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'Afghanistan's Other War' & 'Our Culture of Distraction'

12/18/10 4:00PM

 

Steve Zind
Vermont National Guard Soldiers at Camp Phoenix
Documentary: Afghanistan's Other War

The war in Afghanistan is no longer solely a fight against insurgents. In fact, training the country's security forces and building relationships are now central to the U.S. military's mission in Afghanistan and critical to any plans to withdraw troops. That means soldiers have had to adjust to a new role where the tools are words, not weapons.

VPR's Steve Zind spent three weeks with Vermont Guard soldiers in Afghanistan. In this 30-minute documentary, "Afghanistan's Other War", he takes us on patrols and to police training sessions to learn how soldiers carried out their complex mission and how they view the prospects for success.

See photos, read more, and listen to interviews in the VPR:Report From Afghanistan.

Humankind: Culture of Distraction

At a time when four in ten Americans read at below-intermediate level or are illiterate, how is our society affected by the barrage of images and spectacle emanating from mass media? How do the impossible standards of beauty and materialism reflected in our celebrity-soaked culture impact how we see ourselves? How does journalism, when based on sensationalistic imagery, affect the functioning of our democracy? What are the consequences of "reality TV" which sometimes seems to normalize such traits as self-aggrandizement, the capacity for manipulation, the inability to feel remorse? These and other questions are considered by Chris Hedges, a long-time war correspondent for The New York Times and best-selling author of "Empire of Illusion"." - from Human Media

"The power of images to create [their] own reality has left us the most illusioned nation on earth. It has created an illusion about who we are, about where we are going, about what is happening around us, and has disconnected us so deeply from reality that we can no longer make rational decisions that affect our future."

--Chris Hedges
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author of "Empire of Illusion"

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