Saturday, April 21, 2007

Afghanistan speed history

If you think your country had it bad, there's one that's got you beat:
Afghanistan's a land that's had a lion share of heat.
First were those crazy Aryans, till Persia came around,
They hung out till Alexander and his army came to town.

Alexander was just passing through, but his Hellenists set up shop;
Buddhists tried to gain some ground, but the Hellenists made them stop.
The Kushans, Sassanids and Huns I s'pose deserve their due,
But then we'd have to stop and talk about all the warlords too.

During our middle ages, though, the Afghans did alright,
Some impressive Muslim kingdoms, whose brilliance parred their might.
But Ghengis Khan had plans to conquer all the world one day
And as before, I know you're sure, Afghanistan was on the way.

The next 500 years are marked by muddied Mughal rule,
A couple civil wars or so, all centred in Kabul.
And so Zaman Shah Durrani found himself in charge of all,
When up showed British redcoats armed with lots of guns and gall.

It took a century for the Afghans to drive the British out,
And even now it's hard to wash the taste out of their mouths.
A king or two named Shah took charge and made the Afghans glad,
Till the commies offed their family and things went from good to bad.

We're almost to the present day in case you didn't know,
When Bin Laden joined the Mujahideen to make the commies go.
And Jimmy Carter gave the Mujahideen the proverbial Yankee buck,
And anyway, by '89, the commies were totally fucked.

Inside the vacuum of yet another ideological collapse,
The warlords starting warlording in a familiar relapse.
Finally, the Taliban gained control of sufficient land
To proclaim themselves the sovereigns of the whole Afghanistan.

But where once a Muslim kingdom made poverty quickly flee,
The Taliban were Koran thumpers to the zillionth degree.
They covered up their women and threw progress to the wind,
And protected ol' Bin Laden as a hero, lord and kin.

So to no one's real surprise or awe, the Yankees came in waves
To catch Bin Laden alive or dead, but he fled to the mountain caves.
And so quite by accident it seems, the Yankees were in charge,
But too few soldiers stayed behind in a country much too large.

While the Afghans held elections and became a democracy for real,
The Taliban regrouped and started fighting back with zeal.
And now the Afghans fight each other and fight foreigners as well,
It's a close approximation if you've never been to Hell.

That's where we'll leave off for now, this history with speed.
I do hope you can appreciate the Afghan's present need.
About the same as yesterday, just different names and guns
and all those fucking land mines ...


Not Diane said...

Just wanna say on the record, sweetie, that this is an extraordinarily well written poem. Not only is it well written, but it is also clever and learned. History should always be written in poetical form! It is so much less tedious! Methinks the ancients had it right.