Congratulations, you’re going to Kandahar!

Why did we invade Afghanistan with troops? Sending Simon Cowell would’ve been far more effective. Afghan Star—yes, that nation’s version of American Idol—has garnered millions of viewers and generated a fair share of controversy. Islamic clerics (predictably) have blasted the show as immoral. More to the point, many wonder how Lima Sahar (at right in the photo) could have placed among the final three contestants, given her questionable ability. She’s a member of the ethnic group often found backing the Taliban, and she’s also from Kandahar, one of the movement’s former bases of operation. Since viewers vote by text message, and certain factions in the region have been known to communicate exclusively by satellite phone, one can only speculate about the source of her support. (The DoD might want to triangulate during the show’s finale. You never know who might be tuning in.)

—Posted by David Gianatasio