How primitive the Afghans are! A New York Times
account of faltering negotiations over a possible "strategic partnership"
agreement to leave U.S. troops on bases in that country for years to come highlights just how far the Afghans have to go to become, like their U.S. mentor, a mature democracy. Take the dispute over prisons. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has been insisting that the U.S. turn over its prison facility at Bagram Air Base to his government. (The recently burned Korans
came from that prisons library.) The Obama administration initially refused and now has suggested a six-month timetable for such a turnover, an option Karzai has, in turn, rejected
. No one, by the way, seems yet to be negotiating about a second $36-million prison
at Bagram that, TomDispatch recently reported, the U.S. is now in the process of building.