The heart dies a slow death.
Shedding each hope like leaves,
until one day there are none
--Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)
Put your seat belt on, boy.
I don't ride with anybody
'less they wear their seat belt.
--Repo Man (1984)
Over under sideways down,
Backwards forwards square and round.
When will it end, when will it end,
When will it end, when will it end
--Over Under Sideways Down,
Speaking of gender bias ...
Afghanistan's President Karzai recently bemoaned the fact that "Our sons cannot go to school because of bombs and suicide attacks", a succinct summation of an almost decade-long fiasco (Uncertainty Over US Plans as War Enters 10th Year). Happy 10th Birthday, Afghan War. We love you like a child.
Gone missing from Karzai's statement is any mention of the rights of females to an education. He did not use the grammatical masculine in a universal sense -- this was a statement specific to the young men of his country.
Kind of flies in the face of U.S. propaganda that we are there to defend women's rights to equality. "Three Cups of Tea" is a quaint story for the ladies' book clubs, but it doesn't seem like the country's education minister is on board with that point of view.
We understand the President's concerns. We guess that when you're bacha baz (as half of Mr. Karzai's Pashtun tribal peeps are), you don't want a dope beside you; that is why they shun the company of unlettered women, we presume. In the best tradition of the oiran or courtesan, a boy player should provide some sort of substantial company.
The U.S. has found, upon returning its attention to Afghanistan after the unfortunate Iraqi distraction, that Counterinsurgency doctrine does not actually win hearts and minds. It does, however, offer the indigenous a swift learning curve on how to exploit the largess of the occupiers.
Anyway, why is the U.S. concerned if the Afghans love us, for such a goal -- were it even possible -- has no military significance. Further, why should the U.S. love the Afghans? It is clear we and our phony Afghan allies are on two separate sheets of music. The U.S. gains naught even were the Afghan people to overflow with adoration for us.
Our initial war objectives should be critically examined for internal validity. Neither the Afghan people nor their leaders will ever adopt a Western liberal philosophy, and it is futility to make this an objective in a low-intensity conflict.
The War in Afghanistan is like the U.S. housing market: It is underwater and not worth the money invested in the purchase. The only logical solution is to declare bankruptcy or let the bank repo the structure. The U.S. will not get its equity out of that mess. Why can't the president see that?
This Ranger for one cares not one iota for the hearts and minds of anyone other than my fellow Americans. Let the Afghanis be whatever they want to be and if they become a realistic threat, deal with them in an old-fashioned punitive campaign.
Shoot and scoot.