Transcript for Reporter's notebook: Inside Afghanistan
Hi everyone welcome to ABC news live and Diane Macedo we have a very special reporter's notebook for you today our correspondent Ian panel in his producer. Bruno rover just got back from a roughly two week trip to Afghanistan. And we have them with us here today to give us little bit of a behind the scenes look. At some of the stuff. That face Ian Bruno thanks so much for after I now that's for a little while here. I just I wanna start. With this ride along could you got a very unique look. At the US special forces kind of a behind the scenes look first time with the green berets out there. In what. What was it like should be on the battle lines like that. Was anyways it was fascinating to be backs being home I think we summing like 2425. Embeds in Afghanistan so throughout the heats of different possible war some first RV bat after a number of years it was fascinating to see it amazing to be with US special forces on the ground as well to see. Then an action is it's very rep for reporters to be able to get access to them. I was who went to that further south pars rice on the very front line and this is a fight against crisis in Afghanistan. Ice is then you really existed in the country pretty much in in the last year. It is a very remote outpost they've just been battling in that area regain stars has just forced them out and they admits he just sets up this camp whose. Pretty rough living no no running will also no toilets. And and a pretty whole style environment. Brutally hot days and very difficult. Climate for them to adjust to boost fascinating seeing the fire telegraph how that's still seventeen years in that we get this is America's longest war. How that still trying to win this battle. It's unbelievable looking at the footage of the things that used and thinking how far we've come seventeen years. And yet ice you know as as you're gone along on that ride you guys it look like you're finding IED's everywhere. Yet us writes I mean we went with taxing came who's won the team leaders of the the green Bere. Seeing that and you know what one person that we run with the ten rounds was when rim on the vehicles had just so you know. Don't step off the track so Basie Nicholas spray paint on some of the boldest on the side of the road kind of bright yellow paint. And you'll do is a very strict stay within that line the rest of it hadn't been checked. And as ice is knew that they were going to be driven out to some of these positions they deliberately laid booby traps inquire Allston. Again he should his his one side this is a track really gone up and down dozens of times. And it was anywhere in the rain came that is suddenly wants badly smoltz. That being placed in size and the more itself had a hat trick one next to it and it was in essentially huge on a date. As of the dangers of very very real and you'll you'll super conscious all the time when you follow the maps on patrol when you -- side of one brood you can talk about this. You're there early clearance mission. They say follow walk footsteps annual trying to literally go footsteps after footsteps exactly where they woken up being in situations we full. Well a hold. Platoon of soldiers have gone through exactly the same choke points in other words a fairly narrow points. I'm one of them just steps two inches in the wrong direction. And history and night day. As so Bruno when you're organizing a trip like this. You know what goes into trying to ensure your safety. And Ian safety and anybody else on the team as much as possible. Well it's actually exited in the field and bet it is mile or fortunate. On an undue listens well. When you got special forces saying disguise the threats real. And you need to citizens follow our guidelines. Walk in the steps of the guys on as much as possible. And let me with a camera a map to an abortion I was told a couple of times. Two you'd know deviate from Rome that costs temptation is to go around and about. And shoes and different angles senate in essence you always do you trying to impress actually kind of on those south. But also on all the C eighties. You know Hamas that the threat is is realist is on aimless and weasel are closed because we knew we weren't enough they say is useful classic these special forces special forces it's gonna take anything away. From the auto I'll vote on arms of the of the American military. This is what they. So yeah Texas the and Lara holds on. On the mission that we were all they found an IP TV and then subsequently blew it I'm actually really big news also be thirty or parents of its roses. HME paramedics since. That they found in a destination themselves Daryn charge on its faults and this is very very real or what liberals again is quite sophisticated and an. This war has been all along Arnold's arts is bringing. A kind of run costly cougars students parents and now. The fixes of war in Syria Aaron wrong. And who knows there are several. Unskilled while they didn't. And it just unbelievable. To have to keep. That much of an eye and ear out for your own saved your life depends on it and at the same time trying to keep and I as you can captures much of it for us. As possible you guys it's such a beautiful job with this and we so. Appreciated and I know you're there during a four day cease fire hopefully more of those he aspires to come and more peaceful times. For Afghanistan ahead. But I want to move on one of the other pieces you guys to that was fairly incredible you guys were in a prison. There are holding Taliban fighters again. This level of access is incredibly rare and Ian I know you spoke directly to those prisoners what we're some of the biggest takeaways you patina. Yeah I'm investing because it was great you have