Graveyard of Empires or Afghans
I was talking with my cousin while scrolling through YouTube for random videos. There it was Jalalabad fell to Taliban. I remembered Hassan and Amir playing cheerfully under walnut trees( from kite runners). I can hear their giggles. Sweet aroma of kebabs. A thousand kites waving at you. Little children giving up their warm blood on glass shards for that beautiful spectacle.
Then suddenly I hear children cry. Mothers weep. Men becoming tools of barbarity. The snow was red. Sky was covered with black smoke. atmosphere was filled with flying bullets. Bullets don’t know any difference from child to adult, women to men, old to young , fighter to civilian. It shattered everything in it’s wake. Families fell apart. Large buildings became dust and stone. Kabul became a city of ghost filled with widows and orphans most of them handicapped. Still the men pulled the trigger and bullets couldn’t differentiate.
I shook away all that and talked to Hisham ( my cousin). Either Kabul will fall tonight or you can see months of bloodshed and pillage. Then again after 8 pm I think , there it was Kabul fell to Taliban. I don’t know what the feeling was right then. It was hope with an impinging worry. I was relieved that the 42 years of war was over and Kabul fell without a fight. Taliban used anaconda strategy. They came in, secured the city from further chaos. they declared general amnesty. Freedom of speech. education and working rights for women but only under Islamic norms. It was understandable. They fought for that. If they were ok with western laws governing Afghanistan they wouldn’t have fought right. It seemed like a new Taliban all together. When they entered Kabul for the first time in 1996 , It was a shattered city from constant shelling and urban warfare. They ruled like merciless thugs for 5 years till US came. I wondered then, where all their Pashtun code disappeared. what kind of honor is there in killing innocents.
Keeping all their promises aside, when I look at afghans , I see only dread. Fear for their life and for their dear ones. How desperate people have to be to hold onto a flying aircraft eventually falling to their death. It was heartbreaking to watch. More over what kind of barbarians can fly an aircraft when they knew people were running around it trying to get a hold. How ethical of great America. They shouldn’t have been there. They spend 20 years and 3 trillion dollars. For what , it took only 10 days for Taliban to take control of all of Afghanistan. How many lives, How many dreams, How many villages went in dust. Nobody want to discuss. What a colossal loss. I was hopeful that Taliban could somehow rule justly for reasons I don’t know. May be because I didn’t want the civilians to go through another war. It was enough. Don’t they get tired spilling their own blood. Then again when I see mothers throwing their children over fences to American soldiers ,just so they have better life abroad. Do u know how much it takes for a mother to give away her child. it is unimaginable agony. They are ready to go through that just for the sake of their children. For their security. I couldn’t watch that. I asked myself am I hopeful now?. will they see peace and stability?. We can only pray.
I got goosebumps when I watched Biden admit Afghanistan was a graveyard of empires. I felt proud for the people of Afghanistan, their courage and their unyielding nature. I remembered that depiction by Elizabeth butler of the lone survivor of British army. I can hear his exhaustion. What kind of people they have to be to wipe out an entire army of the British empire equipped with best ammunition of that time. Sun couldn't sink in their empire but afghans sank them to the depths of Hindukush. I pictured the unforgiving nature of Mujahideen against the Russians. Their guerilla warfare astonished the great Russians. The warlords were masters of their land. They knew the choke points. They used it well to their advantage.
When we keep our emotions and exciting feelings aside and think clearly we can see it was not graveyard of empires. It was of their own people. How many lives they lost in each war is unbelievable. How can they sacrifice their lives like that. What is the meaning of freedom if you are not even there to enjoy it. You are long gone. Everybody is wounded in their heart. Instability and fear ruling peoples’ mind. 2 million afghan civilians were killed in soviet afghan war alone and lakhs in afghan civilian war. The so called American saviors caused the death of almost 50,000 civilians. They dropped most number of bombs in Afghanistan than anywhere else. More than Vietnam more than Iraq. Somebody was talking about moral high ground. In modern world, who has it?. You dig 100 feet down anywhere in America. You can see dead Indians looking up with their bloody eyes. Their country was built on dead bodies. In Afghanistan it is afghans instead of Indians. War is not clean. It is dirty, it is filthy beyond imagination. It spares nobody. When I look at war I can only see innocent civilians dying. Who fought and who won. Who cares. Show me the peace you fought for, The noble causes you held high. When I look at people’s eyes I see only worry. They are tired. leave them alone. Dig your own grave. Spare others.