I was watching Eliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker (photo above, left) on TV last night (yes, I know Keith Olbermann was on MSNBC at the same time but the new CNN show is winning me over), and I was surprised when the former New York governor expressed shock and awe over the news that nobody in Afghanistan knows why U.S. troops are there.
Well, maybe not nobody, but pretty close. A new poll shows 92 percent of Afghan men have no idea why western troops are occupying their country. And the women? I don’t think they’re allowed to take polls.
Actually, I am surprised at the 8 percent who are aware that NATO is trying to find Osama bin Laden and …
Shoot “insurgents”? Make life better for Afghan women? Keep the Taliban out of power and al Qaida out of Afghanistan? Build schools and roads, etc.? Create a shining example of democracy for the world to admire?
Meanwhile back in the U.S., women’s rights are under siege, American travelers are being submitted to unprecedented indignities because of “the war on terror,” and roads, bridges and schools are crumbling because repair funds have dried up. And as for democracy, well, I’m sure you know what happened on November 2. Some shining example of democracy that was!
Look, I don’t know about you, but I don’t know what NATO troops are doing in Afghanistan.
And I certainly don’t know why they will be there for the foreseeable future, as I gather from Friday’s Lisbon summit. (NATO leaders “discussed” a 2014 exit date, but we’ve been hearing about various exit dates for a while.)
I know the troops couldn’t still be looking for bin Laden (photo above, right). It is common knowledge that he is not in Afghanistan. He might be in Pakistan, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he is sitting on the porch of a luxurious villa in Saudi Arabia or Syria, or the Cote d’Azur for that matter, laughing his shaggy head off.
I bet American “intelligence” wouldn’t recognize him if they saw him walking down Broadway – minus the turban, freshly shaved and dressed in a tuxedo – on his way to see the latest hit show.
After all, they didn’t even know the “Taliban representative” who has supposedly been negotiating a truce with the Afghan government is an impostor. The guy has made off with an undisclosed amount of money, leaving NATO officials with egg on their face.
And from what I read on the web and in the press, George W. Bush’s hand picked ally, Hamid Karzai, is a travesty as Afghanistan’s president. I understand his brother runs a lucrative business providing protection for opium traders. And it seems that they are both up to their elbows in the diversion of billions of dollars of U.S. aid.
When the Wall Street Journal runs exposes about pallets of currency being shipped to private bank accounts in Dubai, you know something’ s amiss in Kabul.
So you tell me what NATO troops are still doing in Afghanistan.
And then you can tell those Afghan men.