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NYT: Afghanistan Is As Doomed As Iraq

From the "Paper Of Treason," the New York Times:

Afghan Symbol for Change Becomes a Symbol of Failure

By DAVID ROHDE
September 5, 2006

On a July morning, Taliban gunmen shot dead the province’s most powerful cleric as he walked to the main city mosque to lead morning prayers. Five months later, they executed a teacher at a nearby village school as students watched. The following month, they walked into another mosque and gunned down an Afghan engineer working for a foreign aid group, shooting him in the back as he pressed his forehead to the ground and supplicated to God.

This spring and summer, the slow and methodical siege of this southern provincial capital intensified. The Taliban and their allies set up road checkpoints, burned 20 trucks and slowed the flow of supplies to reconstruction projects. All told, in surrounding Helmand Province, five teachers, one judge and scores of police officers have been killed. Dozens of schools and courts have been shuttered, according to Afghan officials.

“Our government is weak,” said Fowzea Olomi, a local women’s rights advocate whose driver was shot dead in May and who fears she is next. “Anarchy has come.”

When the Taliban fell nearly five years ago, Lashkar Gah seemed like fertile ground for the United States-led effort to stabilize the country. For 30 years during the cold war, Americans carried out the largest development project in Afghanistan’s history here, building a modern capital with suburban-style tract homes, a giant hydroelectric dam and 300 miles of canals that made 250,000 acres of desert bloom. Afghans called this city “Little America.”

Today, Little America is the epicenter of a Taliban resurgence and an explosion in drug cultivation that has claimed the lives of 106 American and NATO soldiers this year and doubled American casualty rates countrywide. Across Afghanistan, roadside bomb attacks are up by 30 percent; suicide bombings have doubled. Statistically it is now nearly as dangerous to serve as an American soldier in Afghanistan as it is in Iraq.

Helmand’s descent symbolizes how Afghanistan has evolved since the initial victory over the Taliban into one of the most troubled fronts in the fight against terrorism.

The problems began in early 2002, former Bush administration, United Nations and Afghan officials said, when the United States and its allies failed to take advantage of a sweeping desire among Afghans for help from foreign countries

Gosh, the incredible irony of a place called "Little America" still having problems.

What a devastating report from the New York Times, who have long contended that the people of the Middle East are too congenitally backward to ever be able to have a representative form of government elected by its citizenry.

And now we learn that if only the Afghanis could have had the benefits of French leadership for the last four years everything would be hunky dory.

But aren't NATO forces replacing the US ground troops in Afghanistan?

Not to mention the fact that the British have been the major military force in that province since January, according to Wikipedia:

Helmand Province

It was announced on January 27, 2006 in the British Parliament that a NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) would be replacing the U.S troops in the province as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. The British 16th Air Assault Brigade would be the core of the force in Helmand Province. British bases are located in the towns of Sangin, Lashkar Gah and Gerishk.

British troops from 3 Para board a Chinook helicopter at the end of an operation to secure the village of Musakala in Helmand province, August 6, 2006.

The Afghanis must regret missing out on all the raping and general corruption they could enjoy under those heroic UN peace-keepers.

Or maybe they realize the UN worthies would allow them to resume their drug trade as long as they got a cut.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, September 5th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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