Reading Tea Leaves in
January 29th, 2010
We are struggling to ﬁght with and for people with a
different culture, a different language, different custom,
different history, different religion, if any. And all of those
similarities exist. We don't live there. We don't live in the
community, in a hamlet, in a small town, pocket, whatever
you want to call it.
And so we're not there often at night. They are. And the
night often rules with insurgencies. The complications are
profound in both Pakistan and Afghanistan.
- Senator John Kerry (March 2009)
Turkestan, Afghanistan, Transcaspia, Persia—to many these
words breath only a sense of utter remoteness or a
memory of strange vicissitudes and of moribund romance.
To me, I confess, they are the pieces on a chessboard upon
which is being played out a game for the domination of the
George Lord Curzon,Viceroy of India (1892)
A Very Brief Long History of Pakistan & Afghanistan
The 62 years of post-colonial period in Pakistan has been
evenly divided between military dictatorships and military-
backed civilian governments.
Nuclear Proliferation. Extremism.
Two paradigms that dominate US policy towards Pakistan.
Mujahedeen to Taliban
The single paradigm dominating US policy towards Afghanistan
And among the ﬁve million refugees who have been forced over the
borders (one third of Afghanistan’s prewar population), about 48
percent are children, many of whom are being trained by the
resistance to take up the ﬁght to free Afghanistan from “Russian
The Soviets, if successful in their indoctrination of the young, will at
best produce a relatively small, elite cadre of Communist
sympathizers. The Afghans, on the other hand, are preparing millions
of young people for a ﬁght to the ﬁnish in a struggle that seems
destined to continue for many years.
Jeri Laber, “Afghanistan's Other War”, New York Review of Books, vol.
33, no. 20, December 18, 1986