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I took this photo outside of Khandihar at a tomb of one of Afghanistan's past kings. I am not sure what the old man is doing: teaching the Koran? sewing something?--but the baby is paying attention. No ADHD going on there, and his blue shoes are off, as a sign of respect...or who knows?--maybe the kid likes to go barefoot.
Having traveled the length of Afghanistan six times, I cannot imagine a more undermatched war opponent for the mighty USA. The Taliban did a terrible thing...or at least trained Saudis...but I wonder how many we have to kill before we feel the scales of justice are balanced.
Afghans use small scales in their villages, for all sorts of things: weighing nuts and raisins, using various lumps of metal and gears for weights. If we use scales for blood and gore in battle, I suppose our side is weighed down like an elephant on a seesaw...with some skinny Afghan guy way up in the air, on the other side. As a country of course, we would not want to lose face. Especially, since we have already lost every other measure of what makes a country mighty, both in treasure and truth. Maybe the ratio should be fifty elephants for us, against one of their guys, to achieve a U.S. proportion of justice. In that case, we have a lot of killing to do, before the Taliban country raises the white flag. Oh, I forgot, the Taliban are not a country; they have no flag; the war is not a war, and Geneva is a nice city somewhere in Switzerland where Julia Andrew sings "climb every mountain."
I suppose the war will go on. I remember some Afghan warlord years ago, who spoke so succinctly, on CNN or something: "there will be war; men will die."
True. And probably the baby on the tomb above. If I had to lay American money down, I would say he is already gone.