India Urges Kabul not to Deal with Taliban; Logar Protesters Torch NATO Fuel Trucks

About 1000 protesters massed in the streets of Pul-i Alam in the central Logar Province on Sunday, angry about a NATO attack that they alleged killed innocents. The demonstrators then set fire to 16 NATO convoy trucks carrying fuel for Western troops. The US military insists that its raid only killed bad guys. Local Afghan officials complained that the raid was not coordinated with them. You couldn’t say that in this instance NATO was winning hearts and minds. And, increasing attacks on NATO convoys are especially worrisome given that the instability in Kyrgyzstan may endanger US and NATO use of the Manas air field for resupply of troops in Afghanistan.

President Hamid Karzai will stop off in Delhi to meet with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday on his way to a meeting in Bhutan of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). Early indications are that Singh will attempt to discourage Karzai from his plan of negotiating with hard line Muslim forces such as the Taliban and bringing them into the government.

India sees Muslim fundamentalist forces in Afghanistan as generally under the sway of Pakistan, and also fears the bombings and political instability of the Taliban and similar groups.

As AP reports, India and Pakistan are conducting a vigorous contest for influence in Aghanistan, with India having invested $1.3 bn in civilian aid for that country, over 3 times what Pakistan has.

India just announced that it would fund the construction of 13 school buildings in the eastern Kunar Province. Kunar is a Taliban stronghold and perhaps New Delhi hopes that better-educated young people in such places will be less likely to turn to Muslim fundamentalism, which frequently has a rabidly-anti-India agenda.

The mysterious sickening of dozens of Afghan schoolgirls at the Khadijat al-Kubra girls’ school in the northern province of Qunduz has raised the question of whether Taliban are using poison gas on the girls. Some say that they smelled something unusual in the playground just before they fell ill. Qunduz is about a third Pashtun (and is unusual in this regard for a northern province), and a minority of the Pashtuns there support the Taliban. During their reign of terror in the 1990s, the Taliban closed girls’ schools and immured women in their homes.

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2 Responses

  1. .
    5 months ago, the US military unit in command of Wardak and Logar Provinces (173 ABCT) advertised for a contractor to advise them on how to get along with the local population. All I know about Afghanistan is that the people there are proud and self-reliant, and that any interaction must be founded on mutual respect if its going to win hearts or minds. Well, I know a little more than that. I submitted a bid.
    I lost to one of the “Private Military Companies” that furnishes Mercenaries for road clearance, perimeter defense and night snatch raids.

    “Stupid” is a conscious choice, with foreseeable consequences. The officers responsible for this incident will never be held to account for their bad decisions, but they include the Colonel who chose to have Mercenaries advising on how to implement development efforts.

  2. Who exactly will find it worrisome that the occupation forces may face supply problems? Supply problems could cause the occupation to collapse. Would that be worrisome to the people being wantonly murdered by the occupiers? If the occupation regime collapses and loses its power to continue polluting the Afghan environment with depleted uranium, will that be worrisome to the inhabitants of the country – deprived of the joyful prospect of more hideous birth defects and cancers forever and ever, courtesy of American occupation forces? Should the prospect of a collapse of the American empire, with the chance at the disintegration of the regime, worry those of us who would like to see a restoration of constitutional republican government? What else but the empire’s collapse holds any hope of averting the loss of all that remains of American liberties?

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