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27 July 2011

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DanM

Was emailing with a friend who's been helping out with the US effort "down south." He was upset about Ahmed Wali's death ("delivered for his people, a bastard but OUR bastard, have to work with the afghanistan there is, not the one we'd like etc...") Bill, a mutual friend on the email stream who doesn't know much about any of this posited "maybe it's good a warlord gets killed since it will make more space to create institutions."
I was first to respond, telling Bill that it doesn't appear the Afghans want to build institutions. The friend in the Kandahar area, at the tip of the coin spear as it were, responded to my comment: "true dat."
Another buddy of mine who has lived on his own in Kandahar for much of the past 3 years (speaks pashto and farsi) thinks we've created conditions for a doozy of a civil war when we inevitably depart.

ThomasOfNY

The US ambassador to Afghanistan is spinning it as a sign of weakness in the Taliban. I am not sure how many will buy that "interpretation" thought. I guess it has more to do with the Taliban laying the groundwork for when NATO withdraws from Afghanistan than anything else.

mbrenner


Pat

Are we there yet? pl

PS How are things in Marja?

Glad to see that you're in a jocular mood - despite the trials and tribulations.

There yet? We'll know when we arrive - to quote one of our Bismarck/Talleyrand statesmen

Basilisk

History can repeat, let us hope it does not...

"The article, by Gennadi Bocharov, who has written extensively from Afghanistan since 1979, told of Soviet troops firing on a carload of civilians after they refused to stop at a border checkpoint and ignored a warning shot.

The troops then opened fire on the vehicle, killing a young woman and wounding three others. An old woman and two children were not hurt.

When the soldiers radioed to their commander to ask for further intructions, he replied according to the account, "I don't need captives."

The commander, who was identified only as Rudykh, told them to eliminate the evidence.

"So they did," Bocharov reported. "The passenger car was smashed by an armored vehicle and buried in the earth."

Perhaps the Soviets thought they would never leave, and when they did, they shot their way out leaving behind a generation's worth of butterfly mines and destroyed children.

They were only the most recent to experience Afghanistan's reputation as the graveyard of empires. Let us hope we will somehow do better.

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