One of Bush and Cheney's favorite themes is how they have liberated the people of Iraq and Afghanistan from tyranny. In February, 2007 Bush gave an inspiring speech on the progress in Afghanistan at the Mayflower, the hotel not the two pardoned turkeys, in Washington.
And one of the lessons of that September the 11th day is that we cannot allow terrorists to gain sanctuary anywhere, and we must not allow them to reestablish the safe haven they lost in Afghanistan.
Our goal in Afghanistan is to help the people of that country to defeat the terrorists and establish a stable, moderate, and democratic state.. Over the past five years, we've made real progress toward this goal I just described.
So how goes the real battle to deprieve the Taliban safe sanctuary? Not so well..according to a report released from an intenational think tank, the Senlis Council.
-"Five years after their removal from power: The Taliban are back.
- Taliban Frontline now cuts half-way through Afghanistan.
- US and UK led failed counter-narcotics policies are responsible."
The Taliban has a permanent presence in most of Afghanistan and the country is in serious danger of falling into the group's hands.
The Senlis Council claimed that the insurgents controlled "vast swathes of unchallenged territory" and were gaining "more and more political legitimacy in the minds of the Afghan people".
It said that the Nato force in the country needed to be doubled to 80,000 front-line soldiers who should be allowed to pursue militants into Pakistan.
The 110-page report said that its "exclusive" research found the Taliban controlled 54 per cent of Afghanistan.
Well, that at least, leaves us with 46%, and lets see what we are getting for our money's worth and our military casualties? 'Corruption, bribes and trafficking: a cancer that is engulfing Afghanistan' from today's Times. A former Afghan general says,
Everyone in the Ministry of Interior is corrupt. They wouldn't sleep with their wives without wanting a backhander first.(Ouch!)
Governmental corruption in Afghanistan has become endemic and bribes to secure police and administrative positions along provincial drug routes is an established procedure.
The British public would be up in arms if they knew that the district appointments in the south for which British soldiers are dying are there just to protect drug routes, said one analyst.
Western and Afghan officials are also alarmed at how narco-kleptocracy has extended its grip around President Karzai, a figure regarded by some as increasingly isolated by a cadre of corrupt officials.
The people around him tell him of a cuckoo land. said Shukria Barakzai, a Pashtun MP who is both a friend and critic of Karzai. He circles within a small mafia ring who are supporting the destruction of the system. At the beginning there were only 10 to 15 of them but since then they have spread like a cancer in Afghanistan.
The Ministry of Interior, key to establishing security in the country, remains the worst offender.
It is this Ministry of Interior and the narco-warlords supported by NATO, that is our choice over the Taliban and its own narco-warlords. See the poppy jihad. In other word's, it's a Hobson's choice. but not exactly real progress after five years, unless you live in the cuckoo land of Kabul or Washington.
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