Friday, July 30

Afghanistan (Paradise) Lost

From what I understand, when Doctors without Borders vacates the area, the shit has hit the fan. From the Guardian:

Ewen MacAskill, diplomatic editor
Friday July 30, 2004
The Guardian

Afghanistan will fall apart unless Nato countries urgently fulfil promises to send troops, the Commons foreign affairs select committee warned yesterday.

With violence rising ahead of an election scheduled for October, the MPs concluded: "There is a real danger that if these resources are not provided soon Afghanistan - a fragile state in one of the most sensitive and volatile regions of the world - could implode, with terrible consequences."

The prediction came 24 hours after Médecins sans Frontières announced it is to end its operations in the country after 23 years because of the deterioration in security.

I had been meaning to get to this one as it, has been out there for awhile. I had not had the oportunity to study this in any detail, but the last sentance is as large an indictment as possible of our mishandling of the post war operation. Doctors without borders has been there for 23 years. Since 1981. Wow. Is it possible to conclude that the situation is worse now than during the Afghan/Soviet conflict, during the reign of The Talaban.

Do we get to call W King Merde(s) now, 'cause everything that guy touches turns to shit. Well maybe things are going better in Iraq™

The cross-party committee of MPs, in a 174-page report entitled Foreign Policy Aspects of the War Against Terrorism, also expressed concern over Iraq and the risk that it too could become a failed state that will create regional instability.

They said: "Iraq has become a 'battleground' for al-Qaida, with appalling consequences for the Iraqi people."

No that doesn't sound good at all, I think that King Merde(s) is an appropriate nom de guerre for the Dauphin, (and because we like all things french). Well there is more. Juan Cole has some more insight today:

In a sign that the political situation in Iraq is even worse than anyone had suspected, the caretaker Iraqi government has had to postpone the holding of national congress until mid-August. The complicated selection process for choosing delegates had favored the expatriate parties and politicians, and had stirred up bad feelings by important players who felt excluded. The Sunnis of largely Shiite Basra are among those constituencies that felt shortchanged by the process. So far no press reporting I have seen has given the full details of the floor fights in key cities, but apparently in some cases they have been vicious.
Meanwhile, Italian troops in Nasiriyah clashed with militiamen who tried to take control of two bridges into the city. The militiamen were not identified but are likely to be followers of Muqtada al-Sadr. These sorts of incidents suggest that PM Allawi really is just the mayor of downtown Baghdad, and that neither the Iraqi government nor the US-led coalition really are in control of Iraq's cities. (-ash-Sharq al-Awsat)
As Karzai is only the mayor of Kabul and now it appears that Allawi might only be the mayor of Bagdad, damn this nation building stuff is hard. Thank you King Merde(s), but please don't get your hands on any of my stuff-mmkay.