The report below is yet an another instance of the deaths of civilians killed by us against which the belabored Afghan President Karsai is directing his frantic pleas.

I also recommend an entirely depressing BBC on the scene (npr) detailed report on conditions in Afghanistan which are apparently completely out of control with corruption and bribery being the only way to achieve basic services and with our construction efforts also being corrupted so that roads, schools, medical facilities, etc. rapidly deteriorate soon after they are thrown together by cheating contractors.

Needless to say the Afghans are getting increasingly fed up with us and our failure to produce what had been promised after our invasion.  I don’t think linking up with the brutal and generally despised warlords against which the Taliban originally won their dominant ‘reform’ role is a workable way for us to go.  At least the Taliban had kept some order and halted the drug trade, now Afghanistan’s major industry.  We are making them look better and better to the citizens there each day we continue to mess up.

Further threatening in that world of tribal loyalties is the fact that the Taliban are made up largely of one of the major ethnic groups, the Pashtuns, who span both Afghanistan and Pakistan where our embattled ally, General Musharraf looks to be in deep trouble with both liberals and Taliban lining up against him.

As an amateur in this area, but a close observer, it would look as though we ought to quit wasting our attention and energies on Iraq and get back to rescuing Afghanistan and Pakistan where the nuclear weapons already are along with the know how to spread them around — while there is still time.


FOCUS | Afghan Civilians Caught in Crossfire
“The men told the same story, of how foreign troops bombed their villages long after the Taliban fighters had left, how the bombs killed women and children, goats and sheep, and how if they had one wish, it would be for the foreigners to leave,” the Chicago Tribune’s Kim Barker reports.

“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  212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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