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Quran Burning Touched Dry Tinder of Afghan Misery

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The article quotes a nine year old:

"It would be the luckiest days of the week, if we have our boiled potatoes, and each of us getting one of them"

The politicians who give the Pentagon free reign to deal with the insurgency have come perilously close to botching it to the point of no return, to the true peril of American security interests.  The problem is, when you are a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

A discontented and angry populace is where extremism thrives.  I would venture to say, had those thousands upon thousands of hungry unemployed men had dignified work, building sewer lines etc. so one would not have to smell the stench of open waste, their children eating well, the idiotic burning of the Quran might have sparked outrage, but it would not have come to this, as people had better things to do.  The tinder was dry as bone.  The burning of the holy was only the spark.

My heart goes out to those aid workers who were killed undoubtedly doing what they loved.  Congress can take this wake-up call, which brings to mind the early stages of a humiliating and hasty withdrawal from a certain Southeast Asian country, or it can ignore it.  When the mind of the crowd turns against you, even those in it who would like to help you can do nothing.



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The diarist is co-founder of Jobs for Afghans.

Men hoping for work, any kind of work, who gather by the tens of thousands in Kabul's city squares.  This is one's best bet.

Picking through trash for anything, including something to eat

Malnutrition ward, Kandahar

What was left of the guesthouse where I stayed after it got bombed the next year

at Kabul International
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Ralph Lopez majored in Economics and Political Science at Yale University. He writes for Truth Out, Alternet, Consortium News, Op-Ed News, and other Internet media. He reported from Afghanistan in 2009 and produced a short documentary film on the (more...)

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The burning of the Qoran video should have never s... by Jill Short on Wednesday, Apr 6, 2011 at 5:00:56 PM
spot on, Jill.... by Ralph Lopez on Thursday, Apr 7, 2011 at 12:02:41 PM