October 13, 2009
The fishermen of Afghanistan ; an allegory about catching insurgents in Afghanistan.
Asking Why, and not only Who and How Many, in the Afghan strategy for international security
Please watch 2 young Afghan boys on their fishing trip.
Transcript of the fisher-boys conversation
Ali Jan, what are you doing?
How many will you catch today? Well seethe question is if theres ANY fish.
Are you a fisherman?
A little bit of a fisherman.
Is having fish beneficial?
Yes, if we can first catch them
Why are you laughing?
We should keep our word ; you said youll catch 10 fish, so catch the 10 & bring them!
You yourself go catch just ONE fish. When will you catch that ONE fish?
That ONE fish, inshallah ( God willing ), will be caught.
When we lower the hook.
Lower it then.
Dont be crazycan YOU catch your 10 fish?
Youll see..Ill catch 30 fish.
How did you tie the hook?
Dont boast! Dont short circuit my mind.
Can your mind be short circuited?
Why cant it be short circuited?
Lets godont laugh. Dont laugh like that.
Im setting off to fish then
Heh..Abdul Ali..take this
The fisherboys of Afghanistan ; an allegory on ‘catching insurgents’ ( read our web post at http://ourjourneytosmile.com/blog )
The fishermen of Afghanistan; an allegory about ‘catching insurgents’
The bold italics below are allegorical thoughts on ‘catching insurgents’ in Afghanistan, in which the fish are the ‘insurgents’ and the fishermen are the troops. In essence, it suggests that in Obama’s current re-assessment of the Afghan strategy, more attention should be given to the WHY, and not only to the WHO and HOW MANY. The rigorous questioning of WHY would guide humanity in creatively choosing civilian options, over the military options that unfortunately only address objects and numbers, not people.
American, NATO and Afghan forces, what are you doing?
Post September 11 eight years ago, the urgent response to the threats on America’s national security posed the reactionary question of “WHO did this?”
It was an appropriate initial question, but it is not the same as another more basic and important question of “WHY did they do this?”
Asking WHY helps us to analyze the root causes of ‘terrorism and guides us on what we should be doing to tackle the root problems; it gives us a clearer goal for the ‘Afg/Pak’ strategy, a goal more relevant to American and international security and which therefore, we cannot afford to ignore.
In addition to asking WHO the ‘fish’ are, we should surely ask, like scientists, psychologists, behavioural psychiatrists or simply as people who aspire to think and feel broadly, WHY the ‘fish’ would hate Ali so much as to plot his murder?
Unfortunately, everyone got angrily and foggily wrapped up in the WHO, which remorselessly lead to the frantic embracing of an all-out, no-alternatives, victory-at-all-cost goal of ‘disrupting, defeating and dismantling Al-Qaeda and its allies (including presumably the Taliban in Afghanistan).