Today I was reminded of the reality of terrorism in Afghanistan from our driver, BBC Farid – known for telling stories.
His story was about a conversation he had with his four-year-old son when he got home from work last week. His son asked him why he did not bring banana for him. Farid replied to his son that he was not able to buy the banana because all of the shops had been closed because of an earlier bombing. His son then asked him, if the Taliban kill you, who will bring me my banana and make sure that I am clothed. He continued on to ask his dad instead for a Kalashnikov, so that when the Taliban kill his father he can then kill the Taliban.
All of this from a four-old-year; a boy who will never know what it was like before the war on terror. In a place like Afghanistan he will be lucky to ever live without war as a chronic threat. We can only hope that the next thirty years of his country’s history will be less tarnished by war than the last thirty years. Unfortunately even with the ousting of the Taliban in 2001, Afghanistan remains to be threatened by their presence. We had our chance to crush the Taliban and instead headed on to the next victory of Iraq. Being closer to the threat of the Taliban, and the destruction it has caused for so many lives, it is clearer than ever that we did not do the right thing.
We can only hope to learn our lesson.