View From A Grain Of Sand
Earlier this week, I watched an interesting documentary called “View From A Grain Of Sand” about Afghanistan’s difficult history. The storytellers were three Afghanistan women, who tell their stories with great courage in a society where such courage is unacceptable. Most shocking to me, is the role that the U.S. has played consistently in terrorizing Afghanistan. I truly had no idea of the depth and breadth of our influence there.
It started in the late 70’s, when we decided to front and arm Afghanistan fundamentalists who served our own interests – to combat the Russians (Communism). We supported these rebel groups who we knew fiercely oppressed women. Various fundamentalist groups took power and have remained in power since; instituting laws that totally undercut the rights of women.
Things get even worse when you discover that the Taliban was also partially funded by the U.S. Somehow, we have had this notion that if we get on the right side of violent conflict situations, we can make things better – at least for ourselves. The reality is that there is no “right side” to these violent conflicts and our decisions have made things worse. The right thing to do is invest in development and diplomacy, not war-making; both from a moral and logical standpoint.
Our country has done great things in the world, but it has also done much damage. I hope with every bone in my body that someday, In the words of MLK, we realize that “Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars… Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
It is up to each and every one of us to foster such a vision.