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S08.E05: Chalk Two Down

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Carrie chases answers. Max attempts a rescue. G’ulom takes an opportunity.

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Original air date: 3/8/20

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Let's hope Max successfully gets out of Afghanistan.
Note:  he could certainly benefit from a little Peter Quinn assistance.  I contend he is hiding out somewhere and will return to save the day. 

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I hope Max makes it.

I think Haqqani was framed.

What is the name of the Afghan president? Can somebody please post his pic? We see the VP of Afghanistan all the time in every episode, but I cannot recall who the president of Afghanistan is in Homeland. 

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It’s like Gulom.

So even if it was mechanical failure, it’s a big screwup by Saul and Carrie.  Now it appears they think Carrie set up the president by suggesting that he come to Afghanistan.

First of all, he shouldn’t be taking political advice from some CIA officer.  But even then, whose idea was it to go all the way out near enemy territory and fly over Taliban territory?

It’s a BS scenario anyways.  Looks like Gulom, Tasneem and Haqqani were all surprised the helicopter went down.

But Gulom is grabbing the reins of power with both hands, ready to flex his muscles, while former VP and now POTUS Hayes can’t shake the deer caught in headlights look.

Afghan govt. would crumble without US support so no way Gulom would be brushing off the Americans.

Carrie going on a mission with a special ops team, holding her little pistol which matches her pant suit ensemble!

🙄

Meanwhile Carrie insists that Max get the flight recorder, delaying Max and the soldiers from getting out, which basically gets all the red shirts killed.

They’re killing all the soldiers but they’re going to take Max prisoner?

Edited by scrb
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Earlier in the season, I said that Max is the person who I need to stay alive and I wasn't kidding! I am going to be so mad if Max is killed (or captured and tortured).

Ben is really not ready to become president but apparently David is ready to be his puppet master (or at least make tough decisions while Ben freaks out).

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This week's director, Alex Graves, is on my shit list. This isn't the Blair Witch Project or a reality tv show. If you want to show someone running, by all means do that. But do not have the cameraman run behind him with the footage bouncing all over the place. I got very nauseated several times during this episode because of the shitty camera work. I almost stopped watching because of it.

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On 3/4/2020 at 11:54 AM, grommit2 said:

Let's hope Max successfully gets out of Afghanistan.
Note:  he could certainly benefit from a little Peter Quinn assistance.  I contend he is hiding out somewhere and will return to save the day. 

Quinn is dead, deal with it.

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As far as Carrie delaying things by insisting Max go after the black box - True. But I put more blame on the new prez, who stupidly delayed around 5 minutes, being unavailable and dithering in a situation where every second counted. What a pathetic loser that prez is. I hope something happens so they get a new prez - like their 4th one in about a year? LOL

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3 hours ago, Pike Ludwell said:

I hope something happens so they get a new prez - like their 4th one in about a year? LOL

Maybe Keane will "unresign"

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4 hours ago, preeya said:

Quinn is dead, deal with it.

Oh poop...I can always make things up, whether they meet reality or not. 

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Doh! Carrie is truly cursed when it comes to getting dudes killed. In this episode she takes out two Presidents, a platoon of soldiers, and almost took out Max. Poor guy didn't even get to sleep with her first! If Max does manage to live, this will scar him to the point he won't want to ...ala Quinn.

This season seems a bit more 24ish to me. Max escaping the Taliban was very Kim in the raveen with the cougar. 

David is hot. 

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"Tell me what to do"

How presidential is that?

Edited by preeya
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Much as I love Max and am glad he's still alive - but why didn't they get the flight recorder first thing instead of literally waiting until the last minute?  I know., plot induced stupidity but still. 

I also have to say what an amazing actor Mandy Patinkin is, I wasn't a Criminal Minds fan, but he is just wonderful in this. 

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19 hours ago, scrb said:

Afghan govt. would crumble without US support so no way Gulom would be brushing off the Americans.

After this turn of events, G'ulom's not worried about losing American support.  

23 minutes ago, mjc570 said:

I also have to say what an amazing actor Mandy Patinkin is,

Saul's aged anguish gave credibility to everything.

Almost everything. I don't believe that no one on the ground or in the command room thought to secure the flight recorder. (Or the President's body, for that matter.) I don't believe that there was no contingency plan for every one of the many ways this photo op could have gone sideways. I don't believe that only Max survived, or that Max survived. I don't believe that Warner -- less than a year after the very nearly successful, in-house attempted assassination of the President-elect -- would have picked a dolt as his replacement. I do believe that David Wellington may as well be appointed Chief of Staff For Life. 

