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Archive for August 18th, 2014

Editor’s Note: I (“SlimJim”) am away in a family trip and this is a pre-scheduled post. cover50589-medium

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This is the fascinating first hand account of an American Christian doctor doing work in Afghanistan who was kidnapped by the Taliban in 2012.  Dalip Joseph is an American of Indian descent (as in the country, not Native Americans) who has a heart for Afghanistan and made multiple trips there before he was kidnapped on December 5th, 2012.  A few days later Joseph was rescued in a daring raid by the US Navy SEALs.  Unfortunately the SEAL point man was killed during the operation.  What I found most interesting in the book is the authors’ description of the Taliban—the author does have some sympathy with some of his kidnappers and they even have discussion about America.  It is intriguing to see the human side of the lower level members of the Taliban.  Probably the most unusual part to the reader is the level of hospitality shown to Joseph by the Taliban, but this must be viewed in light of the fact that hospitality is built in within the Afghan culture.  Readers must make no mistake that the Taliban is an evil force out there when we are reminded in the book that one of the Taliban was nicknamed Butcher for the obvious reason for what he does to hostage while another Taliban was suppose to be the suicide bomber using the vehicle that Joseph was captured in.  The book was also personally enjoyable for me to read given his references to Southern California with places that I am familiar with; he’s a local guy!   As someone who is fascinated with reading the book for the military side of things, there’s also a remarkable account of when a Taliban commander giving a phone to Joseph to call a certain number to negotiate for money but it ended up being intercepted by the US and Joseph ended up talking to the US military who told him that they had eyes on him.  Talk about incredible (and frightening)!  The Taliban commander later asked him who did he talked to and Joseph told him he does not know—after all wasn’t the Taliban commander who gave him the number?  Fortunately the ordeal was for a few days and the SEALs came in to rescue him.  Because of the book’s discussion about the different guys and their personality, you get the sense that Joseph was sadden to see lives being killed—yet he understood that they went in to rescue him.  If you have ever read In the Presence of My Enemies of another Christian couple that parallel this hostage crisis with Islamic terrorist, you would like this book as well.  The book was such an interesting read that I read it all in one day.  The only concern I had with this book is the lack of the discussion about how does the Gospel applied to his situation.  There is no mention by the author to the Taliban that he was a Christian though he did say that he believed in the true God.  It hit me really hard thinking about how those Taliban next to him went to a Christ-less eternity.  Sobering actually.  With all the news of growing Jihadist movements and events in the Middle East with Christians, this is a timely account.  I recommend it.

NOTE: This book was provided to me free by Thomas Nelson—W Publishing and Net Galley without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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