Monday, March 22, 2004
Afghanistan More Than A Year On
A lot of articles about Iraq last week because of the anniversary of the invasion ... not too much about the United States' other nation building project, lately however. Yesterday, the Afghani Minister of Aviation got killed: (from "Fighting in Western Afghanistan Ends, At Least 100 Dead", VOA, 3/22/04)
Violent factional clashes that erupted in western Afghanistan on Sunday have ended, leaving at least 100 people dead, including the country's aviation minister.
Tank and gun battles flared in the western city of Herat Sunday after unidentified gunmen assassinated Mirwais Sadiq, Afghanistan's civil aviation minister, and the son of powerful provincial governor Ismail Khan.
The fighting in Herat pitted the forces of a local militia commander, Zahir Nayebzada, and Governor Khan after the commander said his forces were responsible for the killing.
Sources at the defense ministry in Kabul say the governor's forces have taken control of commander Nayebzada's militia barracks and have detained some of his fighters, but the commander himself escaped. The sources say some 1,500 newly U.S. trained Afghan National Army soldiers are due to arrive in the troubled region by Tuesday morning to assist in efforts to maintain peace.
Afghanistan is about fifteen to twenty times smaller in population than the US so a hundred people translates to on the order of a thousand relative to its population. Job well done there, Uncle Sam -- at least there's not a fascist fundamentalist ideology waiting in the wings to step in and provide some order to this violent war-ravaged anarchy... oh, wait, nevermind.