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Why did G’ulom tell Tasneem he couldn’t guarantee her safety ?  He’s running the place now.

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I can never what understand what the actor playing Gulom is saying. Between the accent and mumbling I have a hard time understanding him. 

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10 hours ago, TVbitch said:

This season seems a bit more 24ish to me. Max escaping the Taliban was very Kim in the raveen with the cougar. 

This made me laugh! Oh, Kim.

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11 hours ago, Msample said:

Why did G’ulom tell Tasneem he couldn’t guarantee her safety ?  He’s running the place now.

To let her know he's running the place now.

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20 hours ago, preeya said:

Maybe Keane will "unresign"

Ha! Maybe she added an unnoticed clause in her resignation that if a replacement shows incompetence within a year, the resignation is revoked and she assumes office again.

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I don't get it about the misidentified helicopter tail number. What was the significance of the president's copter being swapped unless it was part of a plot to assassinate him?

Is the VP/new POTUS truly that clueless or is that an act he puts on to encourage people to underestimate him? I guess we're going to find out.

Poor Wellington. He was like, "...and this mf-ing moron is president now." Sure hope he's not part of some nefarious scheme since the new POTUS is pretty much his puppet, for the moment at least.

That gun battle was intense.

Max must feel like whatever they're paying him isn't enough. Will never be enough. Not by a longshot. My stomach was hurting for him.

OMG, could Carrie be more annoying? Her insisting that Max delay leaving to get the black box pretty much got mostl of those soldiers killed.

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I liked this episode. It feels vintage Homeland where I am kept in suspense for most throughout the episode. Although yes, you can't ignore the plot stupidities in order to advance the plot.

What is Tasneem's position in the Afghan government again? And if they're going to bring back the major players of S4, why not bring back the General/Captain who was friendly to Carrie? 

Of course G'ulom has an agenda of his own, but I must say, he's shown more balls than Saul and the US for showing a tough stance re: the Taliban and outright calling Haqqani a terrorist. Saul should not have been in bed with him in the first place. But I remembered last night while watching this ep, that this isn't a new thing. The reason why Quinn's assassination attempt of Haqqani in S4 was unsuccessful because Carrie saw Dar Adal in the car with Haqqani. So the US has been in bed with him not even  long after the American bodies were buried when he attacked the US embassy. 

On 3/8/2020 at 9:03 AM, Pike Ludwell said:

But I put more blame on the new prez, who stupidly delayed around 5 minutes, being unavailable and dithering in a situation where every second counted. What a pathetic loser that prez is.

Goodness. Yes, the blame is squarely on him. Sure, he needs some time to himself for the gravity of the situation to fully settle in, but apparently he didn't need a long enough alone time to tell his COS to move his things to the oval office. Priorities. 

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15 hours ago, roughing it said:

I can never what understand what the actor playing Gulom is saying. Between the accent and mumbling I have a hard time understanding him. 

YES! I cannot understand anything he says...I was tempted to enable closed captioning last night.

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3 hours ago, Joimiaroxeu said:

I don't get it about the misidentified helicopter tail number. What was the significance of the president's copter being swapped unless it was part of a plot to assassinate him?

Is the VP/new POTUS truly that clueless or is that an act he puts on to encourage people to underestimate him? I guess we're going to find out.

Poor Wellington. He was like, "...and this mf-ing moron is president now." Sure hope he's not part of some nefarious scheme since the new POTUS is pretty much his puppet, for the moment at least.

That gun battle was intense.

Max must feel like whatever they're paying him isn't enough. Will never be enough. Not by a longshot. My stomach was hurting for him.

OMG, could Carrie be more annoying? Her insisting that Max delay leaving to get the black box pretty much got mostl of those soldiers killed.

Carrie's mental illness makes her totally unqualified to be in charge of other people's lives...she continually take unnecessary risks with others lives due to her inability to think rationally. Her intensity this season is scary and frenetic...poor Max...he is loyal and trusts Carrie despite all the human debris that is scattered around her.

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The significance of the switched helicopter is that the new one could have either been sabotaged, or equipped with some sort of tracking device for the baddies to home in on . 

I too thought Tasneem's second ( played by Raza Jeffry ) would be back this season . Maybe his Lost in Space filming made him unavailable ? Tasneem seems to have gotten a promotion of some sort since S4- she's travelling in higher circles, and she seems to be dressed more formally - wearing half veils now for instance. She is rather stunning in all white I must say. 

