Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Between Lebanon and Aghanistan, Kobi says hello to Chris

1981 United States poster
On May 25th, 2000, the last soldier of Israel’s occupation army, Major Kobi Dostaka of the elite 7th Armored Brigade, jumped down from his Merkava tank and padlocked Gate No. 93 on the border fence after the last tank crossed back into Israel.
On August 30st, 2020, at precisely 11:59 P.M. Kabul time, Maj Gen Chris Donahue commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, steps on board a C-17 transport plane as the last US service member to leave Hamid Karzai international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. Apparently, Maj Gen Donahue told his troops he was "job well done, I'm proud of you all". 
Now, silly as I am I thought it was "Mission Accomplished" already since 2003.
Now all this being said, where does that leave us?
Nowhere to be honest. 
But at least now it is out in the open. By that I mean, anyone with any degree of intelligence would know that all of this was futile. Perhaps I should tell you what happened in 2008 when I was in Sweden following a course on "Journalism and democracy in the Middle East". Back then, we were sharing the premises with a group of Eastern European journalists and they had a Swedish minister visiting them so we were brought along. The woman was really happy that they helped Afghan women vote etc, etc... and this is where I literally blew my top off.
When she finished and it was time for questions I really went for the jugular, my argument that before voting how about... living! And I advocated the case of how women were still forced to marry young, still suffered acid attacks, still were victims of honor killings.
And you know who fought me back later? The women journalists in our own group telling me I cast a bad image about women. In my defense, our moderator (the wonderful Sam Kapadia) came to my side explaining that we were supposed to be 19 journalists not 18, but that our Palestinian colleague was forbidden to travel by her brother.
Where am I leading? I think the whole "hearts and minds" and "women and voting" are too early of victories to be called so. Perhaps everyone caught the snake by the tail. 
And just because there are no rattlesnakes in Afghanistan, this does not mean there are no venomous ones.
Apparently, the Taliban had a saying "you have the watches, we have the time".
And somewhere, someone confused rattlesnakes, watches, and a dash of suffragettes.