The Stones of Bagram
"It is better to discuss things, to argue and engage in polemics than make perfidious plans of mutual destruction."
Stone is a vital ingredient in the making of planet earth. It adds to its glory and provides it peaks & heights. The unique Inhabitants of this magnificent star have strong ties with stones. They have been living in the shelter of stones forever. From stardust to Stonehenge, from caves to counties, the human relationship with stone is eternal. Some stones are worshipped and some stand on graves. Some stones are diamonds and some are tiles on the floor. Some stones are peaks like Mount Everest and some stones are referred to as seamounts in the deep waters. Much is written and researched about stones. Carved and painted caves, Ashoka rocks, the pyramids of Egypt, and the logosyllabic scripts of Mesoamerican civilization are all signs of man’s relationship with stones.
However, the stones of Bagram tell a different tale that's written in the blood of the innocent without purpose. This is a story of the chivalry, courage, sacrifice, and death of all the sides that engaged in fighting. Chapter after chapter of this sad book reveal pages of the wounds, smoke and death of the youth of this otherwise beautiful planet of stones and waters.
A boy from Batesville, Mississippi, one from Espoo, Finland, and another from Chiras Sar-e-Pol, risking their lives over a conflict erected from the loss of buildings they had never seen. And neither had their families ever visited the city where those buildings once stood. Many of them never returned to their waiting mothers. Their girlfriends and wives sang songs about separation. Marking calendars day after day. Till the day a uniformed person knocked at their door to hand over a flag and a few belongings of their cherished one. On another broken door of a mud house a guy in a turban announced the death of a young son of a poor mother. Sometimes some families never even saw the dead bodies of their loved ones. The loss of life on both sides made their families both sad and resolute in equal measure. Those who returned were physically crippled or mentally disturbed.
All of a sudden the fighting stops, though no winner has been declared.
The country again falls into the young hands of the resisting youth. They declared a pardon for all, but thousands continue to cling to the airplanes of departing soldiers. Falling off the taxiing planes.
The end of this war is also strange. No one lost; even the fleeing Afghan leaders are leaving with the title of Ex-President and Ex-Governor. Only the families of the dead, misplaced, and handicapped suffered.
And those who invited foreign forces to Afghanistan are now running with taxpayers' dollars in their bags. A person who ran sub-standard Afghan restaurants in Queens, New York, rode on Allied forces’ tanks to sit in the palace of the president. Such people cared little for both the life of the youth of their adopted country or the country of their birth. They got glorified and sat on the throne made by the blood of the innocent youth of almost 50 countries. This war was fought earnestly by the poor of both cultures, and they remained poor afterwards. Rich policy makers and their sponsored companies made rivers and oceans of dollars out of this expensive war. This might have been the most extravagant war in the history of the world. Billions & billions were drained to build a government, an army and a nation. These bucks neither won the war nor built a nation. The army that was trained with those dollars turned out to be nothing but a wall of sand that melted without a storm. What does it all mean? It means corruption. Taxpayers must ask such questions of the leaders who chalked out these policies. And the world should also know the price of blood that overflowed in that war. Sides don’t matter anymore, but does the life of the sons of this world?
The money was not wasted only in war and in building nations; it was also wasted on the training of diplomats and negotiators. Yet what did they achieve? Dialogue is still going on in Doha. For what purpose?
The book of history carries a series of tales of rise & fall. Is this a story of the rise and fall of people like the Queens' restaurant owner or a tale of students' movement? The stones of Bagram have no answer — they are silent.
“War, like children’s fights, are meaningless, pitiless and contemptible.”
I will end today’s writing at an CNN’s interview with Khalid Hussaini a novelist, and writer of ‘The Kite Runner’,
“I would ask him: What is the legacy of the last 20 years? What was all this for? On the American side, the country's back in the hands of the very people that we went there to throw out. On the Afghan side, thousands and thousands of civilians died, so many people became displaced, so many villages were bombed, so many people suffered in the hope that the country might have a better future.”
Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, photographer, Rebel.
YouTube: Morning with Golf