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9 hours ago, slowpoked said:

What is Tasneem's position in the Afghan government again?

She's Pakistani and she is the Director of the ISI, Pakistan's CIA. She promotes Pakistani influence/stirs up shit with the Taliban depending on which side of the coin you look at. G'ulom knows she's trouble which is why he told her to scram.

The helicopter maintenance plot was something we don't normally see on this show: the suggestion of a conspiracy (that didn't come from a Carrie manic episode) that actually turns out to be something routine. Saul and Carrie thought that because the helicopter was swapped for another and because the soldier who did it was AWOL that they had the perpetrators of a plot to shoot the helicopters down. But it turned out that the helicopters were swapped because the mountains of Afghanistan are hell on routine maintenance.

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I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. Good episode. True to her fashion, Carrie only cares about the job, never about the people. She wasn't worried about Max, she was worried that he would get out of there without the flight recorder. Her telling him to stay and delaying the bombing (which, ultimately,  cost the lives of many soldiers) reminded me of her waking Quinn from the induced coma so she could ask him questions. Never change, Carrie.

 

I really want to know who the mole is. The vice president? Linus Roache? The CIA station chief? Carrie's mini me?

Edited by Norma Desmond
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Ugh. So the entire plot arc of this last season is around a manufactured event (shooting the copters down, killing the presidents)? Very lame. This show is at its best when what we are seeing is plausible and relatable to the real world, and we see how principled people live and work (and cope) in an ever shifting landscape. Shooting down the copter and killing the US president is like having aliens land in Syria. Yeah, it drives drama, but you are very aware that it was created specifically to drive drama. It's a shame the show chose to go out this way ... especially by making the VP such a turd. Cliche. Only the bit about switching 'copter tail numbers (and the implications of that, and subsequent understanding) was like old school Homeland.

Edited by Ottis
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On 3/9/2020 at 12:15 AM, roughing it said:

I can never what understand what the actor playing Gulom is saying. Between the accent and mumbling I have a hard time understanding him. 

Closed captions are my best friend. I don’t watch shows without them and they are a lifesaver. 

Regarding the episode, one of the show’s best, I thought. The tension was amazing and I was on the edge of my seat until the end.

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On 3/9/2020 at 12:27 PM, Joimiaroxeu said:

Is the VP/new POTUS truly that clueless or is that an act he puts on to encourage people to underestimate him? I guess we're going to find out.

I’m definitely leaning towards this being all an act. He has his own agenda and that little trip he took to his office to “compose himself” was probably to alert his people to go ahead with whatever plans he have/had to take the presidency away from Warner.

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It does seem weird the way that they were happy to show the President's corpse but not his face. Did they just not want to pay Beau Bridges for another episode? It also seems a bit pointless (in Universe) to lie to the Afghani (Vice) President - everyone's going to know in a few minutes, I don't see how pissing off the Afghans & Pakistanis helps (even if you think they're complicit - in fact, in that case it's pointless as they already know what happened).

Shouldn't Carrie be wearing a flak jacket to confront a possible traitor (who probably wasn't, but they didn't know that)?

On ‎3‎/‎10‎/‎2020 at 1:42 PM, Ottis said:

So the entire plot arc of this last season is around a manufactured event (shooting the copters down, killing the presidents)? Very lame. This show is at its best when what we are seeing is plausible and relatable to the real world, and we see how principled people live and work (and cope) in an ever shifting landscape.

Except it looks like that isn't what happened - the chopper (probably) went down due to inadequate maintenance. Everyone (the US, Vice President Gulom, the ISI, Haqqani) seemed surprised by events. But that's not going to stop everyone putting their own spin on events and insist that they know who is responsible.

On ‎3‎/‎9‎/‎2020 at 4:27 PM, Joimiaroxeu said:

Is the VP/new POTUS truly that clueless or is that an act he puts on to encourage people to underestimate him? I guess we're going to find out.

To me, it looks like he's just overwhelmed in the moment (not exactly a good sign, particularly when he did manage to get his stuff moved into the Oval office and have time to say "I said it was a bad idea from the start"). But they certainly could go the evil route. And isn't he still "Mr Vice President" until he's sworn in (which would happen pretty fast, I'd imagine, but not instantly)?

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Interesting that the order to bomb the crash site had to be given by the VP / new President himself, and couldn't be given by Wellington in his name, although not that long ago, Wellington did give a similar order claiming it was from President Keane.

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On 3/9/2020 at 12:15 AM, roughing it said:

I can never what understand what the actor playing Gulom is saying. Between the accent and mumbling I have a hard time understanding him. 