ABC's have this guy on the ground in Afghanistan his work for us the years and he managed to get us access to this prison. As we were going in that the prison governor and the gods suddenly said that this could be really dangerous they could detect if it could kidnap you and they were really hyper vigilant. The you know what these guys really wanted to torch was a most of them were actually incredibly intelligent a very well. Spoken. And they really knew. What their arguments. They were very very clear they said that the reason whip fighting is because foreigners invaded our country it is as simple as that. I would come if you don't just oh a brief glance at history that shouldn't surprises they did that when the Soviet empire invaded Afghanistan. They did it when the British empire invaded Afghanistan they even did it when Alexander Dick greats. And and the mongol. Empire has. Also invaded Afghanistan they have a history every time some comes a country whose uninvited. And being invited really important to Afghans they have a habits are taking up palms. And responding and that's exactly how they view. The American led presence in Afghanistan and assets Taliban that the Americans in coming because he wants to tape. It came here because Osama bin Laden was base that. And it I wonder it what's the dynamic like when you're talking to a group of prisoners like that who's talking to you about their animosity toward foreigners. Coming in invading in their country you as a foreigner sitting there talking to them. Due date feel like you are an invited guest you perceive yourself as an invited guest at that point or do you feel any kind of hostility there. It is a great question that I actually asked them about that and they they very clearly differentiate. They say will know you you'll revised to tea you're invited by Afghans Yunel Afghans and U while welcome. And they take that treatments have guessed that Joba as a host really really seriously not being so remote villages. And eighty they only issued spread your invite to sit down you have this great did not all the men of the village kind of come out so obviously that the sex is. A treated very very differently bad but you attributed to be a welcome as a guest but if you'll uninvited. The receptions hostile. And burn I want to bring you in here any and you can speak to this to his you wanna add to it but you know a lot of people. Can look at this and they don't they don't think these guys deserve to have a voice why do you think it's so important to capture their side. Well I mean this is a good question actually did it expects to ons because. The Taliban are if you liked it indigenous. Fools they Wear presents facets of Iraq and culture and cultural sense that achieves. There is on down to support men bent and I say it is at Cooley because they're also and happiness also some terrible atrocities. There is a sort of private citizen a comes incidents that they are hall of the landscape and physical landscape. Cultural landscape and the last day. And I think there's an acknowledgment. By the it to the American and coalition forces that they're also part of the solution and zone here in what they have to say is very important. And yet not just outs of that done that so and we know. A senior US State Department officials sat down at one on one talks with the Taliban in the last few weeks now these folks are held in secret. ABC's learned that they did take place and that shows you. That the US also recognizes some Saddam general Nicholson who's a heavy US forces and all foreign forces. And Afghanistan he says that there is no solution on the battlefield anymore with seventeen years and this is America's longest war that has to be a political solution. And American governments American miniature recognized that they have to do business with the Taliban so what it was great to hear from them and that's why that is so important. What it's is that they won't water that conditions. For a cease fire must wipe a kind of left the country with some hope as well as some concerns about will still going on. When you look back at history and so many times and winning powers in a war did not. Consider the feelings of the people were actually locals there are so perhaps we're learning from those mistakes in. You know thankful to you guys that you your helping to bring all of these stories to light about the we often hear about this side of Afghanistan the war zones the bombs the prisoners the fighters. But US also took a very unique look at another side. Of Afghanistan's run a more hopeful one. And of one thing I found really interesting was your visit to the girls' school there this was a US sponsored school and among of the other students was that Afghanistan robotics girls' team. Who came to the US and has won awards around the world what was it like for you to be in that school and get to see these girls making such progress. I'm it was a it was incredible privilege to go in matter I mean it's a very conservative countries have getting access to interview women or girls can be very very difficult. I thought was a really powerful story is it is one of hope. You have very fix here of Afghanistan astle that's hustle wore its men with turbans and beards and guns and missile great dangers there is another site. And Liz asides assuming young teenage skills who puzzle robotics team the one of the computer engineers who want to be mechanical engineers. I want to say this one particular video we cap when we will tend to of these little girls and they sang the Afghan National Anthem for them. And they are literally cutest high just. It we can roll video beat right. F. Please. I they see persuaded and you know under under oath that we spoke to as well. We're really strong you know