Quotable or not...

"The United States believes that the new sanctions regime for Afghanistan will serve as an important tool to promote reconciliation, while isolating extremists... It should also send a clear message to the Taliban that there is a future for those who separate from al-Qaida."

--US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice on the Security Council's unanimous vote to treat al-Qaida and the Taliban separately when it comes to UN sanctions.

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outside forces cannot go into a traditional society and change the social fabric of life overnight ... or in 10 years for that matter.

this time around the taliban will not have absolute power. it will have to sit in the parliament with other parties including the northern alliance who are more liberal and also karzai & co. who all have thier share of power in the the new afghan political scene. this will be a "new taliban" and hopefully a much weaker one than in the late 90's.

This is going to sound cruel, but is it worth sacrificing my youth, my life, and the lives of my peers to fight for things like womens rights in countries like Afghanistan? It will take a generational shift at least to change their perceptions on women and secularism and issues like this. Is transforming Afghanistan worth those extra years of commitment, and if so, who will that burden fall upon?

I am not asking rhetorically. I seek the answer to questions like that every day I spend in Afghanistan. Nobody forced me to raise my hand and volunteer, and for the duration of my contract I will willingly deploy to wherever the Army sees fit to send me. I just wonder whether or not I will look back on my time in Afghanistan when I am older and be proud of the things we accomplished, or be filled with regret over the things we didn't.

Is the picture connected with this. I'm more absorbed by the picture than anything else.