 

On 3/9/2020 at 3:39 PM, kicksave said:

YES! I cannot understand anything he says...I was tempted to enable closed captioning last night.

Yes, his speech drives me crazy. I have to wonder why they cast him. It hurts my ears to listen to him.

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On 3/9/2020 at 12:07 AM, Msample said:

Why did G’ulom tell Tasneem he couldn’t guarantee her safety ?  He’s running the place now.

I think he was saying that now he is going to renegotiate alliances from his new position as president.

Haqqani’s son will be involved somehow in this, conspiring with the evil Russian guy. Though it would be a twist if the Russians did manage to turn Carrie into a brainwashed asset who deliberately got the president to make the Sabotaged trip

Overall, loved the episode. It’s been a while since I have yelled at my TV as much as I have the past couple of episodes. “Get the f-ing black box!”  


(On a side note, I find myself willing to hand wave away some of plot holes and goofy moves—but when I watched Game of Thrones I found plot holes intolerable. I wonder if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that I care less now.)

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On 3/21/2020 at 9:15 AM, nara said:

Overall, loved the episode. It’s been a while since I have yelled at my TV as much as I have the past couple of episodes. “Get the f-ing black box!”  

Max: “It’s orange.”

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On 3/16/2020 at 12:48 AM, John Potts said:

And isn't he still "Mr Vice President" until he's sworn in (which would happen pretty fast, I'd imagine, but not instantly)?

No, Vice President comes President in the same second the Precident dies (or, in this case, when his death is confirmed). That was told f.ex. in The Death of a President by William Mancherster. And of course, it can't be in another way. 

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16 minutes ago, Roseanna said:

No, Vice President comes President in the same second the Precident dies (or, in this case, when his death is confirmed).

Thanks! Slightly surprising to me, since (as I understand it) you don't become President normally until you're sworn in, so I thought the Swearing in was the relevant moment (also why it happened on what became Air Force 1 when Lyndon Johnson became President once Kennedy was killed). But I'm not American, so I've never studied this stuff.

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On 3/9/2020 at 6:33 PM, slowpoked said:

Of course G'ulom has an agenda of his own, but I must say, he's shown more balls than Saul and the US for showing a tough stance re: the Taliban and outright calling Haqqani a terrorist. Saul should not have been in bed with him in the first place.

Haqqani seems to be a honest enemy who keeps his word whereas G'ulom is a treacherous ally. It's no wonder that Saul deals rather with the former. 

I think the real reason G'ulom called Haqqani a terrorist was simply that he saw the chance to get all power to himself for a long time. The Americans tarried too long to inform the news - wait, the Predident's speech was shown live, so people must be worried and speculate. 

I was also going to say G'ulom has said that Taliban shot down the Predidents' helicopter, that becomes "the truth" and the POTUS hardly has a chance not to act on it (if he ever pondered the option to wait for the result of the investigation). In short, Saul and Carrie's fear that the failure of decision in 9/11 will be anewed.

But did G'ulom speak only to the audience but also in TV?     

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8 hours ago, John Potts said:

Thanks! Slightly surprising to me, since (as I understand it) you don't become President normally until you're sworn in, so I thought the Swearing in was the relevant moment (also why it happened on what became Air Force 1 when Lyndon Johnson became President once Kennedy was killed). But I'm not American, so I've never studied this stuff.

I am not an American either but read Manchester's book long ago. There must be an authority who normally reveices oaths (any US  judge will do, federal or county). Text of the oath is in the US Constitution.

As why it happened straightaway in Dallas, Johnson told later that the Attorney General Bobby Kennedy advised him so, but Bobby denied it. However, it was simply a sensible thing to do in order to stress the continuity and to calm the US citizens and the world.

Also, Johnson had a right instict when he wanted President Kennedy's widow to be present (and Jackie agreed even if it was a huge ordeal in the circumstances) because many people on the third world countries would assume that the new president would be the one who had murdered his predecessor.

In this show the situation is very much the same, except that the US people and the world hasn't been told anything. Why are they waiting for? That the new president decides first how to react? But also in Dallas there was yet no information whether some foreign country was behind the assassination. Or is there nobody who could receive the oath?   

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On 3/8/2020 at 6:03 PM, Pike Ludwell said:

As far as Carrie delaying things by insisting Max go after the black box - True. But I put more blame on the new prez, who stupidly delayed around 5 minutes, being unavailable and dithering in a situation where every second counted. What a pathetic loser that prez is. I hope something happens so they get a new prez - like their 4th one in about a year? LOL

 

On 3/8/2020 at 11:44 PM, preeya said:

"Tell me what to do"

How presidential is that?


