Saturday, October 24, 2009

Interview With Minnesota Public Radio

I had a quick chat with Jeff Horwich of MPR yesterday on the Taliban and the current war. They edited the segment considerably, to make me sound less stupid -- though I suppose you will be the judge of that. There is one bit, though, where they edited it such that I sound quite incoherent. See if you can figure out where.




20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Many Congratulations.

foolsparadise said...

Good one mate , you are a celebrity now!!

somethingrichandstrange said...

hey hey ahsooooooooon!

Ribosome said...

Nice. Next stop - Wolf Blitzer?

adeel said...

asoon? I mean, really, is it that difficult to say it right?

Asna said...

nice asooon!!

Anonymous said...

Bubs wud have done a much better job!

sai said...

Hi

One am one of those frequent, though mostly, silent (indian) visitor of your blog. Thought I should tell you this - you write well, but you actually sound as good, if not better, when you talk, unlike may good writers who are not as effective when on TV/radio. Not sure which was the incoherent part that you were referring to - but I found the answer to the last question (on why you root for the army) not at all convincing.

Salman Latif said...

Well-put!

Tazeen said...

I am so glad that you have not lost your Pakistani accent as yet :)

Kalsoom said...

Nice job Ahsan, you made some awesome points re: the offensive.

Sanden said...

Hey Ahsan, it's Sanden from MPR here. I don't know where we made you sound incoherent but if we did I apologize for that! Editing these things can be tricky on a deadline.

But yeah, you were a great guest and we were glad to get a chance to talk with you.

And sorry about the name pronunciation! We'll get it right next time.

Zubair Sheikh said...

Well Done Ahsan!!

Meehak said...

Great job Ahsan, you made it through nicely.

Anonymous said...

Incoherency : 4:18?

Guessing.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant interview !!!!!!!!

Ahsan said...

Thanks to the people who enjoyed the interview.

On where I sound incoherent (in my view):

When I jump from the Sri Lankan cricketers and the Youtube video to talk about how the government kept backing down. What they edited out was me describing the breakdown of the peace deals earlier this year, and how that played a big part in public opinion turning against the Taliban.

On pronouncing my name:

Trust me, I've heard MUCH worse. At least these people were kind enough to try to get it right (they asked me a number of times how to pronounce it). I think the confusion may have arisen because I told them that phonetically, it's es-UN. But I guess they mistook the "u" in that to be "oo".

My thanks to Sanden and the others at MPR who made it happen.

karachi khatmal said...

great interview!

and tazeen is right about your accent, quite refreshing.

a question though arising from your definition of the civil war, and your assertion in another post about liberals being right.

do you ever get the feeling that supporting the army right now feels a bit like 1971? i mean, i know we are better informed, that the taliban pose a much more different threat than mujib etc etc, but considering how most of what we know is controlled by the army, ever wonder that 30 years from now peopple might be aghast at our support much as we find ourselves revulsed by west pakistan's indifference at that time?

Ahsan said...

KK:

The analogy breaks down for a couple of reasons. First, the Awami League won control of the country fair and square in a national election. The Taliban have established control through nothing but violence and coercion. This is the biggest difference of all.

Second, the Awami League did not want to fundamentally alter the nature of the state. The Taliban do.

Third, I disagree strongly with the premise of your question, which is that the army controls what we think today. It controls what we think about the actual operational goings-on in Waziristan et al. It does not control what we think about what led to the conflict in the first place.

The Pakistani state, in all its manifestations, has royally fucked its citizens for a long, long time. If, just this once, they can beat back the forces that represent the worst possible scenario, we should be thankful, even if the situation arose in the first place only because of the state's own stupidity.

Murdabad said...

Cheers!