One of my long-time correspondents via e-mail has been flitting in and out of various interesting parts of the world for more than a few years. I can't name him or describe his occupation, but let's just say he knew certain hot-spots long before they became household words after 9/11, and long before US troops ended up there.
He recently sent a very pithy summary of the situation in Afghanistan to an e-mail list of which we're both members. I asked his permission to post it on this blog, because I felt it deserved a wider circulation. He edited it slightly, then gave his permission: so, with grateful thanks, here it is. I've added a few links for the benefit of those who may not know certain terms.
Soviet-Afghan war: The place was smashed up a lot and every one leaves to be Gastarbeiter.
Gastarbeiter in the Middle East and Iran. Gastarbeiter in the US. You know: Those generically-brown foreign-looking folk flipping your burger in those independent burger joints.
Soviets leave and the bandits take over. An all time low. The Crips control one area of town and the Bloods control the other. They tax every one going through.
Every one leaves to be Gastarbeiter.
Some one I know was the only guy left on his block. Kandahar was a ghost-town.
Finally, every one has had a-stinkin-nuff of the bandits and the Taliban take over propelled on a wave of every one who had not left yet.
The Taliban take over, and its like Stalin's Russia: Food & order. But you have to toe the line. His line.
Every one leaves to be Gastarbeiter.
So now more people have left Afghanistan than were actually there in the first place. You would need a helicopter the size of the one that was the "last one out of Saigon" to bring them all back, there are so many of them.
Next: OBL commits 9-11 WTC Atrocity
Allies start bombing the Taliban. Taliban get killed / leave.
There is a big rush of the movers & shakers, the tribal leaders, those with influence, any one with men under arms, a big rush to get back to claim legitimacy and ... get handed a bunch of power so they can get back to operating graft operations.
Plus all the big-noise warriors like Karzai ... who ... never actually saw a Russian. Notice how the Karzai family own the Toyota import concession now. Wonder how that happened ? (Toyota is Afghanistan's only car).
So whom did we bomb ?
a) The Taliban
b) Any one who just could not leave. No money, no legs, no anything.
So is 'Afghanistan' going to be western democracy, or something ? Nip down [to] your local burger joint and find out.
All of the thieving scum like Karzai never were at risk from collateral damage, in Florida, California, ... But in Afghanistan they will be supping taxpayers aid until they die.
Pounding Afghanistan's dust into more dust does not really do anything except to the poor saps who cannot get out of the way. The Taliban are dead or hiding in the NWFP. The Afghan elite have Allied protection units, unless they are back home in California.
Most people within sight of military operations in Afghanistan will be people who could not leave or people who did not need to leave. If you have a small farmstead in the mountains you don't need anything from anybody. Certainly not City folk. Some of the helicopter pilots figure that they are getting shot at not by the Taliban but by farmers who just don't like any one who's not from 'round here. Especially metrosexuals.
The homesteaders cannot leave and have no reason to. Exactly who has his snout in the trough over in Kabul, a place he has never been nor even seen a picture of, is not a concern of his.
A pithy summary indeed. My thanks, once again, to the author for giving permission to share it with you.