I listened to Bush’s redirect of attention to Afghanistan yesterday and was not much surprised at the (usual) misinformation conveyed. One has the sense that he does not give a damn what the country thinks now and his choice of venues (the American Enterprise Institute) was fairly typical of the protected environments into which he will presumably emerge from here on.

The particular misrepresentations that I heard were the general affirmation that democracy is working in Afghanistan. By all reports our boy, Karzai, is holed up and protected by American troops and the Taliban is making its come back now. The more weird — almost laughable — assertion was that the Afghan economy is thriving. It sure is. Having reentered the opium/heroin market, Afghanistan once again has it cornered. Earlier I seem to recall Karzai issuing one of his few active directives to American forces there — lay off trying to curb the growth of Opium!

http://opioids.com/afghanistan/opium-economy.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_Production_in_Afghanistan

http://www.washtimes.com/national/20030811-100220-8928r.htm

What a sad mess we have made of that poor country. Needless to say adding a few thousand more troops to the pitifully minimal number now there in a country with the population of Iraq will do little or nothing to pull it together. One assumes that Bush has not yet tried heroin. It is highly addictive.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 718-951-5324 (voice mail only) [blind copies]
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