Tuesday, May 30


Violence worsens, the Taliban resurges, and conditions fail to improve in Afghanistan. Can the Bush administration point to a single foreign policy success, especially regarding the so-called "war on terror"?

By Tuesday, police had restored calm to the streets of the Kabul. But as Afghans came out to survey the damage, many were asking where the foreign troops where they were when they needed them. NATO peacekeepers offered support to the Afghan army and police during the riots, but local authorities thought their presence might spark more violence. "There were no American soldiers on the street. They stood back and let the rioters loot. People say the Russians were better because they did more for the people," said Fahor, a 35 year-old shop-keeper in downtown Kabul. If the Americans can't even live up to the low standard set by their cold war enemies during their eight-year occupation of the country, their prospects for success in Afghanistan are dimmer than anyone may have realized.

I grew up in a world where the Russians (Soviet Union) were the bad guys, and we (the U.S.) were the good guys. We were also competent in business and government, libertarian, and democratic and though our military was recognized as the mightier, we were considered peace-loving and non-militaristic.

What happened?

George W. Bush and Dick Cheney happened.

Now the only action approved by most of the world as right and just retaliation against those who perpetrated the events of 9/11 and preventive against further acts of terrorism by Al Qaeda is testament to the failed policy, misdirection and incompetence in execution of the U.S. under the Bush administration. Just as Dubya took a budget surplus from Bill Clinton and turned it into record deficits, he has taken the good will of the world community and turned it into general disapprobation, moral condemnation. And those hopeful Afghanis who actually believed we came to give them freedom and a better way of life are expressing their outrage at the betrayal of that hope.



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