Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Afghanistan? That's soo last year!

This piece from the ABC News website tries really, really hard to sound happy and optimistic. It seems a little forced, especially when they get down to quoting people who are actually involved in Afghanistan.

Barker says it will take a lot more time, and a lot more money, to get Afghanistan back on its feet again. "President Bush made some glorious statements about a Marshall Plan for Afghanistan, and we fully agree that's exactly what's needed. But we haven't seen it."

And then there's this.

Sayed Hussain spends most of his time lingering on the side of the dusty road leading into Gardez. He has no job, and like most in the town, has no hope of finding one. "If things don't improve soon," he said, "the Taliban will come back, and people will support them again."

Hussain's threat is not an idle one. A local police commissioner showed ABCNEWS leaflets that appear almost daily in and around the town, urging Afghans to carry out a jihad to expel the American "invaders."

I caught the first episode of Bill Maher's new show on HBO the other night, and he was interviewing a Republican Congressman whose name escapes me at the moment. This congressman said that we would be liberating the people of Iraq just like we liberated the people of Afghanistan. Let's take a look at how well we liberated the people of Afghanistan.

Falling Back to Taliban Ways with Women

New Limits on Female Education in Afghanistan

U.S. Cluster Bombs Killed Civilians in Afghanistan

Repression of Women and Girls in Western Afghanistan

Afghan warlords killing at will

Afghanistan Could Fall Back Into Anarchy, Warns British Parliament

U.S. Troops Blamed in Afghan Kids' Deaths

Old Fears in the New Afghanistan

Shall I go on? After we raze Iraq like we did Afghanistan (and I honestly believe that war with Iraq will be quick and bomb-heavy, just like last time we rrazed it. I'm sure there'll be oil well fires and tanker spills this time, too.), what country's next? Iran? Syria? North Korea? Will we tromp our way across the continent, leaving a starving, poverty-stricken, huddling puppet governments teetering on the brink of anarchy in our wake? It's like a game of Civilization gone horribly wrong. Only it's real life, and there's no "cheat mode" to resort to.

Thanks to Human Rights Watch and RAWA for the links.

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