The following has appeared on a blog on the Daily Telegraph website today. It purports to be from someone - possibly a Scot - working in Afghanistan. If it is genuine, it is a devastating demolition of the continuing and ongoing NATO intervention in Afghanistan. I re-publish it here on my blog without a picture. The words need no picture. They speak for themselves.
"I work out of small US FOBs in rural Kandahar...I am in one now and I can quite simply state that the place is a mess. The US are throwing money at locals (Cash For Work programmes) to prevent them being payed by the Taliban because the US pay more...an Afghan will work for whoever is paying the most. Once this CFW programme ends and the money stops...those same afghans will simply go to the Taliban and volunteer their services for money.
Once NATO leaves...and the Karzai Government run the show (hahahahahaha) the Taliban (a ficticious name anyway) will simple disband and they will all return to their own villages and tribes and commence fighting each other...which is what they've been doing for centuries. This is Afghanistan...!!! It is different to any other country on earth...people in rural villages do not care about what Karzai proclaims or what the Government say...some of these villagers have never been to the village in the next valley nor do they care what goes on across the valley...they certainly don't care what goes on in Kabul.
Afghanistan is what it is...that's the way God made it...Insh'allah as they say...we will never change it, no matter how much money we spend or how good it makes us feel that we built a new school at the cost of $50 million and several dead soldiers... a school that will probably never be used because the Taliban will threaten and intimidate everyone from using it...and after a couple of harsh winters it will slowly collapse...because it wasn't uilt that well anyway...and why wasn't it built well...? Because, in the spirit of fair trade...the contract for the new school has been sub-contracted out...then the sub-contractor has sub-sub-contracted it out to a local afghan construction firm...who throw together a couple of bricks and cement...and the result is a $50 million school project, where only about $10,000 has been spent on the actual school. The rest has gone on bribes and people taking their "cut".
This is the way NATO is fighting it's war...this is the new Counter Insurgency strategy...call me an old fashioned fool...but the whole point of counter-insurgency...is to "Counter" the "Insurgency"...once that has been achieved (which it has not)...then...and only then, should we be thinking about reconstruction and development...if at all...is it REALLY our responsibility? Or are we just feeling guilty? We scream about issues like Child Mortality rates and the Opression of Women and we send well meaning but oh so naive NGO's into the country to try and "fix" this because "we"...us in the West...proclaim that "we" know what's best for them...for these poor illiterate peasants of rural Afghanistan...how condescending can we be...??? Afghan villagers have dealt with low child mortality rates/abuse of their women and other such "nasty" things since the dawn of time...it is their way...it is their tribal culture...we are not going to "educate" some 85 year old village elder into being more understanding and moderate...are we really THAT stupid and naive...? Erm...well...it seems we are...yes...!!!
It is a waste of time...nothing will change here...this is Afghanistan...this is a place where technology is not required nor desired...this is a country where a cow or a goat determines a mans wealth...not his car, house, watch, phone or salary...Afghans want little and have less. This has always been the way...for centuries...we will not change this...this is Afghanistan."