Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"Unconquerable Afghans": What the Globe and Mail publishes and does not

Post done at Babbling's urging (from a comment here). A letter sent to the Globe July 13 and not published:
Afghans not unconquerable

The story 'It's impossible to conquer the Afghans' (July 12) is accompanied by a box [at bottom here] that states "Many foreign forces have attempted to conquer Afghanistan and its predecessor states. Few have succeeded." The box however gives a very selective reflection of Afghan history, as it deals with only five examples over some 2,500 years.

Indeed, during just the last millenium or so Afghanistan has been conquered several times. Some examples (all Turkic peoples except the Iranians): the Ghaznavids (962 - 1186), the Timurids (1369 - 1506--Tamerlane et al.), then the Moghuls followed by Iranians (1504 - 1709).

Perhaps the most noteworthy thing about Afghan history is that a recognizably Afghan independent state did not arise until one was formed by Ahmad Shah Durrani in 1747. The remarkable fact, contrary to popular myth, is actually how often Afghanistan has been under foreign rule.

But they did just publish this:
Superpower messiah syndrome


July 16, 2008

The Hague -- Re 'It's Impossible To Conquer The Afghans' (July 12): I had two tours of duty in Afghanistan, 1982 and 1984-1986, as an intelligence officer. For an ordinary Afghan person, any foreign interference is an attempt to "conquer," be it under communist or democratic slogans. That's why free elections (even if they were to be so) won't change the situation.

Superpower messiah syndrome is a very dangerous thing for both "conqueror" and "conquered"!
Draw your own conclusions.


Post a Comment

<< Home