Nov 20, 2022Liked by Penfist

ProPublica published a story yesterday about an Afghan family, fortunate enough to flee Afghanistan. The refuge organizations, decimated under Trump and unable to regroup for a sudden influx in refugees, relocated the family to a rural part of a very red state vs states with active Afghan populations, which could have drastically assisted with assimilation. The teenage son, who faced discrimination and isolation, committed suicide. Yes, our oligarchal system, and ragged democratic institutions has failed most of us, but the apathy and indifference of Americans plays a role as well.

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You have written wisely. I agree with you on every point you made. Thanks for publishing this.

What upsets me even more than all the suffering and loss of life is our childish, naive hubris. We think we can just invade a region (it's only a "nation" because some Europeans carved it up a few years ago - just like Iraq) and just because we have big weapons, the folks who live there are going to give up centuries of culture and tradition and emulate our very young funky semi-functional democracy. What are we thinking?

The Taliban and every other cult that is embedded in the history of such nations respond to strong man politics. It's no different than the Mafia. Only the residents of Afghanistan can change that.

And then there is the American Taliban...we are so hypocritical as to be mind blowing.

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