Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Afghanistan: Then and Now

A half century ago, Afghanistan was a poor, peaceful, relatively happy place to live. The capital of Kabul was a modern metropolis.
Paghman Gardens near Kabul in the 1960s.
Then the super powers of the US and USSR decided to play with Afghanistan. There was endless war, the rise of religious fanatics, and more endless war.
Same view of Paghman Gardens in 2007.
The West has spent a half trillion dollars during the past decade of war to blow up Afghanistan and another $100 billion on reconstruction. Before that the Soviets spent a decade destroying things. And then there were the Taliban who destroyed shit because, well, God.

In 1880, a woman named Malalai was a leader in the defense of the Afghan village of Maiwand against a British invasion. In 1962, women studied science along side men in Kabul University.
Today the literacy rate for women is 15% (for men about 50%) and in Kabul most women do not feel safe walking the streets without wearing a burka.

I feel sorry for the Afghans. They had a decent little country before the rest of the world took an interest in them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just saw this and it really is a dose of reality. Its like we're so far removed from thes things even though we hear them everyday until its put into perspective like this