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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Afghanistan's Future

August 18th, 2009
05:25 PM ET

The contest for the future of Afghanistan is coming to a head. Crucial elections are scheduled for Thursday. Ahead of the vote, NATO forces have been ratcheting up their efforts to flush out the Taliban. But, at what cost?

President Obama reminds us that the fight against the Taliban is a fight to destroy the forces that harbour elements of Al Qaeda and, as such, is a fight to defend the US’s national interest. This week, I want to hear your thoughts on the future for Afghanistan. To kick start the discussion, here are the thoughts of one of Connect the World’s “big Thinkers” – panelist Eric Margolis.

“I do not believe AQ is growing in Afghanistan. There are many anti-American groups in the region, but the real, hard-core AQ remains tiny, almost invisible. Most AQ have gone to ground in Pakistan. AQ never amounted to more than 300 members at its peak in 2001. Today, it's down to a handful – but there are many sympathizers.
Osama Bin Laden was given refuge by the Taliban because he was a hero of the anti-Soviet jihad. Taliban knew nothing about his plans to attack the US, but after 9/11 refused to turn him over to Washington without a legit extradition process.
It is a serious error to confuse Taliban with AQ. AQ helped Taliban in its fight against the Afghan Communists, but that was the extent of their cooperation."

Send me your thoughts: email me at ConnectTheWorld@CNN.com or reply below. We’ll use as many of your comments as possible on the show this week (CTW, daily at 2100 London time)

Becky

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Could you cook and eat your pet?

August 18th, 2009
10:45 AM ET

Could you cook and eat your pet?
New Zealand animal lovers are up in arms over the news that an Aukland man, who hails from Tonga, killed and cooked his Staffordshire terrier with the intention of eating it

Under New Zealand's Animal Welfare Act, it is legal to kill and eat an animal if it is slaughtered swiftly and painlessly, but now local activists are demanding a change in the law.

Is this different to generations of farming families in Europe killing and eating their pet lambs, chickens or ponies? Are animal cruelty activists trying to end a barbaric practice, or interfering with specific cultural values?

Let us know your thoughts. Connect The World will report from New Zealand, explore the issue and use your feedback in the show.

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