afghanistan and Pakistan since nineteen eighty eight I talked with her earlier from her base in Islamabad. Cathy, thanks so much for being with us. Thank you. I wonder if you have some personal way that you measure how things are going in Afghanistan. Do you have a personal benchmark? You look out for when you visit. Yes. Actually, it's interesting. Because I have been covering it for a time. And I have a lot of friends who have never left Afghanistan, Afghan French, obviously. And I think what is most disheartening and difficult is to see that those people who have been there through everything and have always tried to retain hope have really found it very difficult and several of them are now trying to find a way to leave. What does it sound like there right now? How does it feel when you're walking around in Kabul? Well, I mean, everybody is very nervous because the explosions are so random and so very deadly. And I think for many Afghans they fear such frustration that their lives are so insecure in mealy. Also, you know, just wonder how is it possible? When so much money has been spent forty two countries a hundred and fifty thousand troops at its peak. How is it possible that it is like it is today how have Afghans perception of the US changed? Well, for many Afghans because they can't understand how a superpower like the United States has been unable to make things better that things have gone from bad to worse to worst. So as a result of that. They blamed the United States for the situation for the corruption of their government. They believe that if the United States really wanted to make things better they could have now increasingly Rachel when you are in the market or you're talking to people people just say why not they might as well leave. It's not doing any good anyway. Going from bad to worse. The US is pursuing peace talks with the Taliban, which is at this stage considered to be unprecedented. What do you know about where those talks stand? I think for a lot of people to understand the United States has appointed Zalmay Holland side as a special envoy, and we should mention HAMAs odd, a former US ambassador, tough ghanistan. Yes. And since his appointment in September. He says it's escalated he's met several times with the Taliban last week they met for three consecutive days. And I think right now where the US is is to get the two sides to come together to decide on what a future Afghanistan will look like the two sides being the Afghan central government and the Taliban with the Taliban and the Afghan government including other players. What would the Taliban be willing to give up in these negotiations? I mean, they've got the upper hand right now. Well, you're right in a way, they do. I think at this point is not a question of. What either side is willing to give up. I think the way how bad has looked at. It has been what kind of a future, Afghanistan, the Taliban. See and what kind of future Afghanistan does the team that the government puts forward? See and how do you marry those two visions of a future Afghanistan? Let me ask you those friends you say Afghans you've known for years who have now either moved away from Afghanistan or are considering it. How do they feel about these peace talks? I mean are people at all optimistic anymore. We have a huge desire for peace talks. Absolutely Rachel and for Afghans their greatest desire really is that there be some weight that their country can move forward. And that they don't worry when they go out that an explosion is going to kill their children. You know now, you have the Islamic state affiliate. And she is who go to their moss at Friday prayers. You know, something drops in and everybody runs for cover because they're afraid of an explosion. So yes, when they talk about peace talks, ordinary Afghans will say absolutely one hundred percent and everybody be included. Absolutely one hundred percent. They want peace and they want to see their country move forward. Kathy gannon. She's a senior correspondent with the Associated Press. We spoke to her from her base in Islamabad Pakistan. Cathy, thank you so much. Thank you, very much Rachel a jury has acquitted a border patrol officer and a cross border killing it happened in two thousand twelve on the US Mexico border. There's a town called Nogales Arizona, which is right across from town called Nogales in Mexico a rust colored fence made a vertical bars separates the towns and six years ago. An agent on the US side placed his gun between two bars and fired sixteen times killing a teenager on the other side, the agent was found not guilty last April and again on different charges Wednesday. Michelle Mariscal reports from the frontier desk at K J Z Z, nobody has ever disputed that border patrol agent. Lonnie swertz killed sixteen year old Jose Rodriguez. Federal prosecutors said to killing was unnecessary. Schwarz's legal team argued he was defending himself on one. It prevailed jury found sports not guilty. This time of involuntary manslaughter sorts hung his head at the defense table and sobbed and relief. His shoulders shaking the dead. Teens grandmother also sobbed as she left the courtroom border patrol union vice president or relief relief finally relief. I think Justice was served. God bless each. And every one of those jurors is attorney argued Schwartz is a member of a paramilitary organization the border patrol and was following that agencies training when you responded to the rocket attack. He accused a dead teen of helping drug smugglers to escape charge. Prosecutors never denied they argued Schwartz was fed up with having rocks thrown over the border Adam and calmly and deliberately their chosen words during the trial walked up to the border fence and opened fire. Speaking through a friend at a cellular Rodriguez the teenagers mother disputed that her son was in ball. With drug traffickers, number Donyo. We have so upset they modeled the name of Antonio. In the name of the family, Linda, the teens grandmother spoke briefly after the verdict, Los otros most. Donate. We say may God forgive him. She said. Okay. Nosotros known Gallo almost better go down because we will never forgive him. For NPR news. I'm. Mariscal Tucson this afternoon on all things considered wire snacks getting cheaper at Atlanta football games. Tell your smart speaker to play NPR. This is NPR news.

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