Tuesday, August 18, 2009

# Posted 6:09 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

FEAR AND ELECTIONS IN AFGHANISTAN: Dexter Filkins of the NY Times reports from the village of Tarakai in Helmand province, one of the most violent in Afghanistan. The residents of Tarakai explain very clearly why the war is not going well:
“When you [i.e. American forces] leave here, the Taliban will come at night and ask us why we were talking to you,” a villager named Abdul Razzaq said. “If we cooperate, they would kill us.”
The Taliban have threatened to cut off the fingers of those who vote.
“We can’t vote. Everybody knows it,” said Hakmatullah, a farmer who, like many Afghans, has only one name. “We are farmers, and we cannot do a thing against the Taliban.”
If this were only a war for hearts and minds, the Taliban would not be doing well. The same was true of Al Qaida in Iraq. The question is whether we are committed enough to provide lasting security.

Cross-posted at Conventional Folly
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