Afghanistan Article Clarifications

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I would like to express my gratitude to the Public
i for allowing Margaret Fitzpatrick to highlight the
problems taking place in Afghanistan in her article
“Afghanistan, a Beautiful Place Now Covered in Landmines”.
However, there are some inconsistencies
within the article that need to be addressed.
To clarify, the article stated that my family and I
were on the last commercial flight to leave
Afghanistan. While that was true in 1978, flights
have since resumed. The statement that the Taliban
proved “more divisive and destructive than any previous
tyranny” is perhaps careless. While they have
proven themselves ruthless oppressors, it minimizes
the human rights abuses that occurred during the
Soviet invasion and ignores the corruption under
President Daoud.
While the “six degrees of separation” network did
ultimately lead my aunt, Dr. Zieba Shorish-Shamley,
to a cooperative endeavor with the Feminist Majority,
it is important to distinguish the fact that she had
already established her non-profit organization,
WAPHA (Women’s Alliance for Peace and Human
Rights in Afghanistan) several years prior. Additionally,
the Tajik versus Pashtun mentality described by
Fitzpatrick I find to be detrimental to the healing of
the country.
As for the specific dates mentioned, I was
attached to HC-4 in 1991, not 1990, which was the
year I joined the Navy. I was deployed for the third
campaign of the Gulf War in August of 1992. I appreciate
the Public i for giving me the opportunity to
bring these issues to light.

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