Paul | 03.10.2004 13:47 | Oxford
This week had another example of aid money used for political advantage. I mentioned in previous reports about the bomb on 30th August in Kabul targeting Dyna Corp (a private security firm). The US Ambassador wants to repair the road. Unfortunately the road and pavement are better than most in Kabul and it is tree lined. The only repair necessary is the bomb crater and that would cost $685. This is not good enough. The Ambassador wants the whole road tarmaced, new pavements and trees planted. Then the ambassador and his friend the Major will open the new road to much fan fare and media coverage just before the Election Day. The cost of this farce will be $100,000 plus from USAID.
Concerning the American invasion I think it can be have little dispute that America illegally invaded Afghanistan and most of the world said nothing because it was just after 9/11. The question of the 20,000 US military presence in Afghanistan now is interesting. The ISAF troops have four UN resolutions justifying their presence but the US troops have nothing so they are illegally in Afghanistan. However, if the president invited them to stay then it is arguably legal. So the US put their man in as President who then invited US troops to stay in the country and USAID pumps in lots of aid money to make it sweeter. The people understand that the troops and the aid go together. When soldiers actually give aid directly themselves the link is not exactly subtle.
Just heard that the UN security say things may start tomorrow and also just received security warning that there are four car bombs heading for international targets in Kabul. Some of the international women are have been crying today and people are getting edgy especially knowing that they are unlikely to get help from UNSECORD. I have just obtained a trauma bag (extensive first aid kit for serious injury) and put it in my office. All my staff have been trained to use it. I have decided not to leave. I am not sure why. It just does not feel right. It seems ironic that internationals gave Afghanistan the elections they did not want and then leaves because they think they will get bloody.