I started using this tag on twitter a few weeks ago. For as long as I’ve known about Afghanistan I’ve had an interest in it. Obviously being a lifelong New Yorker the events of 9/11 made it a topic. I was 16 when The first War started(before Iraq). #sidenote I think many forget that there are in fact TWO wars going on, THREE if you count the equally as death producing drug war. Tora Bora. Osama’s in the caves with a dialysis machine and his trusty doctor. Dead or Alive. The Hindu kush mountain ranges. Northwest Pakistan. Taliban and ancient civilizations where any who wish to take refuge must be sheltered. Places no mechanized vehicles have operated on. The tapes, the fuzzy bootleg video recordings. Some say Osama is a fake totally fabricated by some conspiracy master plan. Some say Osama is dead. Some say Osama is real and masterminded these terrible acts of violence. Some say Osama drives a cab in the city. My opinion? I don’t know, so I won’t say.
What I do know, and what I can say, is what I’ve read about the situation and the lives of the people there. The pictures i’ve seen. The stories i’ve read. The documentaries, the articles, the movies based on, and one book that may have been written (in my mind) specifically for me. And not just the people, the country, it’s animals, it’s history, it’s mountain ranges and natural habitats. Besides being important to me because we are currently at War with the country – besides that – I see an Afghanistan that is filled with remarkable natural life like Snow Leopards, mountain ranges, fields, kite controllers, weevers of incredible carpetry clothing and art. And I know that there have been talks and the president I voted for is considering sending 40,000 more of my peers, young American men & women into a place filled with a civilization of people who have endured foreign weapons and bloodshed for 30+ years.
I love New York City. That is unquestionable in my every thought and action. What happened on 9/11 has made me who I am more than anything in this world. By saying we should leave Afghanistan am I giving up on the vengeance of my city? Am I saying they died for nothing because we never found Osama? No. In the Godfather Pt. I after Sonny Corleone is killed the Don calls a meeting of all the families in the mafia and he says “I forgoe the vengeance of my son” because he realized that no one else needs to die. GIVE PEACE A CHANCE.
My grandmother revealed to me today that my father was talking about Afghanistan when he was my age. 30 years ago. And we’re still there.