Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Taliban did it: If ANYTHING goes wrong in Afghanistan, we know who to blame!

We left Dubai this morning and finally arrived in Kabul after flying over a desert as big as New Mexico and a mountain range as big as New Mexico too. And for two whole hours, EVERYTHING we flew over was either khaki-colored or tan.

Kabul itself is like that Sesame Street "What's wrong with this picture" game. Kabul is just like the other cities except...except for the ocassional bombed-out building, the tall thick razor-wire-topped walls that surround every home and the absense of women on the streets. Little things are missing or seem out of place. Good roads are missing. People are missing a leg....

Otherwise the city looks pretty much like Tijuana -- one-storey buildings made out of concrete or adobe bricks. And the whole place, like the mountains around it, is tan.

"Five million people live here. And the place has constantly been invaded for the last 5,000 years." What for? If you had a choice, wouldn't you want to invade a place that was more accessible? And more green?

"I heard that the Taliban killed 30 people last week," I told my Afghani friend.

"The Taliban?" he replied. "They blame everything here on the Taliban. There are warlords, corrupt officials, tribal fueds, drug lords, bandits and private armies all over Afghanistan but whenever anyone gets shot at or blown up, Bush and the American media blame it on the Taliban.

So far, the "Taliban" doesn't seem to be a problem in Kabul. I've been here eight whole hours and haven't seen anyone gunned down or blown up yet. "But there are a lot of tensions running just below the surface here," said one Afghani.

Another Afghani stated, "But there is a lot of hope here too." Which road will the future Afghanistan go down? The road of hope? Or the one we will have to blame on the Taliban....

PS: Just at this moment, a member of Parliment who lives about an hour away from Kabul rushed in the door. "The police station near my house was attacked last night. Guns and rockets hit it for about forty minutes. At first I was trying to figure out what to do and then I realized there was nothing I could do to stop it so I went back to sleep."

"Was it the Taliban?" I asked.

"There are very few Taliban left in Afghanistan," said the MP. "You want a message to America? Tell them this! DON'T HELP PAKISTAN. Pakistan trains the people who attack us. Pakistan arms the attackers. Pakistan finances the attackers with money it gets from America. The people who attacked the police station last night were NOT Taliban. There are very few Taliban. These people also burned down an orphanage. Who are 'They'? 'They' are the Americans. The Americans did it -- by giving money and support to Pakistan. Please tell people in America this -- and ask them to stop!"

I'll try.