Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sarah Chayes Explains Afghanistan

I was disappointed to learn that the U.S. had to send troops to Afghanistan, that we still have to fight a war there but that's largely because I didn't understand what was going on in the region, until I listened to Terry Gross' interview with Sarah Chayes, a former NPR journalist, turned business woman. She leads a cooperative, Arghand Soaps, and is helping to rebuild in Kandahar.
Essentially, Bush blew it big time and the people are angry with Hamid Karzai, more than we read in the newspaper or hear on the TV.
Bush's people pretended that things were going well in Afghanistan. Chayes says the Karzai government is a criminal enterprise.
She says we have a 6 month window to try and make good in Afghanistan. Read her action plan for the region here.  Troops are necessary but economic aid is also needed.
Chayes says things have gotten so bad in Afghanistan that she now carries a gun because she is a possible Taliban target.
If you want to get a good understanding of what's going on in Afghanistan, listen to this.
You can also watch Bill Moyers' interview with Chayes here.
Drones in Pakistan: