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View Diary: Latest rift with Karzai underscores need for U.S. to end its war in Afghanistan (47 comments)

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  •  Afghanistan is NOT a country (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skyounkin, carver, r2did2

    Afghanistan is lines on a map, drawn by the British, in a way that ignores the history of the region.  Afghanistan is actually a collection of tribal areas dominated by the Pashtun, but only because the Pashtun make up 40% of the population.  Technically, parts of Pakistan are Pashtun tribal areas (N. Waziristan/the "autonomous tribal areas") and the lines separating Afghanistan and Pakistan are meaningless there, too.  Within the "country" the various areas are dominated, to differing degrees, by the 7 major tribes, with the Pashtun being minorities in many areas.  The Pashtun are even divided into 2 tribes, the "city" Pashtun and the "country" Pashtun.  The country Pashtun resent their city cousins because the city cousins are wealthier, better educated and have a higher standard of living and because they were lucky enough to be the civil servants for the British when "Afghanistan" gained autonomy.  The Taliban are primarily country Pashtun, but when push comes to shove, blood is thicker than water and the Pashtun will stick together.  The Tajiks, who dominated the "Northern Alliance" against the Taliban have historically had an understanding with the city Pashtun because both tend to be the merchant class and money talks.  The remaining tribes form and break alliances with Pashtun, the Tajiks and each other, except everyone seems to hate the Hazara because they are Shia, not Sunni.  Trying to form a stable and democratic government under those conditions is like urinating in the wind.  And, because loyalty is to family first, the village and its elders second and the tribe third some very interesting interactions occur, including blood feuds between families, villages and tribes that last for generations.  I have many friends that have done tours there, and the stories about those feuds would be funny except that people get killed because of them.  "Form a lasting and democratic government" my rear end.

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