Alex Constantine - October 18, 2007
Globe & Mail
October 16, 2007
"OTTAWA -- Economic and social conditions in Afghanistan have improved dramatically since the FALL OF THE TALIBAN, despite continuing problems with security, corruption and the drug trade, according to the World Bank's top official responsible for the country. ... "
A convenient lie? Not everyone is as certain of the Afghan "success story," since the 2001 "fall" of the Taliban. United Nations representative Lord Ashdown states flatly: "I think we are losing in Afghanistan now, we have lost I think and success is now unlikely.":
"INTERVIEW-West won't win Afghan war says ex-UN envoy Ashdown"
Oct 17, 2007
"BRUSSELS, Oct 17 (Reuters) - International forces are unlikely to win their battle against the Taliban in Afghanistan, risking a regional conflict that could match the magnitude of previous world wars, a former top U.N. envoy said on Wednesday. Lord Paddy Ashdown - former United Nations high representative and European Union special representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina -- said failure by the NATO-led force would have far wider repercussions than any losses in Iraq. ... "
BTW, the aforementioned narcotics market - opium having everything to do with the "dramatic improvement" of economic conditions in Afghanistan ("DESPITE the drug trade" is non sequitar) - fuels armed resistance:
"Opium funding up to 40 percent of Afghan unrest: US general"
"KABUL (AFP) — The top US general in Afghanistan said Thursday he estimated that Afghanistan's rampant opium poppy cultivation was funding up to 40 percent of the Taliban-led insurgency. General Dan McNeill, head of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), added he had been told by an international expert that this figure was likely low and could reach up to 60 percent. ... "
The Taliban has "fallen?" ...
"Pakistan plans all-out war on militants"
Asia Times Online, Hong Kong
"Now the military is going for broke to break the back of the Taliban and a-Qaeda in Pakistan and reclaim the entire area. ... "
Whose back will be broken? The Taliban is resurgent:
"Hundreds of Afghans stage anti-US protest"
Oct 17, 2007
" ... The protests come as anti-U.S. sentiments are running high in parts of Afghanistan following the deaths of more than 370 civilians this year during operations by Western troops stationed in the country. ... The protest on Wednesday was held in Urgun district of Paktika province, part of the main bastion for resurgent Taliban ... "