Friday, February 10, 2017

Circles, Drains, and History

“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
George Santayana
In 1978 Afghanistan was governed by a centrist authoritarian government, which had come to power by coup, having overthrown the King in 1973.  The government was itself overthrown by a military coup that year, led by the communist Nur Mohammed Taraki.[i]  Initially, political power was shared between the People’s Party of Afghanistan, and the Banner Party, both were offshoots of the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan.  As seems the case in politics, especially communist politics, the sharing of power is never a comfortable situation, but once in place they began to implement Soviet type land reforms and suppress all political opposition, consisting largely of the deeply religious Muslim (and anti-communist) population.  The rising rebellion of the Muslim Right as well as the internal government conflicts between the Banner Party and the Peoples Party led the Soviet’s to invade Afghanistan in December, 1979 in an effort to shore up the pro-Soviet Union regime.[ii]
They remained in the quagmire for about ten years, at a cost of billions of rubles, and over 15,000 Soviet lives.[iii]  Of course, we in the west supported the mujahedeen who were fighting against the communists and their puppet government with the US providing of arms, training and lest we forget, the Olympic boycott.  We provided the basis to destabilize an inherently unstable region, and what thanks did we get?
Now some 47 years later we find ourselves in that same quagmire with little to no hope of creating either a stable government (and thus a legitimate win), or a graceful way out, yet we all seem to be more concerned with who we offend by implementing boarder security, or purging our own government of those who disagree with the administration.
And with Calexit bubbling up, I guess George was right.

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