Archive for February, 2002

“Warlords” and “Leaders”

Monday, February 18th, 2002

The hidden agendas behind press coverage of the Afghan war.

By Ann Marlowe, a New York City writer

Doublespeak, laziness, ignorance, and incompetence have all been abundant in the mainstream press coverage of Afghanistan. And even worse, American reporters are regularly being played by dubious sources in the Afghan interim government’s defense and intelligence ministries — the very folks who may have brought you the assassination of Transport Minister Abdul Rahman last week.

Ever since the recapture of the north from the Taliban, one faction in the Northern Alliance, the Panshir Valley Tajiks loyal to the late Massoud, has been attempting to belittle, besmirch, and now to overthrow, their powerful rivals: General Abdul Rashid Dostum, an ethnic Uzbek, and Ismail Khan, a Tajik from Herat. (more…)

The price of milk (and sex) in Cuba

Thursday, February 7th, 2002

The price of milk (and sex) in Cuba

What is it about these poor countries? What savor do they offer us? Is it just the perfume of misery that makes us appreciate our own lives?

By Ann Marlowe

What was that doing here?

Twenty feet in front of me, close to the turquoise sea, a group of Italian men with Cuban girls laughed and bantered. The men were 40-ish but fending off gravity better than most American males, and they didn’t look bad in their bathing trunks. The women were spectacular in their tangas, not an ounce of fat on their 20-year-old bodies. They were ebony. There was an adage around that you heard once you’d been in Cuba a few times, that the Italian men always went for the really black Cubanas. What interested me about this was that in Italy, bourgeois Northern Italians will sneer at Sicily or even Naples as “Africa.” (more…)