Tuesday, March 20, 2007
This passage from The Wind Blows Away Our Words, Doris Lessing's account of her travels among the Afghan mujahideen, gave me pause. The speaker is an Afghan guerilla commander briefing Western visitors on the status of the war against the Russians:
The main point, the key point, is that the war is going on at full strength whatever you may have heard. It is not going badly, as your newspapers sometimes claim. We will not stop fighting, we will fight until we win and the Russians leave, or until they kill us all. This is the basic and important fact. None of you in the West seem to have any idea of the extent of the Resistance; every house, every village is involved. If an area is quiet for a time, that does not mean it is subdued, only waiting, perhaps because of the weather. (p. 54, Pan Books 1987)
Sometimes I think we lose sight of the fact that there are places in the world where there's only one breaking story, and the news cycle lasts until you're either dead or victorious.