Monthly Archives: May 2011

Osama bin Laden’s death gives peace a chance in Afghanistan


The death of Osama bin Laden means the Taliban may be open to a 'new narrative' of the Afghan conflict. Photograph: Reuters

A new narrative of the Afghan conflict is now possible – and it relies on the US engaging with the Taliban in Pakistan.

Michael Semple

Article History Saturday 7 May 2011 14.00 BST

The Afghanistan conflict is a war of narrative par excellence in which every side fights for a cause unrecognisable to their foes,
based upon premises which those foes would find preposterous. For 30 years Osama bin Laden was an actor-scriptwriter in the story of the Afghan war. With him gone, the narratives of the conflict – what people are fighting for and why – are going to have to be overhauled. And this hiatus in the war might even present an opportunity for the emergence of a narrative of peace.

Osama bin Laden: death marks end of phase in war with Afghanistan

The killing of Osama bin Laden in a house in Abbottabad Cantonment marks the end of one phase of the war in Afghanistan.

Michael Semple


Article History, 3:00PM BST 02 May 2011

The post- bin Laden conflict may even move away from the issues of international terrorism and back to the challenge of Afghans finding a way to live together.

Is talking to the Taliban a betrayal of Afghanistan’s women?

The US is scheduled to start a partial withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan in a couple of months’ time. Talk is in the air of a negotiated settlement with the Taliban. But what would it mean for Afghan women and the rights that they have struggled to gain in recent years? Our debaters this month, Orzala Ashraf and Michael Semple, are both passionate workers for peace and justice – but they take