If this, ‘The new Afghanistan is a myth. It’s time to go and get a job abroad’, is the Bush Administration’s definition of “success”, what do you think Iraq will look like, five years from now? (and remember, the descriptions below are from Kabul, the relatively stable center of the country where most of the economic development funds have been targeted)
A United Nations report concluded last year that Afghanistan remains one of the world’s least developed countries, ranking 173rd out of 178 countries surveyed. For every 1,000 babies born in Afghanistan, 142 die before their first birthday. An Afghan woman dies in pregnancy every half-hour. Overall life expectancy is estimated at just under 42 years.
In the bombed remains of Kabul’s Ministry of Energy, Nasir Salam, aged eight, skips through the mud, his jacket flapping in the wind, exposing his skinny ribs. He is running towards a vast mound of rubbish where children are playing with kites, one of Afghanistan’s most popular pastimes, although the kites are composites of plastic bags and greasy lengths of string. The youngsters are badly malnourished, their hair and flesh a mass of sores. their chests wheezing. On the road that runs parallel to the slum, their mothers congregate, dressed in filthy burqas and chadris, eyes visible through latticed slits as they bang on car windows begging for money. Others like them had earlier caught a bus to beg in central Kabul, hoping that passing aid workers will spare a dollar. Idle men are everywhere, standing in small groups amid creeks of raw sewage.
See also, “Afghanistan Five Years Later”, on OpEdNews.com
If you could point me to a decent article on the topic in American media, I’d appreciate it. Fair amount of coverage re: the “Afghan Compact” (five year pledge to donate $10 billion by Western nations), but damn little about Afghanistan on the ground, from what I could find.