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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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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