Fintan O’Toole: The West had all the clocks but the Taliban had all the time

Belief in inevitable progress is an illusion; as is the brutal fantasy of an eternal Islam

In Afghanistan, raising the national flag has become an act of resistance. Follow one woman risking her safety to protest the Taliban. Video: NYT

In December 1928, a new phenomenon arrived into the world: the first ever mass evacuation of civilians by aircraft. The purpose of this cutting edge operation was to airlift 600 foreigners, and a few Afghans, from Kabul to Peshawar in what was then British India.

The British had just occupied a splendid new legation in Kabul when an Islamist uprising, fuelled by rage at the westernising ways of King Amanullah, overthrew the regime with which they were allied.

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