Sunday, September 16, 2012

Certain Maxims of Hafiz

"Now it is not good for the Christian's health to hustle the Aryan brown,"
For the Christian riles, and the Aryan smiles and he weareth the Christian down;
And the end of the fight is a tombstone white with the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear: "A Fool lies here who tried to hustle the East."

~R. Kipling

My friend Labrys is infuriated that the Afghan muj have, once again, proved that our "strategy" for Afghanistan is about as cunning as that of the sixteen-year-old rube who has pushed into the traveling carnies' poker night. He - and we - are fools for the plucking and will, and are, being plucked. The only tragic part is that our losses are in blood and lives as well as treasure.

We were fools and more than fools to imagine that in a decade or two and with a force that wouldn't have made up a corporal's guard in Alexander's or Baibur's armies we could do what those ruthless conquerors couldn't do in lifetimes.

I really have nothing more to add on this subject. In a polity that had genuinely well-moderated public fora, a robust political intelligence, and a competent popular press the "wisdom" of trying to Hustle the East would have been taken out back and shot twice in the head years ago.

Being the nation we are, and being the public we are, we will manage to kill many more of the locals, and our own, before we accept the inevitable facts.
And, while tragic, this is entirely to be expected. I wish I thought I could change that, but I cannot. I wish I thought I could viciously punish those who are going to perpetuate that, but I cannot do that either.

All I can do is sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the deaths of kings.

"If He play, being young and unskilful,
for shekels of silver and gold,
Take his money, my son, praising Allah.
The kid was ordained to be sold."

1 comment:

Syrbal said...

Pretty much; I expected this horrid result from our first entry into Afghanistan. For pity's sake....did none of America's so-called leaders even pass sophomore year World History? You know, the bit about that country being the "graveyard of empires"?

From the first carpet bombing of mountain sides, I knew this was NOT how Osama bin Laden would be found; in that place only HUMINT and other reliable sources would ferret him out. Not tonnage dropped!

I hoped when Bush the Idiot was out of office that it would improve; and yes, bin Laden WAS found...but damn it, why ARE we still there bleeding out national treasure and blood. Nothing has ever dragged the bulk of that country into more than the 13th century, and out continued blood-letting isn't going to change that.