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Beware Westerners bearing promises - some cautionary words from Afghanistan - The Independent, 24 Feb (see URL for full article) http://news.independent.co.uk/world/asia_china/story.jsp?story=381093 Living in poverty and fear of abandonment, the barely functioning state that trusted its saviours By Phil Reeves in Kabul 24 February 2003 "People remember Tony Blair's pronouncement that the world "will not walk away from Afghanistan, as it has done so many times before". But Afghans have also listened with astonishment as Americans portray their country's experience since the overthrow of the Taliban as a "success". "Now the United States is priming its laser-guided bombs anew, and the attention of the world's media has swivelled to the deserts and oilfields of Iraq. Few in Kabul seem convinced by the repeated assurances - from the US government and its military, from the UN and Britain - that they will not be forgotten or allowed to lapse back into the bloodshed that prevailed after the occupying Soviet forces were driven out by the CIA-funded and CIA-armed mujahedin in 1989."... "The lack of money has dogged Afghanistan from the start. A year ago, the World Bank estimated $10.2bn (£6.4bn) was needed over five years. International pledges were about half that sum. And, according to Care International, an NGO monitoring international aid, the money actually spent per capita last year in Afghanistan was under half that of post- conflict Rwanda, Bosnia, Kosovo and East Timor. The CIA has spent some of that paying warlords and militias for help in the "war on terror" - strengthening rivals to the central government. "So what does this tell us about the fate of Iraq after the Americans have taken it apart? "It is not hard to find international aid workers who see that the problems of Afghanistan will be repeated in Iraq. "There is a real question over whether the international community is prepared to take on the burden of rebuilding Iraq over the long term," said Paul O'Brien, advocacy co-ordinator for Care in Afghanistan. "Another Western observer summed up his views more acidly. "If the Americans think this is success, then outright failure must be pretty horrible to behold." http://news.independent.co.uk/world/asia_china/story.jsp?story=381093 -- Cathy Aitchison _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk