Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ralph Peters: Planet Taliban

Ralph Peters, a former US army intellegence officer, gets creative in trying to describe the situation in Afghanistan. As he points out, US military and intelligence leaders are trying to project their values onto the Afghans, and therefore can never understand them. (read)

Regarding Planet Afghanistan, we still hear the deadly cliché that "all human beings want the same basic things, such as better lives and greater opportunities for their children." How does that apply to Afghan aliens who prefer their crude way of life and its merciless cults?

When girls and women are denied education or even health care and are executed by their own kin for minor infractions against the cult, how does that square with our insistence that all men want greater opportunities for the kids?


These alien tribes seek to destroy physical objects and systems valued on Planet America. They perceive time differently. They treat other life forms more harshly than we do. Their own lives are shorter, with different arcs. They quite like our weapons, though . . .

The point isn't to argue that Afghans are inferior beings. It's just that they're irreconcilably different beings - more divergent from our behavioral norms than the weirdest crew member of the starship Enterprise.

No comments:

Post a Comment