The first step in a long journey is the most important one. The preliminary goals must be humble: to maintain sufficient international supervision to ensure that Afghanistan will not again become a free staging ground for international terrorism, to work with groups to restore security to make daily life possible and to undertake reconstruction projects smoothly.
Afghanistan has a rich history that dates from the time of Alexander the Great. Herat was the cradle of Persian civilization, and Afghanistan has a long tradition of acclaimed architecture, poetry and other cultural accomplishments. The chaos and war of the past three decades has forced hundreds of thousands to flee. If only they would return to help rebuild their homeland. “The tragedy is that now, one, two, even three generations have been outside Afghanistan,” says one expatriate who plans to return if the government stabilizes. “There’s a need to re-acquaint them with Afghanistan as a country, a civilization.”
It will be the greatest political miracle of all time if the international community can put together the patchwork of the Afghan quilt and reveal its bright colors of life. It is not an impossible job for the wisest son of nature who freely roams in the valleys of the sky, conquering stars.