Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Empty Spaces

Marc Herold has written a long, heartbreaking piece on Afghanistan:

Four years after the U.S.-led attack on Afghanistan, the true meaning of the U.S occupation is revealing itself. Afghanistan represents merely a space that is to be kept empty….The only populated centers of any real concern are a few islands of grotesque capitalist imaginary reality -- foremost Kabul -- needed to project the image of an existing central government, an image further promoted by Karzai's frequent international junkets.
This photo shows children in Kabul collecting garbage for resale. It was taken in March of 2004. Herold explains:
Even in Kabul, the island of Westernization and the epicenter of imaginary reality, garbage piles up (generating foul odor and undoubtedly contributing to disease) as the city is only able to remove 40 percent of the daily waste produced.
On the occasion of his surprise visit to Kabul, Bush said:
It's such a thrill to come to a country which is dedicating itself to the dignity of every person that lives here....We are enthralled when we see an entrepreneurial class grow up where people are able to work and realize their dreams.
Scout Prime reports from New Orleans:
To look from the outside of these homes it may not look that bad but wait til you get inside. It's utter ruin. The walls and ceilings are worthless. Everything must be gutted out. Possessions left in the home were destroyed. Clothing just falls apart when you touch it. Dirt and dried mud are everywhere. You can see the water lines on walls and windows. You can not live in these homes. There are a number of FEMA trailers in front of homes but not so for most. I ask where are the rest of these people? They say they just don't know. There is much not known here.

On January 13, Bush said:
If folks around the country are looking for a great place to have a convention, or a great place to visit, I'd suggest coming here to the great, to New Orleans.
Riverbend describes the current situation in Iraq:
The Iraqi government is pretending dismay, but it's doing nothing to curb the violence and the bloodshed beyond a curfew. And where are the Americans in all of this? They are sitting back and letting things happen - sometimes flying a helicopter here or there - but generally not getting involved.

I’m reading, and hearing, about the possibility of civil war. The possibility. Yet I’m sitting here wondering if this is actually what civil war is like. Has it become a reality? Will we look back at this in one year, two years… ten… and say, “It began in February 2006…”? It is like a nightmare in that you don’t realise it’s a nightmare while having it - only later, after waking up with your heart throbbing, and your eyes searching the dark for a pinpoint of light, do you realise it was a nightmare…
Yesterday, Bush said:
"I don't buy your premise that there's going to be a civil war." He said he had spoken to leaders of all Iraqi sects and "I heard loud and clear that they understand that they're going to choose unification, and we're going to help them do so."


Samurai Sam said...

Bush's fetish with Afghanistan has nothing to do with the people living there and everything to do with Hamid Karzai's incessant toadying. Karzai is the perfect Bush campaign tool; a foreign leader that Bush's sycophant followers can point to as "proof, by God!" of democracy's veritable explosion across the known world. The reality is that Karzai is basically the mayor of Kabul and little else. But he sure gives good face with those effusive heapings of gratitude on the Preznit...

Phila said...


I guess Karzai's leg-humping is a nice change from the intense dislike he gets everywhere else. He obviously feels it's worth sneaking into the country for.