Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Afghanistan and US Civilian Strategy

I was inadvertently just watching CSPAN2, "Tonight from Washington" (5:52pm PDT 7/14/2010). I must have hit on something because NPR radio reported on it today too. But curiously, they didn't mention the following.

I had gotten home, played with the dogs for a while, then put on the TV and I was going through my Tivo recordings, deleting everything I really REALLY didn't need as it was getting full. Which means the menu system gets painfullllyyyyy slow.

While I was doing that, I had the screen in a screen function going and I was listening to some interesting guys talking. Then I started to focus on who and what and I was pleasantly surprised to find it was people in our Government talking about current issues today and what they were saying.

This was Richard Holbrooke as US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

He was talking to a group with his team seated behind him. He was, as is typical, at a table facing a table with a group facing him, including Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Indiana and Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member), Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin), Sen. John Kerry (D-Massachusetts and Foreign Relations Committee Chairman), Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-Maryland), and others. The room they were in was seated to capacity and overflow.

Richard Holbrooke was saying, referring to Afghanistan:

"What happened in 1989 when the Soviets left and the world, as lead by the United States, just turned its back on Afghanistan, and watched the liberation of Eastern Europe; never recognizing that the fall of communism had begun, in Afghanistan. Never recognizing we had a commitment; is a lesson of history, we cannot afford to repeat; and it was a direct line from the 1989 decisions, to 9/11. And we all know the history here."

I found that rather interesting. I suppose, because it never occurred to me before. I had a lot going on back then. I just was wrapped up in my own stuff, family, work, whatever. But it never dawned on me before. Now, looking back, I can see how that was. It makes perfect sense.

Isn't it strange sometimes, when you know something, but its not till long later on that you come to realize that you know it? Or when you hear something and you go, Oh, yeah, that makes perfect sense. Why didn't I make that connection sooner?

Seriously, I think it just takes, taking a breath once in a while. Thinking. Seeing everything around you. Taking the time, to be able to see everything around you. To be mindful of what is going on, all around you. You don't have to do anything. I'm not asking that of you. You don't have to be socially active, or get into the environmental movements, or tell anyone off, or anything at all. It wold be good though, if you were to form an opinion. Better to take a stand.

But to even just notice, to even be aware, to try to see the connections; and then, just to... continue on....

Well, I'm good with that.

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