Dead Americans, Dead Goats, and Half a Million Gunmen on the Loose
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 prison’s 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.