An Inclusive Litany


The cartoon figure Ted Rall, yet again, in an op-ed posted on Yahoo News, December 3, 2001:
As you read this, you're thinking that Americans also help each other in a pinch. But we don't. If we lived like Afghans, you'd stop the instant you saw a broken-down vehicle on the side of the road. So would the car behind you. Afghans don't need an auto club; they have each other.

The tribal system, so detrimental to building an effective multiethnic state, offers tremendous support to people struggling to survive in impossibly difficult times....

While different kinds of Americans live in strictly segregated, monochromatic cities and neighborhoods and can't even stand to hear each other's music, Afghans of all ethnic stripes live side by side in a truly blended nation. This partly explains why yesterday's Taliban can shave, trade his turban for a Hindustani cap, and become Northern Alliance—to jump from a Pashtun- to a Tajik-dominant culture isn't that hard. Afghans make war all the time—it's what they do best—but they fight out of loyalty to a commander or a warlord. They don't shoot each other merely because of the color of their skin. We Americans, who most assuredly know better, do.

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