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Greetings from Kabul, Afghanistan

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One postcard captures a people's fear, beauty, and strength.


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Afghanistan by Allan Wayne

I found this postcard in a roadside shop in Kabul, Afghanistan on Christmas 1975. At the time, it was one of the few reminders of Christmas back home. I remember feeling lonely, and the card was somehow a little sigh of welcome. It was bitter cold and snowing.

This is a Xerox of the original card that for the life of me I cannot find (I am still hoping I have it somewhere). I am thankful I made a copy. I had forgotten about it and only recently found this copy.

The photo was probably taken by an afghan merchant who knew some English. I am not sure who he thought his customers were. Probably European or American hippies on the road. I think there was some paperback Kurt Vonnegut novels and some village-crafted Afghan awls and knives for sale, too, along with the usual array of raisins, apricots, and nuts.

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Even in its pixilated range, the photo speaks volumes.

Strength and vulnerability.

Maybe fear.
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The enemy of America.

An Afghan man and woman working together. Children behind.

Perhaps, it is just as well I only have a black and white copy. Maybe I will make a copy of the copy. Eventually, if you keep making copies of copies, and then make a copy of that, it fades, and then eventually, it is gone.

Perhaps, when they disappear, we will not have to kill them.

There will not be much left in Afghanistan, maybe some rusted pipelines that never got finished, Some crumbling cinder blocks. A lot of craters and rusted machinery. A few boots.

But the people on the photo must disappear. They do not represent American values.

Someday, maybe someone will make a movie: Justin Timberlake can play the man, Lindsey Lohan the woman, Justin Bieber the child.

Do I sound bitter? Take a good look at the people we are killing. If they were any further away, they might be on the moon. They are fading, but at least I have a copy. Anyone who wants to make a copy, feel free.


Conceived on west coast,born on east coast,returned to northwest spawning grounds. Never far from water. Degree in biology, minor: socio/psychology. Nature-oriented. Building trades,marine carpentry, Army Veteran, ex-social worker, ex-tavern (more...)

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They will always be there.  Our capacity to s... by Shamshod Beddell on Tuesday, Mar 19, 2013 at 8:12:11 PM
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