Well, if he had asked for more information and advice, that would be OK. Like Saul and Carrie reminded on the basis of 9/11, it's fatefull to act too swiftly.

But because he wasn't in the situation room, he was told only two options by one person, not the larger situation. 

 

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On 3/10/2020 at 4:10 AM, dwmarch said:

The helicopter maintenance plot was something we don't normally see on this show: the suggestion of a conspiracy (that didn't come from a Carrie manic episode) that actually turns out to be something routine. Saul and Carrie thought that because the helicopter was swapped for another and because the soldier who did it was AWOL that they had the perpetrators of a plot to shoot the helicopters down. But it turned out that the helicopters were swapped because the mountains of Afghanistan are hell on routine maintenance.

I must confess that you only made me realize it that it was a routine to change helicopters so that sabotages wouldn't happen. 

On 3/10/2020 at 5:00 AM, Norma Desmond said:

True to her fashion, Carrie only cares about the job, never about the people. She wasn't worried about Max, she was worried that he would get out of there without the flight recorder. Her telling him to stay and delaying the bombing (which, ultimately,  cost the lives of many soldiers) reminded me of her waking Quinn from the induced coma so she could ask him questions. Never change, Carrie.

In this case I agree with Carrie: if you have sworn to serve and have to chose one person you like and many people (even the whole city), your duty is to chose the latter.

And actually Carrie chose Brody over her duty more than once. 

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On 3/9/2020 at 4:02 AM, mjc570 said:

Much as I love Max and am glad he's still alive - but why didn't they get the flight recorder first thing instead of literally waiting until the last minute?  I know., plot induced stupidity but still. 

I agree. It should have been the first priority to get the black box, after making sure that the Presidents were dead.  

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On 3/8/2020 at 8:33 AM, scrb said:

First of all, he shouldn’t be taking political advice from some CIA officer.  But even then, whose idea was it to go all the way out near enemy territory and fly over Taliban territory?

Carrie said it was originally Keane's idea.

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On 3/16/2020 at 1:53 AM, catsitter said:

Interesting that the order to bomb the crash site had to be given by the VP / new President himself, and couldn't be given by Wellington in his name, although not that long ago, Wellington did give a similar order claiming it was from President Keane.

Wellington was Keane's lover and he tried to help her by ordering the action he thought was necessary. She should have fired him for both acting illegally and making her seem responsible for something she didn't do and, even more, regarded morally and politically wrong.

Instead, Wellington probably had a hunch that if he now acted on his own, the new President would first blame him in public for acting without his consent and then fire him (while being pleased in secret). The Commander was in the similar way wary and demanded the new POTUS to be present and give a direct order. 

On 3/8/2020 at 8:33 AM, scrb said:

They’re killing all the soldiers but they’re going to take Max prisoner?

Max had no gun and surrendered.

His fate depends on whether the Talibanis are loyal to Haqqani or his traitor son? 

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On 3/10/2020 at 4:10 AM, dwmarch said:

She's Pakistani and she is the Director of the ISI, Pakistan's CIA. She promotes Pakistani influence/stirs up shit with the Taliban depending on which side of the coin you look at. G'ulom knows she's trouble which is why he told her to scram.

I understood that G'ulom and Tasneem have cooperated, at least against the Americans. But after G'ulom has declared that Haqqani is the enemy and the Talibanis who have come to Kabul are demanded to surrender, they are in different sides if Tasneem continues to help the Talibanis. Now that Haqqani's peace policy is in ruin, she could f.ex. support his son to take his father's position.

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On ‎3‎/‎9‎/‎2020 at 4:07 AM, Msample said:

Why did G’ulom tell Tasneem he couldn’t guarantee her safety ?  He’s running the place now.

 

7 hours ago, Roseanna said:

I understood that G'ulom and Tasneem have cooperated, at least against the Americans.

I think it's as much that he wants to impress that HE is in charge. So much like the new President Flip Flopper (or at least, his fire breathing new adviser) he may want to pursue a new policy that is more hostile to Pakistan (irrespective of whether he believes such a policy is justified). Probably a dumb idea (a new President of an unstable country could probably use all the friends it can find), but that doesn't mean he won't do it.

Also, the fact that G'ulom is recognised as President doesn't mean that there won't be disorder. Afghanistan is scarcely known for its peaceful transitions of power and foreigners (particularly women in positions of power) are a likely target for violence.

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