He is an elderly man, missing a row of teeth, he somehow makes a living in his Afghan village, which is far from American bases, but close at hand to the Taliban. Captain Biggs and his company of men have been sent to the village in order to assist villagers get back to productive work. But, the Afghan man smiles awkwardly, shakes his head and mumbles a lack of interest in aiding American forces to do anything, particularly if that information got sent back to the Taliban. He gazes shyly at the American soldiers with their trucks and hovering helicopters, wondering if they actually could provide security to the village, but shakes his head at such thoughts. The American insists villagers will be protected against the Taliban if they assist in working to develop their own village, but in the Afghan’s mind are pictures of two of his friends who were hung and another beheaded. All he can mumble is, “we are caught in the middle, just caught.”
The man told Americans he felt as though, “we are just like a soccer ball being kicked by both sides.” I suspect many Americans have similar thoughts when it comes to the topic of Afghanistan.