2006 May 24 Wednesday
Afghanistan Deterioriates

Going down in Afghanistan.

KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN Last summer, Shahida Hussain was pounding the dusty streets of Kandahar campaigning for Parliament in defiance of Taliban threats. Now this outspoken woman rarely leaves her house for fear of getting caught up in the violence engulfing Afghanistan's southern city.

"Six months ago things were better, but security gets worse day after day. Our children cannot go to school and we've stopped going out," says Ms. Hussain, who would only agree to an interview at a hotel for fear of having foreign visitors at her home.

Police corruption and criminal gangs are seen by many as bigger threats than the Taliban.

But the Taliban is making a big come-back as well.

The Taliban have become far more daring, infiltrating areas where they have not been seen for over four years in large numbers. Some of the worst fighting this week was in Panjwayi district, less than 20 miles from the heart of Kandahar, which has left aid agencies able to operate only within the gates of Afghanistan's second largest city.

Monday, Coalition forces reported that an airstrike late Sunday in Panjwayi district killed up to 80 suspected Taliban militants. Kandahar's governor told reporters that 16 civilians also died. As the fighting heated up last week, villagers from the district could be seen carrying all their belongings on donkeys or packing them in cars and fleeing into Kandahar.

"It was an acknowledgment that the government could do nothing for them," says a western security expert in the south.

Read the whole article.

The US overextended by invading Iraq. Afghanistan is a difficult problem. Multiple languages and ethnic groups, consanguineous marriage, Islam, decades of civil war, low average IQs, and extreme poverty. In Afghanistan, like in Iraq, there is no shared sense of common interest in a nation. While the Bush Administration bungles America's Middle Eastern policy it pursues a far more damaging set of policies toward immigration. In America signs that immigration is reducing the shared sense of common national interests aren't hard to find.Mexican immigrants do not want American citizenship. So much for the idea that they are coming here for freedom. If our foolish elites had their way they'd bring about an America as fragmented and divided as Iraq and Afghanistan.I hope America doesn't eventually reach the point of having middle class flight out of the country as Iraq is experiencing. But if our elites get their way that day will come.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2006 May 24 11:20 PM  MidEast Afghanistan

Rob said at May 25, 2006 8:01 PM:

The real challenges to peace and democracy in Afghanistan are drugs and corruption. Just like many other 3rd world contries. My friends there say Al Qaeda is simply unwelcome and the Taliban, those who truly care about their country are putting down their weapons and coming into the political process.
Al Qaeda and the Taliban that have been resting up in the comfort of Waziristan across the Pakistani border have regrouped and comeback into Afghanistan again in their spring offensive. This is standard operating procedure and has been for decades. The surprise has been the very agressive response from the Coalition troops and the Afghan army. There have been very sharp battles when the Taliban have gathered and been located. Hundereds of Taliban have been killed. There are even rumblings that the Pakistani army will assert more control in Waziristan and the tribal areas. This is not easy, but to dig Osama bin Ladin out of hiding, is probably necessary. All this is not necessarily a bad thing..

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