Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Translators
One of the reasons I like John Oliver is because he brings attention to these little things that no one else seems to be focusing a lot on. Seriously feel for the translators, I'm pretty sure America was built on people like them.
Hell, most of his videos are about topics I didn't even know were an issue. This is just journalism at its best.
Mohammad Gulab, the afghan villager who saved Marcus Luttrell is facing the same problem. He has had attempts on his life but is still unable to seek asylum in the US despite the fact there is a block buster movie that depicts him as a hero.
If you are an American and this pissed you off, you can use this website to find and contact your representatives.
There is also an iPhone app (no Android yet, sorry) that allows you to see what your representatives are working on and contact them.
If anyone knows of a more direct route (petition, etc) for this issue, please let us know.
All of John's pieces have been fantastic, but this is probably my favourite so far. It's atrocious that it is so difficult for these people, and that last interview with Mohammed was gut-wrenching.
NPR covers a lot of the same ignored issues as Oliver, glad he's making them better well-known. http://www.npr.org/2013/09/25/225858836/u-s-soldier-crusading-for-afghan-interpreter-who-saved-hi...
Fnu's Fnot a Fnucking Fname. Brilliant.
What made it gut-wrenching for me was that he just basically accepted the name FNU. When John asked which does he prefer to be called, he was just like "Meh. Whichever's fine."
Like losing the name given to him by his mother and late father was a reasonable sacrifice to escape from the constant death threats.
This will probably get buried, but I'll try anyways. I was in Afghanistan. I made friends with my interpreter and we stayed connected through facebook. I don't know exactly how he got to America with his wife and infant son, but he was able to use my wife (who was also in Afghanistan with me) and I as sponsors and he moved into my home town of Modesto, CA. We picked him up from the airport and housed him for a few nights before the government (I'm not sure which agency) was able to get him an apartment, job, etc. There is actually a pretty nice sized community of Afghan interpreters in Modesto now and they're all in the same apartment complex because the complex owner is a really cool guy to them. I put the word out on facebook and a lot of people donated clothes and furniture. He's a true success story. I can see if Hassan (the interpreter) can answer questions if any of you have some.
On the other hand, I had an interpreter that for whatever reason has not been able to get through. His name is Asad. It makes no sense that he hasn't been able to make it here. I don't really know what I can do to help him. I know Hassan would sponsor for him. I'd do it myself, but I'm going to college right now. What's funny is that the woman that originally called me to verify I knew Hassan was surprised my English was so good. She was expecting an Afghani, because it's usually not soldiers that sponsor.
Anyways, if you haven't done so lately, talk to your terp. I'm sure they miss you.
To be fair, this segment is essentially narrating a piece from Vice, so he's really just amplifying exposure to the issue rather than doing front-line journalism (not a journalist, maybe there's a better way to say this?)
It's sad that John Oliver is probably the best reporter on television. By a long shot.
Fuck that donkey.
I wrote this to my Senators and Reps:
Translators who have aided the U.S. Military in Afghanistan and Iraq are in great danger in their home countries, but red tape is making it impossible for many of them to leave. These brave people are helping our soldiers and we ultimately give them empty promises. Please help them find a safe home in the U.S. without YEARS of paperwork.
UK mirror please?
EDIT: Found one! MIRROR (youtube) (I wish i could do this without supporting people that steal content... grumble grumble)
EDIT 2: My link is down. There's an alternative below.
These are my thoughts on this. Every week his crew pit out two-ish great pieces onto YouTube. Some are funny. Some are thought provoking. Some you want to share with the funny dude in the office, some to your activist cousin.
And since it's hard to keep a high standard, every so often there's some you watch and silently laugh and then forget.
Please, don't let this be one you forget.
It's like a house is on fire, and a fire department come to help. They have great training and equipment, but this one guy who lives in the house says, "I'm going to help these guys. They came here, put their lives on the line, and if what I know about that house can save one of them, it's worth it." but since then things have changed. And the fire is killing his family, and all he wants is to leave when the fire department goes home, because sometimes a fire just needs to burn itself out, and it's good to get your family away from the flames.
I guess that goes to show that when your organization engages in sensationalism and agenda-pushing, you can do all the quality investigative journalism you want and it makes no difference. Vice could have been a powerhouse if so many of their articles weren't essentially opinion pieces that attempt to push an agenda as an objective truth. It's a fucking shame.
I'll take John Oliver over Vice any day.
(Yes, I understand that John Oliver pushes opinions as well, he's not doing serious investigative journalism; there is a time and a place for opinions)
It's sad when you get better news and more of it from a once a week comedy show than from a 24 hour news network
Thanks for that little piece of knowledge. It made me venture into more information about them and watch the Anderson Cooper 60 minutes segment on youtube. It really is a great story about 2 good men.
This is so sad. I am living in China right now and this process makes Communist government process looks more efficient.
24 hour news networks are such a terrible idea, they really should never have existed in the first place
Vice is weird. Some pieces like visiting North Korea and Ghost of Allepo is pretty much just a film crew running around and letting things play out before them and getting opinions from the people in those places. If Vice could just cut all the bullshit we could have a real cutting edge no bullshit frontline journalism. But the clickbait brings in the revenue so.
Video linked was removed, alternate UK mirror: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x289uww_last-week-tonight-with-john-oliver-translators-hbo_fun
Yeah, I was gonna say, there was a This American Life piece on the subject even before VICE covered it. Glad to see it get coverage though.
Dude... When Srosh said "they'' probably cut my head" It tied a knot inside my throat
Just swooping in with a link to a petition made by a user over in /sub/television
All credit goes to /u/Valenkrios
I think he was just comparing the high levels of bureaucracy (which china is known for)
If you can, please call their office. I've spoken with a few senators and congressman and they typically get a weekly memo from their aides detailing opinions that have been communicated and they give phones calls about ten times as much weight as emails
When FNU said he wished they'd ransomed his father and it was his fault his dad died and his brother was kidnapped and his family is hiding I cried. This is just disgusting.
Does anyone have a link to a petition for this?
A lot of things the US does make me sick, but this is quite near the top.
john oliver killed this one, saw a documentary which was also used as most of the source material for this piece months ago and it blew my mind that the united states would allow this, here is the link on it. . there was also a great this american life piece on a group that is helping translators in their plight, but i can't remember which episode for the life of me that it was on.
that got heavy. pretty fucked up.
Listened to a podcast on the topic a few years ago. Sadly nothing seems to have changed.
Link to the This American Life episode from 2011.
Well, it's just "rose", not "rose water".
My heart breaks for Fnu Mohammed, but I am glad he is able to get in front of millions and tell his story.
When you consider the time and technology back, the thousands that did received help is a stark contrast to the 3 mentioned in the piece especially with todays technological capability.
It's quite similar to the situation in the last few years in the UK where Joanna Lumley had to step up and complain about how we were treating our Gurka forces.
Read more about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joanna_Lumley#Gurkha_Justice_Campaign
I was pissed off at that donkey and I'm not even American.
Fuck you, Smoke.
And do drunk driving.
Vice news and Vice features can certainly be classified as documentaries - they are documenting, in a factual manner, issues in the world.
To me journalism can only truly be called "journalism" when the piece is written from a non-bias standpoint.
Don't be such a moron.
petitions don't do shit.
email your congressman with something personal.