Great photos. Beautiful people, wonderful country. Didn't like the predator story, about blowing pieces of people blossoming into the air. It reminded me of the scene in Charlie Wilson's war where the Soviet gunships shoot up what they called a bunch of "Terrorists" - in other words, Afghna men, women and children in a village, a village just like the ones you NATO people are bombing and predating on every day then sending in the ground troops to mop up the survivors and eliminate witnesses. Yes, I know about that from my contacts in Kabul. Quite a role reversal. Amazing you can't see it, amazing you supposedly educated people can swallow the all the propaganda and "perception management" hook line and sinker.
Ah well, one man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist. If you take Charlie Wilson's war and put NATO and the USA in place of the bloodthirsty Soviets, as portrayed in the movie, you have a fair picture of what is going on now in the Afghan countryside.
Do you think you can do better than Chenghiz Khan, the British Raj and the Soviets - all superpowers in their day and all suffered inevitable defeat at the hands of the Afghans. No, a whole lot more people will have to die, and your military complex will make a whole lot more money, before you pull out and leave the Afghans to manage their own lives and run their country their way.
I was first in Afghanistan in 1965 by the way, I speak fluent Pashtu and I spent time in the tribal areas. I was captured by Afridi bandits in "Yaghistan" and held to ransom with 2 friends (and seven horses from Kunduz and Mazaar) in 1973, just before Daud ended the monarchy. I talked my way out of that and we became guests of honour. I was in Paktia filming for Australian TV (channel 9) with the Mujahiddin who were besieging the Soviet garrison at Urgun in the spring of 1983. We were under the protection of Commander Maulvi Jalaluddin Haqqani, later Minister of Culture in the Taliban government, now fighting the occupyiing armies in Helmand. At the time he was one of the American's heroes, for standing up to and defeating the invading armies of the Soviets. A true Afghan hero, the only difference he sees between the Soviets and the Russians is that at least the Russians were brave fighters in hand to hand combat, whereas the American are cowardly and prefer to do their fighting by remotel control as you so eloquently describe under you predator photo. Yes, the Afghans are never at peace unless they are at war; whoever holds Kabul is always at war with the rest of the country, and most of all they prefer a strong enemy to a weak friend. They do see the NATO armies as strong, but only because of the weapons they have. I salute their bravery in standing up to modern weaponry and dying so fearlessly for their country.
You may ask "it's easy to criticise but what are you doing to help the situation?" Well I am currently working for conflict transformation in the Pakistan/Afghanistan border regions through PACT Radio broadcasts which give a forum to the ordinary people, who inhabit those regions, to look at the problems they are facing – especially conflict – and to suggest how they see solutions emerging to their problems. PACT journalism is oriented towards, not just highlighting problems, but also trying to solve problems. This approach makes PACT programmes particularly conducive to conflict resolution. Check out our work on www.PACTRadio.com/ and wise up to a different way of looking at things and alternatives ways to peace than wholesale destruction of people's culture and their lives through remote-controlled weaponry and dropping bombs on them from on high as if you are doing them a favour.
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