The last war in Afghanistan is tragically ending. Let me tell you what I feel as a woman observing the imagery from US, who was once a girl in the country that conducted the previous war there.

After the video of Afghanis running with an airplane and falling from it, I could not find my peace of mind anymore. I watched a report by a guy from Belarus from the previous month, who went there to capture Kabul and villages the way we won't see them again. Many men on the streets still spoke Russian after having degrees in the Soviet Union, and were friendly and beautiful. In July.

Now is the end of August 2021. Many had been evacuated. And tonight, I suddenly heard about Jalalabad. Again! Now I simply need to write about the boys who sang about it.

This city name was in the refrain of a song I heard in Ukrainian yards, surrounded by tall buildings. Teenage boys and guys barely in their twenties were playing guitars in grape vine gazebos after dark. I was much younger than them, but older boys were considered the most attractive among girls and had an aura of glory and wonder. So I listened.

In that or another song horrific torture scenes were embedded into the rhyme, some of which scared me for years as something unimaginably evil. Growing up, I heard many stories about the inability of those young solders to love and be loved again, even if they returned home physically whole. 

That war was similar to the Vietnam war for US youth: all young guys had to serve in it, and anyone who could resist, did it, with all dishonesty and risk needed. Those who could payed for a fake disqualifying diagnosis. For my ten-year-older cousin somehow an agreement was reached that he served inland, but for two years his mom was in fear they would send him anyway. But so many boys we were supposed to fall in love with came back mad, and spread the pain. That idiotic war crippled the whole generation, together with the following crash of the society and the massive drag trafficking wave from Afghanistan to Europe through Ukraine. 

Some of those boys end up in violent sports and racket. I saw them from the streets of Donetsk sometimes, packed armed in regular passing cars. Their brutality and suicides became normal. Among my cousin's school classmates, less than a half were alive a few years later.

It added to my abhorrence of war I inherited from my grandmother who saved her baby in WWII. It was straightened by the lost of my uncle in the army and finally heightened by the loss of Donetsk.

I live near a military zone now, and sometimes see 17-year-old kids from there in the local cafes. They run for bravery and honor from poverty and existential desperation. Some of them, as many men before them, might return home with wounded souls.

Humans need to prohibit profiting from weapon trade and to prosecute war offenses.

Some social impact of the Soviet war in Afghanistan.

No thoughts on “Afghanistan Boys”