Tuesday, July 13, 2004

The Afghan Crystal Ball

If Bush wants to be judged on his accomplishments, let's take a look at what ought to be his primary concern: the real central front in the War on Terror. Afghanistan. I think that current events there not only provide a clear indication of BushCo.'s abilities, but also are a peek into the future of Iraq.

From this morning's Wall Street Journal (subscription):

Afghanistan plans to hold its first democratic election in a few months. But in this highland village, a jumble of mud forts set amid terraced orchards and fields of ripe wheat, no one has registered to vote.

Arapat, a farmer with the gilded skullcap and jet-black beard of a Pashtun tribesman, explained that some 60 Taliban insurgents had been to Shelem Kele just three days earlier. "We are all afraid. All the countryside here is under the control of the Taliban," whispered Mr. Arapat, who like many Afghans uses only one name.

Minutes later, the valley echoed with explosions as U.S. Army helicopters lobbed missiles into a mountainside. The same week, a Taliban unit operating just a few miles away executed 16 Afghans found to carry voter-registration cards.
While claiming that "Americans are safer" at every chance, Bush is ignoring the very country, the very militant group - the Taliban - that harbored bin Laden and helped train his followers. This is the aftermath of a war that was justified; imagine how little attention the aftermath of a bogus war based on bogus intelligence is getting. Iraq will become Afghanistan in a year - only worse.

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