The New York Times blog At War recently interviewed Felix Kuehn and Alex Strick van Linschoten, editors of My Life with the Taliban, the autobiography of Abdul Salam Zaeef, a former senior member of Afghanistan’s Taliban and a principal actor in its domestic and foreign affairs.
In the interview, Kuehn and van Linschoten discuss the recent history of Afghanistan, Zaeef’s decision to join the Taliban, and Al Qaeda’s role in Afghanistan. The editors were also asked about Zaeef’s time in Guantánamo:
Q. Do you think that Guantánamo was the ultimate trauma of Zaeef’s life, as the book seems to suggest? Worse than what he experienced in war?
Felix: I don’t know. His entire life has been a trauma. I think Guantánamo probably transcends his personal experience. It’s a prism that shapes how he views foreign governments, how he views the United States, how he views foreign military organizations. The deceit, the dishonesty, the talk about democracy and human rights, and then experiencing the complete opposite. But beyond that, I think it’s a collective experience in a way, because it resonates within Afghan society.
For more on the book here is a video of the editors discussing the book: