Comment: We used to have a German neighbor who was an art historian. She was sure that she knew everything about everything. She had never been anywhere except Germany and the US except for a high school group trip to Italy. She thought she understood the US because as a girl she read the fantastical novels by Carl May, a German who had never visited the US. She knew all about dogs, and used to advise me regularly although she had never owned a dog. She told me that living in purdah was not a bad experience for women in Salafi countries and families.
I laughed. That annoyed her. pl
on the news there is a statement from talibs – they didn’t do it… so
either the bomb was too much of an overkill ( even for talibs to acknowledge resp.! )
or there are other actors on site..- isis? – isrxxx..? borg? oops – AFG GOV?
excl.: pakis, russkies, china… please fill the list!
Sometimes there are situations and ground-state realities which we can only delay but not in the end deny.
When we leave, the Taliban will work to reconquer the country and establish whatever Women’s Servitude regime they feel like. If we decide to delay leaving for yet another year, the imposition of Female Subjection will happen a year later than it is now on track to happen. If we were to delay leaving for another twenty years, then the imposition of Female Subjection would be delayed by twenty years. But it would not be denied.
This will be one of those things we will just have to accept feeling sad and helpless about, and accept that feeling as the price we will pay in order to be able to finally step out of the hamster wheel of infinite perma-war in Afghanistan.
If our government weren’t run by such hateful spiteful antiRussianites, then our government could look benignly the other way as Russia and the Central Asiastans reconstituted and re-supported a Northern Alliance 2.0 to keep at least some part of Afghanistan Taliban-free and woman-tolerable.
The massacred people are reported to be Hazaras, an “ethic minority.” There appears to be a long history of local conflict. They are Shia, unlike most of the people of Afghanistan . They are said to be descendants of the armies of Ghengis Khan, and in appearance resemble Mongolian features and have at least one dialect that uses Mongol words.
Look at the linked article below. The 21st century American instinct to do a knee-jerk “women’s rights” lament is understandable and certainly has my sympathies, but misses the mark.
See here, and search on “hazara people” more generally.
The NYTimes.com, astoundingly, has a few recent articles with relevant documents information.
I’m very skeptical of BBC reporting on this topic as the British publication The Economist has been on an Anti-Withdrawal from Afghan editorial blitz since the Biden
admin announced withdrawal. We’ve also been told the withdrawal is beside the point somehow due to remaining mercenaries, Intel agencies, special forces soldiers and narcotics interests.
“…The Hazaras’ dialect is part of the Persian branch of the Indo-European linguistic family. Hazaragi, as it is called, is a dialect of Dari, one of Afghanistan’s two largest languages, and the two are mutually intelligible. However, Hazaragi includes a large number of Mongolian loanwords, which provides support for the theory that they have Mongol ancestors. In fact, as recently as the 1970s, some 3,000 Hazara in the area around Herat spoke a Mongolic dialect called Moghol. The Moghol language historically is associated with a rebel faction of Mongol soldiers who broke off from the Il-Khanate.
In terms of religion, most Hazara are members of the Shi’a Muslim faith, particularly from the Twelver sect, although some are Ismailis. Scholars believe that the Hazara converted to Shi’ism in the time of the Safavid Dynasty in Persia, likely during the early 16th century. Unfortunately, since most other Afghans are Sunni Muslims, the Hazara have been persecuted and discriminated against for centuries.
The Hazara backed the wrong candidate in a succession struggle in the late 19th century, and ended up rebelling against the new government. Three revolts over the last 15 years of the century ended with as many as 65% of the Hazara population being either massacred or displaced to Pakistan or Iran. Documents from that period note that the Afghan government’s army made pyramids out of human heads after some of the massacres, as a form of warning to the remaining Hazara rebels.”
Good for them.
I firmly support the withdrawal and would like to note that Trump was foiled from carrying out the same. Our men and women have been sacrificed enough to satisfy the woke needs of the policy makers.
These tragedies are inevitable as the Taliban will not brook any dishonor to their Pakthoonwali honor code. And there is nothing the US can do except some hashtag campaigns to prevent the Taliban from taking that country close to the vicinity of the 7th century AD. If as a society, they are most comfortable with everyone in a village being each others’ father-in-law, the least we can demand is not to be excoriated for failing to appreciate their culture.
Now the Taliban has made soothing assurances that they will not be leveraged to be a base to strike at all the heathens in the neighborhood. I don’t see them being able to keep up their end of the bargain. More likely that Afghanistan will be the most popular testing ground for a wide variety of hypersonic weapons in the works.
Again this is a failure in adopting the same British playbook from centuries past. If Syria which comparatively was a liberal, free and culturally rich country can be the target of a breakup, what is so sacred about the territorial integrity of Afghanistan? The Hazaras and the Shias around Herat will have a better future in Iran. And the Northern Tajiks and Uzbegs would do well to be free of the Pakhtoon. And the Pakhtoon themselves have more of their brethern across the Durand line. Twenty years spent was a missed opportunity to redraw the region’s lines from the Great Game era. A grand failure of imagination.