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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 359 Response

“The Governor of Earth”

by Catfish Russ

Challenge 359 asks, among other things, about alien invasion.

I truly believe that we are making a tremendous mistake by escalating in Afghanistan; it's not even a “country” but a loose confederation of tribes and warlords where the people still live the way they did in the 17th century and could care less about nationhood or democracy. We are truly ill-informed idiots who read no history and don't remember why they call Afghanistan “the graveyard of empires.” Vietnamistan is what we should call it.

Catfish Russ

Saying “the 17th century” seems rather generous, Catfish; Afghanistan has probably changed relatively little in its political form since the time of Alexander the Great or even the Indo-European migration some four or five thousand years ago. Indeed, an Afghan émigré once remarked in a television news interview: “You can’t bomb Afghanistan back to the Stone Age; it already is in the Stone Age.”

It’s become a commonplace to take the U.S. point of view and emphasize the similarities between the conflict in Afghanistan and the one in Vietnam between 1965 and 1975. How does Afghanistan differ from Vietnam? Or, for that matter, Iraq? To refine the question: who is the enemy and how might it best be combated?

Copyright © 2009 by Catfish Russ
and Don Webb

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