event happening in this studio right now by the way electing them sitting at a huge smile on my faith that's just the cutest thing. Yeah I mean you know the day it was eight holes to post a story amidst its old but width. Within the context of what's going on so the team. Captain proximate sixteen Yoko these can number speeches around the world incredibly impressive she's kind of like an Afghan maulana. Two weeks after getting back from a competition in the United States a father tragically was killed in an ice is bomb attack. So it's a reminder that real Afghans have to live within that context on how power. All of these girls are to be able to maintain an office and pursue this kind of education living in an environment like. Yeah I'm you'd imagine because it takes. And it is this. This might be more for Brno but I just wonder at this group of girls how exceptional I day. Compared to other Afghan girls growing up as it's just a small group of girls to. Who has it pretty good that we're looking out or is this a show of progress. Across the board in Afghanistan. Well I think. It's a mixture of I think that may have tracked and again it's it's. I don't Zion resident and Iraq sizable all night and it anyway say hopeful because. You know it's will we regard them as normal. And so many east young girls going to school in that environment. Learning what it and looking forward to the atom and engage in animal while. Acts individuals. As young girls against the T users opposition by the Bible as a is that we'll let that society. Is aids and condoms are a statement understand. Calm so just an old independent school let alone and there are often skulls I think all of them. Exceptionally in in many legs and I think the girls in the reluctant to say if they they're very charismatic feisty. Intelligent postal whole bunch of young people do happen to beat us. And I think it was my. An innings. I listened. Again I selling you spoke to them to they were sort of saying that. For a long time girls didn't have the ability to do these things and they are. Proud to be a part of the change in Afghanistan but also sinking more and more change going forward into the future. Yeah we should Nestor may begin to have to live with the risk and we spoke to the head teacher of the school who also go to school as a go herself. As he says every touch awards from going to school she's always go the background mind will abate an attack because it's a coastal. Coastal stopping targeted in other parts of the country to your question how much of a you know is this the rule the exception is really good demand as more of this going on there is progress of becoming a country of seventeen years. Things adept be changing is coming a little more liberal in small pockets within. Kind of context of what else is going on but it takes a lot of guts for them to give leave that home every morning pick up their school books get in a bus and good school. It doesn't need and we certainly salute them. For that. Lastly I want I want to look at this piece that you guys did that sort of look at a piece of history. About Afghanistan you walked through a small town and they had a very special sit down with an Afghan. Gas glass glass blower explain why that was so important to capture. Are you. Okay is his my complexion. This is partly self indulgent because I knew this took place he's one of only three people left in Afghanistan. I just wanted to see it and look how mesmerizing down days we're looking at your other lonely you know I now by yet again that's that unless I'm senate and Vanessa mesmerizing. No innocent Conde said hey that's great and as we left the ice or snow pile of broken glass who's gonna get back into the furnace I thought yep that's not Mike that's. That that I made the that this guy has being doing it since he was a case. Adding that seven years old his holidays Graham public is finally he's being doing it 200 years. It's in that town the tradition has been doing it for thousands of years and this is thing that Afghanistan is you know if it ever gets a chance of peace this is a great tourist destination. I mean it used to have eastern part of a Taurus trial. In the 1960s and seventies hippies used to go there and camp outs meet the local population see this aren't good incredible history welcoming people it has so much too off. And look at the community and and that magnificence. Of what this man does he says he can make anything up to two roads. And it was just mesmerizing. To watch the colors change. As he works his stick bases to try and get that licked around the glass completely even. I can say mom was a little less. That color changing is fascinating are watching him sort of it looks like he's decorating with some molten glass. At the moment. He also seemed like so many other people that you met along your trip incredibly welcoming. Yes really happy to say is that I'm. Games got unnatural in front of the camera I mean he just immediately hands me the raw eggs like you do it man. He's chatting later he also had some great source about the future. Of Afghanistan. And he's training his three sons the moment to take over his business incredibly. He's only actually in his early forces and that's gonna mock of how difficult. That job is that he doesn't how difficult life is for many Afghans is one the poorest countries in the world but not smile on his face. He's laughing joking he's happy to see is he welcomed us into his house he insisted that we drinks a I was CNN he then started to hand there's some of the glasses he's made. As gifts united to come away with me some of these glasses do you meant that way and says some fancy stores here in London weather cost probably about flight 1112 bucks a pace. Now he doesn't see very many. Those