Ask anyone on the streets of Kabul about the revolutions that in recent years transformed huge parts of Latin America, and the chances are you’ll encounter a blank stare. Perhaps mentioning Cuba could evoke at least some recognition, but definitely not Venezuela, Ecuador or Bolivia. I know because I tried on several occasions, and I failed.
Ask in the marvelous historic city of Herat, with its huge minarets and Italian military contingent, about Western imperialism, or about NATO and its murderous campaigns all over the world, and chances are that your question won’t even be understood.
“Chances are that those Afghan people who can speak English or other Western languages, are now actually working for the Westerners; either for their military, or for their ‘defense’ contractors… or for the embassies, the United Nations, or perhaps some NGO”, explained an Asian reporter who is based in Afghanistan for more than two decades. “These people are not going to rock the boat, dwelling on crimes committed by the West, here and all over the world.”
That appears to be the case.
After more than 15 years of brutal Western occupation, Afghanistan appears to be thoroughly ruined. Not only in terms of its infrastructure and standards of living, and not only when it comes to all basic indicators like life expectancy (15th lowest in the world, according to the WHO, 2015) or education: all those things I expected.
But perhaps even more significantly, the country…