Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Blair fears Afghanistan will become another Iraq

Tony Blair, about to leave office after 10 years in power, foresees an Iraq-like disaster:
Afghanistan risks becoming another Iraq: Blair
Blair explains that "in a situation – whether Iraq or Afghanistan – where you are trying to bring about a different form of government, these people will try to stop us".

Blair's comments are well-timed, as two incidents in war-torn Afghanistan illustrate the type of looming disaster which Afghanistan faces:
US strike 'kills Afghan police' In what is billed as a "friendly fire" incident, US forces killed seven Afghan police. Accounts differ as to who fired first, but all agree that "close air support" was called in by US troops in Nangarhar province. Nangarhar has seen numerous incidents involving civilian deaths at the hands of US forces and a recent poll says over half of the population wants US troops out of Afghanistan.

Secondly, in neighboring Kunar province, NATO troops shot dead three civilians in a vehicle which failed to stop after being given warning signals.

Meanwhile, today's Edmonton Journal reports: "A vehicle commander who watched as a roadside bomb killed a young army driver says he warned his bosses days ago that the route where the blast took place is too dangerous and should not be used by Canadian troops."

Finally, the International Committee of the Red Cross has added its voice to the chorus warning of worsening disaster in Afghanistan:
“Civilians suffer horribly from mounting threats to their security, such as increasing numbers of roadside bombs and suicide attacks, and regular aerial bombing raids. They also lack access to basic services. It is incredibly difficult for ordinary Afghans to lead a normal life.”

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