kind of profits that but yeah happy to see as and despite the fact he's a Pullman he doesn't have much money doesn't have much he still very happy with thing. Yet he seemed absolutely lovely and seemed delighted. To have you there every you know you're talking about how much older. He looks than he is I know we have a photograph of the young girl you took with her grandmother. She also liked the glass blower is only in her early forties. Do you get this sense that and people there are still leading kind of a hard life. Yeah yeah on this country has a long way to going to be should be under any illusions but it also is a country that has great opportunities you know it's human resources human capital. It's incredible people work incredibly hot Brunette console to that. Yes city and also doesn't like science and in in the country as we ask ask an Arab countries. All the heritage and the traditions that people hold policy. And once was wanted to you know act down to the next generations and this is the core X. Com. It is being a husband and others on human error lateral cultural level will just sounds of the art design skills that he's waiting dissident express itself. I'll win this situation allow it probably expresses it still goes wrong but caught eat. A discreet. Was great to get to see an outside of things the stories about Afghanistan. That's not often told getting to see the people you know from they're doing what they do best and what they love rather than just dealing with. War all the time. I wanna cut and with your final thoughts tonight are you guys have been doing this for years. You've been there since 2001. In we actually evident a photo a view. From your time they're back in oh one's ever gonna have a little flashback. A throwback Thursday here. But I just kind of wanna get outlook think you're reading some Rama noodles perhaps picked up at. You're very happy to be everything that. As proper food for this month Britain Bruno is at the time is well sent him Jordan US that this is when the war started is of the day that Kabul filed with Taliban fled. But remember the title battle peace and own that day and yet here we are seventeen years late to still in the same wolf so yet very age shows that there is no military victory here. A comet left a bit more hopeful because when we landed as you said Dalia. It was it was joined its fourth day sees fun it was a first cease fire in seventeen years of war the rumors that could him not be another one of those we know America's sat down and talk directly with the Taliban. And getting more president trump is done in other countries he doesn't really have the appetite to keep US troops indefinitely even though he said otherwise so I don't want to be there's no real Bruno things but I. Kind of left feeling it it's a bit more hopeful and I've ever seen it before and I wanna get scuba a you know ahead of myself but I still think. There was a bit of a glow that and the atmosphere in Kabul. All Nazis filed was incredible in a hole finally is were out enjoying the act knowing that it wasn't a risk of any attack. That's his remarkable the half the country have known nothing but war and the rule desperate for peace. Well even cautious optimism is still better than no optimism and all Ian so. Very glad to hear that you feel that way and so grateful. For the work that you did their Bruno what was your take away from the trip. I'm Arnold Levine was saying it's jewelry to be in Kabul. On the Nazis are young and presidency. What was almost all of this so was awarded him Jolie by every while. By the Taliban themselves by the people by the army's eaten special forces who had been who have been involved in bitter fight. Dolls together embracing each other there's even a special counsel and an American trained special forces. McDonald's. An amazing scenes. Joyous scenes and in a way we will act eased until I am ET the was also the people a sudden desperate the east's and I think that's. Surprised everyone. Across global weather you know in Afghan government in on itself and even with all the minute she saw people they recognized closes its when he engagement. All of the people across the school's back in full piece there's real. We. The first Simon and all. Writes you're feeling hope for Afghanistan and how do you feel about Ian glass blowing skills. I was. I'm Aetna. In his name is CEO. IG in this idea that you didn't T-Mobile. All I actually and cent billion a little while. He's being quite high unitarian. That's because he's not now not next to me yet it will it's. You know why valuing get it was interesting he ought posted that video small video of it only means to Graham. And of anyways he joined in scrap because I'm office that night. Certainly have a right to a 300 followers and it was once like 2030000. Times and families to last blow it's kind of tweeting about it saying on the going to be seen this amazing. Amazing video so yeah I mean now a lot of people want to see them. And I love job well done to you all vote on the last night and of course. On the excellent journalism he brought us this story from a place that I think people have a very one sided view of a lot of its time and you guys brought us an incredible look. At what seems like an incredible place at thank you very much you both for that and for joining us they give us this little inside peek at. Thanks. And that does it today for our reporter's notebook Ian panel and Bruno rover on their trip to Afghanistan. Such a fascinating viewing you can check out. More best up and of course all the day's top headlines. At abcnews.com. Or at the ABC news app and that does it for us here at ABC news live for now I'm Diane Macedo. Have a great day everyone.
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