What Must the Afghans Think?

We have been given few opportunities to see and understand how Afghanis view Americans and the U.S. government’s foreign policy toward their country. Malalai Joya offers her views, to a filtered American media that attempts to drown out her criticisms. We may watch a variety of documentaries, including the current Rethink Afghanistan series by Robert Greenwald. But we really do not know, and perhaps cannot know, how it feels to be on the receiving end of a grasping military empire that seeks control without authority, ownership without purchase, and righteousness through arrogance.

If we were to put on a pair of Afghan moccasins and begin to walk that mile, in these weeks before Kabul celebrates the 52nd birthday of the American satrap, in these days before a winter bloom of 30,000 more soldiers and Marines from a far-off and dangerously unstable country, a country that will soon have a national debt equal to 97.5% of its GDP, a great fallen country gone to seed, if we were to walk in those shoes we may begin to understand.

We may think that the rest of the world has lost its way acclaiming an American president for the color of his skin but not the content of his character.

We may begin to believe that occupation and conflict is a way of life, and that we are a cursed people.

We may marvel at hypocrisy, sanctimoniousness, insincerity, the blatant fraud of raw force clothed in words of liberation mouthed hotly by the soft-handed denizens of a far off capital.

We may wonder at the hypocrisy, sanctimoniousness, insincerity, the blatant fraud of raw force as delivered by an army of robot soldiers who put fresh paint on the walls of schools each morning even as they maim children and murder mothers each afternoon.

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We may become tired of being lectured by foreigners about what it means to be us, and how we might become a more supplicating us.

We are intrigued that the satrap demands American troops stay on for the slaughter until his 67th birthday, whereupon we wonder where he will flee, or how his life will be ended.

As we walk along, we may begin to see the positive side of our situation.

We may consider our history, our geography, our culture and our tradition as assets, golden.

We may practice our rage, build upon it, feel comfort in our collective anger, that empowering antidote to helplessness and fear, that key to a different future.

As we recognize the eventual leaving of the occupiers, belied by the lies of D.C. can-kickers, we may think on how to accelerate this certain end.

We may determine that the arrival of more ill-trained and unmotivated Americans in country can be used to our advantage.

We may determine that the return of angry veterans from the bankrupt country, those wise to the sanctimony of their own leaders, the faithlessness of their blood-eating generals, some even awakened to the joys of graft and murder and torture — all these may be used to our advantage.

As we walk, we may plan to live rather than to die. We may decide to die so that our children can live. We may decide to persist rather than to submit.

We may consider the numbers: 26 million of us, millions in even the smallest groups of us, to 200,000 foreigners and not all of them armed.

We may muse at how cheaply and creatively we may kill an American, and how expensively and unimaginatively they kill us.

If we are young, we may consider the feats of our grandparents and parents against the Soviets, and wonder if we have become yet the men and women they were. We may wish to prove something, if we are young.

And we may be drawn to the fight knowing it is winnable and will only ever be won by us. We know that the tender underbelly of a globally despised, morally decrepit and monetarily collapsing empire is exposed, showcased and spotlighted in our own backyard. A great sacrificial lamb awaiting our knives, on a table watched by the entire world, salivating and greedy for what comes next.

We may feel the irresistible urge to make a spectacle of the American empire, and we may entertain ourselves, as we walk, with thoughts of the myriad of ways we will do that.