Afghanistan, Then and Now

Afghanistan, Then and Now, by Steve Sailor.

Just as Serbia resembles an outpost of Russian culture in southern Europe, Afghanistan is culturally similar to Arabia, if the Arabs were all smoking meth. The Pashtun culture, centered in eastern Afghanistan and western Pakistan, may be the world’s most dysfunctional.

Pashtun ethnically dominated regions

Here are some of their proverbs:

“The Pukhtun is never at peace, except when he is at war.”

“One’s own mother and sister are disgusting.”

“When the floodwaters reach your chin, put your son beneath your feet.”

The horribleness of indigenous Pashtun culture might explain why the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban are seen by locals not as savages but, due to their strict obedience to the Koran, as moral exemplars.

Muhammad might have married a 9-year-old, but at least she was a girl. For example, pederasty, or bacha bazi (“dancing boys), is so common among the Pashtuns that American troops were told they had to ignore sex abuse of minors for the good of the alliance. In contrast, one of the precipitating events of the Taliban’s rise to power in the mid-1990s was a small civil war between two non-Taliban warlords over a boy they both fancied. A Taliban squad under Mullah Omar rescued the boy, which raised their reputation. …

What should be done about Afghanistan?

The strategic problem is that America doesn’t want its traditional enemy, the Taliban, to be seen as winning.

Still, continuing to base troops in Afghanistan makes the U.S. hostage to the untrustworthy Pakistanis for permitting transit across their country, while giving the Iranians and Russians a cheap way to annoy the U.S. by supporting the Taliban.

And the Taliban appear to represent the primary political aspirations of the largest tribe in Afghanistan, the Pashtun.

After sixteen years out of power, the Taliban have been punished heavily for their criminal negligence in providing hospitality to al-Qaeda. However, no evidence has emerged that the Taliban took an active role in plotting 9/11.

And, unlike ISIS, the Taliban appear to have learned their lesson not to be culpable in terrorism in the West. For instance, the Taliban’s 2012 commando raid on a NATO base in southern Afghanistan that wrecked eight Marine Corps jets (the worst damage American air power has suffered since Vietnam) was a fair fight of brave soldier versus brave soldier.

Just as America and Vietnam get along today, the U.S. and Afghanistan should be able to get along in the future. (And if we can’t, well, they are just Afghanistan, the most famously lousy country in Eurasia.)

So, my suggestion is that the Taliban should be prodded to merge with some other Pashtun group and then change their names to something innocuous like the United Afghan Front.