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Afghanistan Is Not A Country

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Afghanistan is not a country. Afghanistan is not a nation. Afghanistan is a string of valleys strung together by a harsh, rugged mountain range. Afghanistan is scattered villages of tribal and familial groups loosely connected by trade, a common language and a common religious tradition. Even in the cities the people congregate into neighborhoods of common tribal, familial and/or religious groups.
If you are not of their village or neighborhood, if you do not speak their language you are a foreigner, an outsider, a stranger. If you are a stranger with a gun you are an enemy. As long as there are foreigners with guns on Afghan soil there will be Afghans to fight them. Many have learned that hard lesson the Persians, the Greeks, the Moghuls, the Mongols, the Chinese, the British, the Soviets and now the Americans, us.
Military action is a failure of diplomacy. The Afghans will never be defeated by force. The Afghans will never be subdued by force. They must be charmed, cajoled, enticed, courted family by family, tribe by tribe, village by village, marketplace by marketplace, neighborhood by neighborhood. Nation building must start with trust and respect on the local levels. It will only happen by diplomacy.
Perhaps it is not being reported. I am hearing nothing about anyone getting out of their cushy embassy offices and going out to the valleys, villages, marketplaces and neighborhoods. Breaking bread, sitting down over a cup of coffee or tea, to ask the Afghan people what they want for their country. Instead of telling them what we think they should have.
They need roads. Are we building roads? Are they building roads? How many Afghans are employed building those road?
Most Afghans walk, ride donkeys and camels. What is being done to improve the tracks, paths and trails between villages that Afghans have used for millenia until roads are built in those rugged, forbidding mountains.
They need and want electricity. Why are we not contracting with American companies to provide windmills, solar panels and small generating plants that run on biofuels and animal power to supply that need, particularly in their remote mountainous regions and villages. Train Afghans to install, service, repair and run them.
Afghanistan is the perfect laboratory for developing local green alternative energy. Not just for use in Afghanistan, but also for use in the United States and for export to many third world and remote locales.
It will give a major boost to our alternative green energy industry. Give the Afghans the power they need. Provide jobs for Afghanistan and the United States. It will provide alternatives to the poppy production. They can grow cash crops for their biofuel industry, as well as food, in the poppy fields. We can also provide alternative fuel buses and cars so they won't be dependent on foreign fossil fuel products as are we.
They need education. Let Afghan labor build Schools with materials and support we supply them. Find and train Afghans to teach in them. Train local Afghans to protect their schools and their children.
Find moderate and liberal clerics to serve as alternatives for the fundamentalists, violent, angry male bovine excrement that dominates in many parts of Afghanistan. As well as to teach in the madras' a more moderate, peaceful Islam.
If this kind of effort is going on I am not hearing any of it in the mainstream media or even in the alternative press and internet. Is it because it is not being reported? OR is it because it is not happening.
The approach I propose requires humility rather than arrogance. This so-called 'christian' country has never been very big on humility.
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I am just a concerned citizen living in the heart of Dixie a political wasteland for sure.

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Listen to those you want to help (usually not done... by BFalcon on Sunday, Dec 13, 2009 at 10:58:00 AM
See this site: www.barefootcollege.org/prog_solar.... by Lynn Hirshman on Sunday, Dec 13, 2009 at 1:03:39 PM