My brothers name is Kim.  Why a German/Norwegian amalgamation in a marriage would produce a child and give him a name which was overwhelmingly Korean in origin is still a mystery.  I remember being really confused because my mother had confused recollections.  One time she told us that she had thought about adopting a Korean baby.  My brother was born in 1957 so that was about the time of that conflagration.  Another time she told me she got the name from a popular movie.

A popular movie at that time was “Kim” based upon a novel of the same name. It was a great read, a ripping good yarn and the beginning of a life time love affair with historical fiction for me.  It was made into a popular movie in 1950 so the timing is right. “Kim” is the story of an orphan in India who is trained to be a secret agent and a player in the “Great Game”. Although Kim never gets to Afghanistan that strange place, so in the news now, is central to the game that has been being played for centuries.

Afghanistan was an emirate for years and, I guess, is an emirate again. That is a fancy word,  but the truth is the place has been ungovernable for years, and although the Taliban seems to control things, the truth is that those who traveled there were confronted with a dizzying array of authorities who controlled fiefdoms that existed in some tribal history and which were always on the brink of being over thrown by some other tribal dream.

Afghanistan became important because of where it is; in the middle of trade routes that fed the coffers of Britain, Russia, China, India and others.

The British felt the Russians and the French would invade India to get a warm water port so they would have free sailing and commerce. The Russians claimed they had no intentions like that, but there were purloined documents that said other wise, and mysterious Russian agents that roamed the country buying friends and information that said otherwise. Our Afghan adventure lasted 20 years but the British/Russian game lasted over a century. Names like Kabul and Herat, Herman and the Kyber pass were household topics in England for generations.  The British had several Afghan wars to contend with.  The Russian’s had their crack at it for ten years, we doubled that.

Despite what you may,hear much of what we were fighting was what Churchill called the most retrograde movement in the world, and that is Islam and theTaliban version of it.

It has been mentioned that 70 percent of the population of Afghanistan only know life influenced by Americans.  What is in store for them might best be called a culture shock.  They need our prayers because this government seems incapable and incoherent.  The game