Afghanistan as it really is

This very affecting article by Anna Badkhen at FP highlights many of the reasons why Barack Obama's Afghanistan plan will fail and our efforts wasted. Badkhen, a reporter who covered the hinterlands in Afghanistan, relates how she heard the news of Taliban takeovers of many familiar villages this spring and how disconnected the people are from the government: The villages fell without a battle. Armed men on motorcycles simply showed up at orangeade dusk, summoned the elders, and announced the new laws. A 10 percent tax on all earnings to feed the Taliban coffers. A lifestyle guided by the strictest interpretation of Shariah. All government collaborators will be punished as traitors. There was no one at hand to fend off the offensive. There were no policemen in the villages, no Afghan or NATO soldiers nearby. The villagers themselves, sapped by two consecutive years of drought and a lifetime of recurring bloodshed, put up no resistance. [...] Their surrender was not in the news. In...(Read Full Post)