Facing Peace

A new era for Afghanistan?

News item: Afghanistan's capital fell to the Northern Alliance Monday.

Years of war and poverty have already wrecked the place; let us hope that the inevitable unrest to come will not render Kabul nothing more than cobblestones.

Developments certainly feel close to home in this war that began in a gleaming metropolis and ends in a far-away country without a single paved road. The fall of Kabul is a critical moment in the future of south Asia; and so it is for the rest of the world, for we are all focused on bedraggled Afghanistan.

As the writer Edward Marsh succintly put it, "In war, resolution; in defeat, defiance; in victory, magnanimity; in peace, good will."

If this is the beginning of the end for the Taliban, it is time to start looking toward a new Afghanistan (though there still remains the matter of apprehending Osama bin Laden). The war brought Afghanistan out of geographical obscurity and into international focus. That divided nation deserves the same attention for rebuilding. "In victory, magnanimity; in peace, good will."

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