Won’t shut up about Afghanistan

Transitionland had a thoughtful response to my cri de coeur on Afghanistan yesterday. Among her recommendations for improving things: (1) Stop the air strikes that are killing civilians,

(2) Crack down on corrupt contractors to USAID,

(3) Stop supporting Afghan warlords who are homicidal and/or corrupt.

So, after years of experimentation, we can now start applying these subtle, complex lessons:

(1) Don’t kill,

(2) Don’t steal,

(3) Don’t give aid to those who do.

Oh no, I’m giving in to the Satirical Dark Side again. But shouldn’t we all be angry that things are so awful in our Afghan program that THESE are the things that need to be changed? The “why does nobody care?” question from the previous blog post is alive and well.

In fairness to all the aid workers in Afghanistan making idealistic personal sacrifices to work there (and in fairness to Transitionland): there ARE many good efforts by good people (including Afghans) who are helping Afghans help themselves.

But the big players like the US military and USAID are still screwing up big time, hence the presentiment of disaster.

This blog’s previous posts on this have not been that successful in generating much response, so maybe I should follow my own advice of stopping what is not working and give up on the Afghanistan cause. Of course, if I went only by volume of response, I would only be doing posts on naked supermodels.

I think there is a tragic paralysis on Afghanistan that needs to be broken by as many voices as possible shouting:

Why does nobody care?