Friday, December 15, 2006

Taylor Marsh With Significant Afghanistan Interview

My blogging colleague and friend, Taylor Marsh, hits a lot of balls out of the park, but she's really completed some amazing work this time. Taylor has done an extensive and wide-ranging interview with Scott Kesterson, a photojournalist embedded with the Army National Guard's 41st Brigade -- which Kesterson says has soldiers representing about 40 American states -- in Afghanistan.

Taylor talks at length with Kesterson, who is in Kandahar, on many topics, including his experience as an embedded journalist, the complex role of Pakistan in Afghanistan, the Taliban and the limited American media presence in that country -- you know, for the war that actually has something to do with the events of September 11.

"I don’t want to sound like I'm tooting my own horn, but to kind of put this in perspective, we don’t have a major media basis here," says Kesterson. "As I sit right now, I am the only official U.S. imbed in country. We have U.S. media that comes in and out quickly, but as far as a fulltime, long-term imbed, I'm the only one."

And Kesterson talks about why he went to Afghanistan to travel with our troops -- and how he'll hang with them until they come home.

"When I came into this mission, I did not come into it with an objective. I did not come in here trying to prove anything either way," said Kesterson. "I just came in here as an observer and a documentary photographer, with the intention of developing a documentary film on the process of deploying for a year as an Army National Guard soldier and what that is like."

"I will stay with these guys until they return in June 2007."

This is really a remarkable interview and Taylor deserves a lot of credit for delivering such a fresh perspective in a way that the corporate media doesn’t seem to care about.

Please go to Taylor's site and find the time to listen to the interview over this weekend.