Thursday, August 18, 2005

That Other War

Afghanistan. Remember it? Where Bin Laden plotted the 9-11 attacks? Or, like dear leader, have you forgotten about it? Things aren't going well there.

The Times of London has this:

NEARLY four years after the defeat of the Taleban, efforts to rebuild Afghanistan face a “real and worrying risk of failure”, the British Government has concluded.

Terrorism remains an ever-present threat. Opium production is spreading. Large parts of the country’s infrastructure are in tatters and United Nations targets for improving basic services such as education and water will not be met.


The report said that there had been “remarkable progress” since 2001 with 3.5 million returned refugees, 60,000 former combatants disarmed and almost 2,000 schools built or refurbished. But three out of five Afghan girls do not attend school, life expectancy is 45 and one in five children die before five years of age.

The report adds: “Large parts of Afghanistan’s infrastructure are in tatters; in rural areas it has never been developed. The vast majority of Afghans do not have access to electricity or safe water. For some mountainous villages, the nearest road is two weeks’ walk away.”

But don't annoy Dubya with this. He's on vacation, getting on with his life. Oh, and don't tell him about the four American soldiers killed while he was riding his bike. That brings the total count this month to 63. With two weeks to go, August is on track to become the third deadliest month in the Iraq war.

Oh, and so far in August, 91 U.S. soldiers have earned Purple Hearts.

Update: Just read that two soldiers were killed and two wounded today in Afghanistan. The deaths bring to 182 the number of U.S. service members killed in and around Afghanistan since the start of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001.