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On this anniversary of the seemingly endless (yet forgotten) war

October 7, 2008

No–not that one. The other one–today marks 7 years since the invasion of Afghanistan. Robert Naiman from Just Foreign Policy sheds light on the British recommendation that it is high time to negotiate with groups affiliated with the Taliban to improve what is a rapidly deteriorating humanitarian catastrophe.

A stark difference from both of the major presidential candidates’ nearly identical policy on Afghanistan.

2008 has been the deadliest year of the war and occupation of Afghanistan for both US troops and Afghan civilians.

And yet–the most contact that most Americans will ever have with the people of this country is from magazines like the National Geographic. One of its most famous images was the photo of this Afghan woman–Sharbat Gula. Thousands of Americans wrote to National Geographic asking to either adopt or marry her.

In 2003 National Geographic went back to Afghanistan on a search mission looking for the woman with the penetrating green eyes–and found her.

I wonder if they let her know how many marriage proposals she has received for her beauty when she was a young girl. Since many Americans have seen all Pashtus as Taliban affiliated, and since many Afghans have interpreted the war in Afghanistan as being against the Pashtu people rather than the Taliban, I can only imagine what her perception of Americans would be.

Imagine if your only experience with Americans was being hunted down by photographers 17 years after they stole a shot, approached by thousands of marriage proposals by people whom you had never met, and then their country invades and occupies your country for seven years and yet 88% of its young people–the same demographic going off to fight there– cannot find it on a map

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