Saturday, January 18, 2014

News from Kabul

The most recent  tragedy in Afganistan was reported this morning. Those targeted were nonmilitary foreigners. The blood spilled belonged to people who probably went to Kabul hoping to help, knowing the dangers and being brave about the journey. Braver than I am.

As I listened to the report this morning on NPR, it didn't seem to have the right slant. The Taliban message seemed more than clear. No, they didn't go after soldiers, the usual targets. They are protesting the killing of innocent bystanders in their own backyards. The drones. The soldiers.

Imagine if we had that going on here. The anger, the grief. The Taliban wanted foreigners to feel the pain. There is so much pain in their world. It is hard to even fathom what their lives must be like. This is not in support of what the Taliban did. None of it is right.

 Is there a way to stop the bloodshed? Will Afganistan ever be a place where people can be at peace? After all that we have tried to do, we would hope so -- but the path is still far from obvious. Will there be a bloody power struggle when our troops come home? Most likely. Will it be any better or any worse than with us there? That's a painful, open question.  Who will benefit? Who will suffer? In the end, what have we accomplished? It is so hard to know. All we can know for sure is that so many have died and been wounded on all sides.

I remember the day I heard that Pres. Bush had decided to bomb Afganistan. My reaction was -- NO!
Please don't tell me they are going to do that. Of course, the war there began. Could they have dealt with terrorism in any other way? I wanted to think so.