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Analysis Of Stones Into Schools

1432 words - 6 pages

Throughout the entire semester the course of War and Peace has been focused on the macro-level of war theory. This is illustrated by the paradigm discussions in Michael Doyle’s book and the statistical analysis of suicide bombing campaigns within Robert Pape and James Feldman’s novel Cutting the Fuse. Their investigations helped explain war as military operations, showing how certain decisions could effect the chance of victory and how to avoid severe casualties. But there is one component of war that they did not touch on, which is the fact that individual humans are fighting and are effected by these conflicts. Greg Mortensen’s novel Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace Through Education ...view middle of the document...

” What he became to Mortensen is a guide/advisor who helped the author understand the complex relationships of the tribes within the northeastern region of Afghanistan that Mortensen was attempting to build a school in. This Wakhan Corridor contained three tribes that had intricate relationships with one another that would have to be respected in order for a school to be built. As stated within the text:
“Like everywhere else in Afghanistan, [Sarfraz Khan] intoned, geography is far less important than relationships. […] What does matter is who swears allegiance to whom. This is the key to grasping the way that power flows, he declared, and when you comprehend the dynamics of power, everything else falls into place.” (Mortensen 58)
This quote is excellent description of how the Middle East operates. In fact, if you switched out the word “Afghanistan” with “Middle East” I would argue that the quote is perfectly sensible. This passage also demonstrates what has been a reoccurring issue when people in the United States have tried to discuss the conflicts over in the Middle East. News publications and politicians have always tried to simply the conflict into a “Us versus Them” format. But that is not how this area of the world operates. Instead, there are many different factions within these regions that must be accounted for. In order for there to be progress in the Middle East there must be some understanding of these complex relationships. That is why it is not surprising to hear that Greg Mortensen has been tapped by the United States federal government to help build relationships in countries such as Afghanistan and Pakistan. Mortensen understands the importance of blending in within these countries.
Additionally, Mortensen has an innate motivation within himself to help out everyone he meets. One such story involves a boy named Abdul who is a orphan working as a mechanic in the Afghan city of Kabul. While interviewing the boy Mortensen learns that Abdul’s entire family was killed by the Taliban and that he has no real home, and rather he simply sleeps in the trailer that houses the spare parts at the garage he works at (Mortensen 111-112). This anecdote helps demonstrate the human aspect I was referencing earlier. Although a decent amount of people in America might have an ignorant viewpoint that the entire Middle Eastern region is against the United States, one thing they do not realize is how the local inhabitants are effected by these militant groups such as the Taliban. Here is a child, no more than eleven, who must live the rest of his life without a father or mother because of the same group that preaches jihad against the west. Furthermore, Mortensen mentions how there was a “high level of civilian casualties inflicted by the American bombing campaign — an estimated 2,700 to 3,400 deaths between October 7 and December 10 according to Marc Herold, an economist at the University of New Hampshire” (Mortensen 249). What the...

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