The Great Game, Afghanistan Edition

Who wants to be an Afghanistan expert? (Some not so trivial trivia.)

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1. A key reason the Taliban banned opium production for the 2001 season was:

  • Religion
  • To drive up the value of their opium stash
  • To punish Helmand, the top poppy-growing province
  • Poppies too colorful

2. To which Hollywood action hero does a movie mujahideen deliver the following line: “Alexander the Great try to conquer this country…then Genghis Khan, then the British. Now Russia. But Afghan people…They never be defeated!”

  • James Bond
  • Rambo
  • Chuck Norris
  • The Governator

3. In the first half of 2008, how many more bombs and missiles did the US and NATO use in Afghanistan than in Iraq?

  • 5%
  • 59%
  • 146%

4. What percentage of seats in Afghanistan’s provincial councils are held by women?

  • 2%
  • 14%
  • 25%

5. In 2008, when 6,593 Afghans were asked, “What’s the biggest problem in your local area?” the most common response was:

  • Too much violence
  • Not enough electricity
  • Unemployment

6. Under the Taliban, men’s beards were required to be at least how long:

  • One fist below the chin
  • A week’s worth of growth
  • Two inches

7. Just 8 percent of Afghans support the Taliban. What percentage say its leaders should get to hold office if only they agree to disarm?

  • 19%
  • 43%
  • 64%

BONUS: Match the quote…

8. “The United States government is wholeheartedly committed to the full participation of women in all aspects of Afghan society.”

9. “We are not going to be able to rebuild Afghanistan into a Jeffersonian democracy.”

10. “I’ve never understood why we give a damn whether a girl goes to school in Afghanistan.”

11. “We do know [bin Laden] is either in Afghanistan or in some other country or dead.”

12. “If we set ourselves the objective of creating some sort of Central Asian Valhalla over there, we will lose. Because nobody in the world has that kind of time, patience, or money.”

  

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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