We have got the Maxim gun...

From: Andrew Solovay <asolovay_at_TqdPkPXbVfBRzWIadOfI34UYCUh1Gzp0IWLA1w2uqlhJ1pr-G7k16EvfRhvN0KzWhPT>
Date: Wed, 3 Dec 2003 17:00:12 -0800

Chris Lemens <chrislemens_at_TniNG3F_WD_gA1HKDYZgilnicv-UazLUeOtMug_tDBJnCMgcVY57TKa5iDmKDbYv-JE3NHuw65R83fli_A.yahoo.invalid> wrote:

> Afghanistan has reasons to be proud (never conquered
> by outsiders alone--something of a myth, but some
> reality), and many more not to be (treatment of women,
> foreigners, cultural relics; utter failure to develop
> any economic assets other than opium; etc.). On
> balance, they should be ashamed of their country.

Does Afghanistan really *exist*? I mean, as an actual thing, rather than as a blank space on the map?

My impression is, the British Raj, Russia, and Persia expanded as far as they profitably could into central Asia. Eventually, it just stopped being worth it to push further into the mountains chasing bandits. So they left a big area unconquered, drew a line around it, and wrote "here be dragons" (which translates roughly as "Afghanistan"). It was never really a country--it was just a bunch of stuff not worth fighting for.

We were able to actually conquer the place, on account of we're Americans and we pass stones bigger than a European's balls. But we still can't turn it into a country, and we're not really trying. Once we've got Iraq settled, we'll quietly move our folks out of "Afghanistan" and let it slump back down to its primordial anarchy.            

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