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EXT AND PHOTOGRAPHY: ROBERT YOUNG PELTON The Story Thus Far I originally decided to go to Afghanistan to figur´┐Ż out for myself what was going on. In September 1996. the Taliban, an armed group of former Islamic students, captured Kabul. Afghanistan's capital city. The ousted govemment. the Northern Alliance, is composed of fighters led by warlord Ahmed Shah Massoud. They are based in Afghanistan's mountainous north while the Taliban are based in the south. Since the Taliban blasted into Kabul, Afghanistan has been tom up by heavy fighting that is destroying the country and unleashing floods of refugees into neighboring countries. Westem joumalists reporting on Afghanistan are often one-sided in their approach and the complexity of the situation remains murky to the outside world. Ahmad Shah Massoud, something of a modem-day, Afghani Che Guevera, has been fighting for the past two decades-first the Russians, now the Taliban. He seemed like a good person for me to meet. But

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