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It's Metafilter's 20th anniversary! To celebrate, scan some cats or help fund Mefi! Afghanistan July 31, 5: A greater loss may be Medecins Sans Frontieres pulling out because of the lack of security. There is optimism in Afghanistan, but attacks are on the increase , and some are worried that it may still implode. Meanwhile, the Republic of Kabul is doing wonderfully.
Suffering arises from attachment. Why not slap a new nose on the Sphinx while we're at it? You can't rebuild an ancient treasure. Let the ruins stand as an eternal monument to fundamentalist idiocy. And make the whole country safe and stable enough so that any artists alive there now can make new masterpieces. Why not build giant panda statues instead? I recall my classics teacher chilling the class once with the sobering observation that there is a stronger than you might think movement among Egyptian fanatics with the stated agenda of destroying the pagan symbols of Egyptian antiquity.
God help us if our Mideast meddling inadvertantly puts them in power. A very well-considered post, homunculus. It is extraordinary and chilling to see MSF leave - I hope people know that they are doing so as an act of protest, and not one of cowardice. Afghanistan is a nightmare in so many ways. An unnatural state divided in half geographically mountains and plains , and ethnically Pushtuns and everybody else , it seems to be a place that needs to die in order to live.
What I mean by that is a cultural death penalty: The logic is that fanaticism, tribalism, and traditions of warlords can be broken up with forced homogeneity. That your neighbors are intentionally different from you--living examples of different cultures, traditions, and ways. Soon, the absolute nature of your world view becomes diluted in a cross-cultural mix, and if you want to live, you must learn to get along. And there are so many people in the world not averse to the hard work needed to rebuild Afghanistan, from every corner of the world, with every known skill.
What Amberglow and RavinDave said, too. I was frustrated watching the destruction of the Buddha, because I truly care about art. But it made makes me even sicker that so little attention is paid to the truly wretched living conditions in Afghanistan, and the huge role the U.