SP Week-End (7/5/2010): Tidbits from Afghanistan, Iraq & India
There is, of course, America's longest War: Afghanistan. Thanks to the interent, I was able to "Virtually" attend the ceremony in Kabul as General Petraues assumed command of ISAF forces:
The General told the world that America and NATO are in it to win. There are some 40 nations with over 130,000 troops fighting. I was pleased to see the resolve. The reality on the ground is different. It is even getting worst in Pakistan with the Taliban, yet again, on the prowl in a major way. The story in the July 5, 2010 edition of the New York Times should give everyone a moment of pause. Although there continues to be consesus on the objectives within the entire US Political elite, sustaining it is going to be a problem. I had already written about the Michael Steele Gaffee earlier which prompted Republicans to rally around the President. Although the opening report on Fox News Report with Bret Baier a few minutes ago leaves a bit to be desired. There is of course, the continued concerns about the level of corruption. The useless Karzai complained about what Congresswoman Nita Lowery putting hold on 3.9 Billion Dollars of aid because of Afghan Government Corruption. Karzai said that they were baseless. The only person who seems to think it is, in act, baseless is Karzai.
Moving on to Iraq, the U.S. Vice President and his wife went out to be with the troops on Independence Day. I saw some of the events as he talked about the continued political instability in the country. The so-called insurgents fired off mortars into the so-called International (or Green) Zone to give all a message that all in fact is not well. I have seen the continued pessismtic view by Tom Ricks which was countered by what Nir Rosen talked about--which I have provided a link on. It may well be that things are improving, but the question has to be whether the existing political structure can overcome the need to truly go to what Nir Rosen calls the "Street"--which is my view as well. Until there is a true and complete understanding of it, there is no way that things will be on the path to improvement. Will the Country implode again? I regard it as an open question.
As America celebrated independence day with Fireworks, all of India grinded to a halt as the Indian Opposition went on strike to protest against Diesel Fuel Increases. It was amazing that the entire political leadership was able to pull it off. It was reminiscient of the struggle for Independence that is now the stuff of legends. This economic challenge rages on as the Maoist Insurgency continues to consume the Country.