Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Not Quite Quiet or Quite Not Quiet?

The reason I still think it’s fairly quiet here, I’ll chalk it up to the distance and mountain passes between Kabul and Kandahar. Despite my few recent post titles proclaiming the quiet, and the music I've been listening to, the editors at seems to think there is an "unquiet" here, or at least in the east. They even put it on Wednesday's front page. As for the news accounts, even the daily ones I receive from our security folks, I should be counting them in the same log, but I’ll still insist upon my claims of quiet. Here is the fairly pessimistic, but well written, article in Though to me, with my biases fully acknowledged, the tone seemed a bit sensationalist. Don’t ask me to justify that, else I’ll have to think about it more. And if you haven’t noticed, either by the dearth of posts, or the nature of the posts recently, I haven’t been thinking much about the situation here. Futher, if the sensationalism gets more public care/awareness of the situation here, I'll thank the press.

A lot has been going on, work wise, and the continuing extension and scale-back makes for a weird work environment. Luckily, of late my job has largely been operational. There are daily tasks to be done, things to be monitored, keep things running and such. So, though tedious at times, it keeps me moving. But in general, project wise, we’re in a glide pattern. And as we step into another three months, it’s somewhat frustrating. It’s especially frustrating because it seems like the whole of the donor/aid world is entering that pattern. Though I may be just imposing my sentiments, it nonetheless seems that the riots and the preceding and continuing escalation of military action and violence has a lot of groups and people in a "wait and see" attitude.

The problem--that is probably the last thing that is needed here. What is sorely needed is not only a redoubling of military/security measures, especially from the ANA (not just foreign troops), but also a redoubling of actual efforts and plans from aid groups (as the article linked above notes). Of course, the Afghan compact, and plans are all fine and dandy, with actual shovels to the ground being much better. Yet, the reality, as it seems to me, is that it will be a while before more can be done, physically. So it’ll at least be some good paperwork that needs to be done in the mean time.

Tangentially, yesterday, after getting our daily headline/news update via email, I was about to immediately post it. The humor of it struck me, and then it just got kinda disappointing. The irony of the first two headlines being concurrently true now gone, and the reality sinking in, my (essentially trivializing) motivation to share the headlines slipped away, thankfully. Now, I’ll still post the headlines, as I think they better capture the current moment here:

Afghan President Denies Forming Militias
June 11, 2006 -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai today denied media reports that he is forming militia forces in southern Afghanistan to fight the...

Afghan president: Tribal fighters will help battle Taliban

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Sunday his government will give weapons to local tribesmen so they can help fight the biggest increase in Taliban violence in...

Karzai says between rock and hard place on reforms

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Sunday his government was trying to follow a moderate path in the face of competing pressures from the international community and his nation...

So as many are commenting now, and a few started sounding the warnings signals before, the situation is slipping further into factionalism. Motivations are becoming individual again, and though they may have been so all the while, actions towards such are now more transparent.

So mine is a sense of apathetic frustration towards the politics and such going on here. Thus the lack of news, well, rather sharing of news and posting and such. I still keep up with the news. I’m just not excited by or vested in much of what I read, news wise. I still have a job to get done, and will try to and hopefully give my best effort on that. I still see more than enough to inspire hope—the markets are still busy, construction still goes on, many folks aren’t at the point of running scared yet, and there is a recently launched CF/ISAF offensive in the south. So, maybe it’s that I just don’t care to hope much right now. We’ll leave hope for when the fighting slows down again.

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