Afghan Reality Check

Today, I passed a group of inductees.  Fresh off the farm, you could say.  They all rambled past me in quasi-military formation.  A number of them stared at me as they passed.  All smiling and waiting for acknowledgement.  Each time I nodded to one of them, their smiles would go from small and timid to beaming masks of satisfaction.

These are the regular guys.  The regular people of Afghanistan.  They’re not fanatics.  They’re not crazy.  Like most Afghans, they have no time for ideology or sacred texts or demonstrations over nonsensical minutiae.  These guys are simply looking to live and to find a way to provide for their families.  They’re not corrupt Generals or Ministers.

Every time that I have a day with a moment like this, I realize that Afghans are just folks trying to survive.   Sometimes, I need this re-introduction to reality.  A gift of perspective.  Personal insight.

That won’t stop me from calling an assmonkey an assmonkey.  Still, it gives me a fresh start on tomorrow.  I need this from time to time and it’s given to me usually by some poverty stricken boy who’s in the process of becoming a soldier.

One can hope.  If nothing else, one can hope.


Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never Is, but always To be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confin’d from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

-Alexander Pope

Afghan Soldiers gaze upon the remains of the Bamian Buddhas

Afghan Soldiers gaze upon the remains of the Bamian Buddhas

One comment on “Afghan Reality Check

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