Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Afghanistan: Hearts and Minds

It appears as though an American air strike has killed a number of Afghan construction workers. The coalition has said that it is looking into this incident. One imagines that the result will be that something like "faulty intelligence" or "communications failures" will the the cause. No one will really be reprimanded and it will go on at before - at least for the coalition.

For Afghans that see no justice done for the sake of these innocent construction workers, this will confirm whatever suspicions they have that the coalition is full of hypocrites who decry the Taliban but let every non-Taliban warlord join the government, who demand a constitution and rule of law but scoff at the idea of holding any of their own to account.

NATO's conduct in situations like this matter, I have no doubt that everyone in the village, even the province, where this incident happened will remember it, but we here will forget it in a day or two and then furrow our brows as we try to comprehend why so many of them do not like us after all we've done for them.

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