Just under four decades ago, in the early eighties, I wrote an essay in secondary school on the Soviet presence in Afghanistan, which by then was a few years old. As a proxy war it set the stage for much of what happened later.
Two decades ago E and I were at Penn Station in NYC, when the news broke that the air strikes on Afghanistan had begun, in retaliation against the terrorist attacks on the US a few weeks before that. A wave of murmurs suddenly went through the station. People yelled. People started crying. Some sagged to the ground, others fell to their knees. Camera crews showed up and tried to get vox-pop statements. We walked into a sportsbar where all the screens switched to showing what was going on.
This week Afghanistan is front and center in the news once more.
It didn’t make much sense to me forty years ago, as I got told as a pupil by my teacher.
It didn’t make much sense to me as a response 20 years ago.
It doesn’t make much sense to me now.
I did and do know it was and is awful and terribly sad.
Listening to Queensryche’s American Soldier album today. The images out of Afghanistan, and reading postings by veterans from various countries on if it was ‘worth it’ make it apt.