THE KITE RUNNER--AND AMERICAN FANTASY IN AFGHANISTAN
By Kevin Anthony Stoda, the Train Runner in Bavaria
I was riding on a series of trains through Bavaria during a light snowstorm today. As I rode--and then ran through--the central terminals in Nurnberg, Wurzburg, and Aschaffenburg on my way back to Wiesbaden this below zero day in history January 2010, I took time to read through Khaled Hosseini's THE KITE RUNNER, set primarily in pre-9-11 Afghanistan.
I started my journey westward from near the Czech Republic from one of the U.S. Military [Grafenwoehr] Bases in Bavaria and marveled at how the connections to Afghanistan were so evident around me in these particular hills of the Upper Palatinate. In just a few months, locally stationed American volunteers by the thousands are going to leave the snow country of Germany--a place of relative security globally--in order to expand American presence in snowy Afghanistan (and even into Pakistan in terms of indirect and direct U.S. military moneys, drones, and forces.)