Friday, July 9, 2010

Ewans Style & Perspective

I finished Martin Ewans' "Afghanistan, a Short History of Its People and Politics" this week (while sipping a glass of Spanish red, in the bath tub, a nice way to end a book). I found Ewans' writing style to be logical, chronologically consistent, and straight forward. That's the way a historical record is supposed to be, in my opinion. Ewans' perspective on Afghanistan corroborated Ahmed Rashid's to a great extent - which was interesting, since Rashid is a Pakistani national who lives and works in Lahore as a journalist, and Sir Martin Ewans was the Head of Chancery in Kabul for the British Diplomatic Service.

Both authors' accounts of this land locked region that clings to it's 13th century mindset while embracing 21st century guerrilla tactics, weaponry, and fundamentalist-Islamic-rural-rule-by-fear-and-terror parallel each other quite well. Rashid's "Please do not abandon my troubled region Western Powers, after you funded and fostered these fanatics to fight the Soviets!!" pleas contrast to Ewans' "this rural society has been chronically corrupt and without a strong central government for centuries, no Czar, British Monarch, Parliament, Polit Bureau, Shah, Maharajah, Greek or American conquering force will ever be able to impose a sustainable, equitable (by Western Standards), tolerant society here" perspective. I gotta tell you... I tend to agree with Ewan's implied conclusions. Sorry Rashid. Enough non-Afghan blood and treasure has been spilled there.

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