June 17th, 2013
The Stars & Stripes gives us a glimpse of what life in Afghanistan will be like when that magic 2014 withdrawal happens and the US along with it’s allies leaves Afghanistan. This is pretty complicated, so I hope I got it right; the militia loyal to the titular army chief of staff opened fire on the militia loyal to a local war lord when they were getting together to discuss elections;
Mohammad Alam Sayee, the governor of Jowzjan province, was returning to his compound in the provincial capital Sherberghan, when armed men affiliated with Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum moved in on the facility, Sayee’s spokesman, Mohammad Yama Jamili said.
Dostum, a prominent military leader during the 1980s and an infamous anti-Taliban warlord in the ’90s, currently serves in the largely ceremonial role of army chief of staff.
After Sayee took refuge in his compound, tensions escalated and the two sides fired on each other, though no one was injured, according Jamili.
Of course, no one was injured – it’s just another example of how Afghans haven’t taken advantage of the opportunity to be a civilized nation and to command a professional force that will protect the citizens.
In another story, the LA Times reports that life as a boy or girl scout in Afghanistan is quite a bit different than in the rest of the world;
“I love my uniform; it makes me feel proud,” said Ayob, 18. “Scouts are like my family.”
The group’s motto, “Be prepared,” takes on special meaning here, where members risk death to attend meetings, earn “rule of law” merit badges and learn to identify roadside bombs in first aid class.
While Boy Scouts plant trees on streets traversed by Islamist suicide bombers, Girl Scouts in this conservative Muslim nation are more cloistered, volunteering in hospitals, for instance, rather than working in the open.
“With Taliban problems, it’s hard to let the girls do everything,” said Mohammad Tamim Hamkar, Afghan Scouting’s program manager.
Camping and hiking are also restricted for boys, given the security concerns. Campfire singing stopped after mullahs accused the Scouts of worshiping fire.
You can’t civilize people who resist civilization. Yes, it’s the innocents who suffer the most, but when people like Karzai, who are only interested in their own fortunes rather than the future of their nation, in charge, the future as member of the community of nations isn’t very bright.