thanks to rajan for the pointer to arunsmusings.
clearly the us is being bamboozled. the taliban = the pakistani army. you can't wipe one out without wiping out the other. the us knows this, but they are pretending they don't because they are calculating that there's short-term value in it. it will bite them on the ass one of these days.
but the quote that leapt out at me is one that implies that the afghans' spirt -- just like that of the baluchis -- has been broken.
"A word about fear. Afghans, legendary for their tenacity in battle, have had their courage shattered by the gruesome bloodletting of recent decades. The odds were stacked so heavily against them, the weapons so mismatched, the perpetrators--Afghan and foreign alike--so insensitive to the strictures of honorable conflict, that courage became irrelevant. Afghans are now internally injured. They constitute an entire society suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. And so, it does not take much to intimidate them."
this is precisely what happened to the hindus of the subcontinent over protracted centuries of mohammedan invasions. the perpetrators (ironically enough mostly afghans) were so barbaric that hindus became traumatized: the gentleman's rules of war that hindus had always lived by were no match for jihadi fervor for virgins, and al-taqiyah. hindus were traumatized even though they never gave up, and kept fighting back again and again, never allowing the mohammedan to become comfortable (unlike the persians and egyptians who were wiped out). but the long-term impact -- as naipaul observed -- was that hindu civilization was damaged. as someone has termed it, a collective stockholm syndrome. this was lesser in the south than in the north, mostly thanks to vijayanagar.
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