The Great Game of Asia


Surrounded by flags of a so-called alliance with star war echoes, George Bush launched his campaign against a shadow sheltered in the mountains of Afghanistan under the protection of a theocratic regime which enjoyed support on ‘the Arab street’. As in every war, the participation of ‘men with guns’ – as John Sayles defined them –, be them Western soldiers or local militias, provoked massive movements of population, that every now and then berated the international press. The efforts to win the Afghans over with food supplies were as ridiculous as the hysterical alarms against anthrax threats, and that ‘fine little war’ ended with the capture of the talibans – whose traditional clothing would soon be replaced by the orange overalls of Guantanamo –, and an elegant Hamid Karzai being imposed as proconsul among US flags, while wearing a silk cloak and a lamb karakul that symbolize the union of the country’s two largest ethnic groups. The preparation of the next campaign would come soon, with Bush remembering in Normandy the 9,787 American casualties of Omaha Beach, and London bristling with banners against the intervention in Irak. But the dice were already rolling, and the dogs of war were running loose...[+]