September 17th, 2010
10:48 AM ET

Signs of optimism?

With parliamentary elections ahead on Saturday, many in Afghanistan are living in fear of Taliban threats. But there are some parts of the country where people — particularly young people — are showing signs of optimism.

soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Smith in Oregon

    The Lesson that Israel does not want America to learn:

    One hundred fourteen years ago, a 22-year old British Subaltern (Second Lieutenant), served on the Northwest Indian border, today, Pakistan. He was attached to the Indian Infantry 31st Punjabis, because most of their officers had been killed and they lacked leaders. After fighting in ferocious battles in Afghanistan, he wrote a best-selling book, "The Story of the Malakand Field Force." After numerous bloody engagements, he was decorated and for his courage, mentioned in dispatches.

    In his book he said, "The tribesmen torture our wounded and mutilate our dead. The field hospitals and the wounded convoys are the special target of the tribesmen. We employ against them a new weapon, the dum-dum bullet, the shattering effects of which are simply appalling.

    "I know the ground, the men, the country and the facts. I have earned my medal and clasp. The picture here is a terrible one. I wish I could come to the conclusion that all this barbarity, all these losses, all this expenditure, can result in a permanent settlement being obtained. I do not think however there is anything that has been done, that will not have to be done again."

    His letters to the London Daily Telegraph, for which he was paid, were published without his name, for he said some unpleasant things. "Beyond each hill or mountain is a different tribe, each with a different version of their religion. The friend we have today is our ruthless enemy tomorrow. The folly of our Government's policy is to allow the tribesmen to control the buffer zone between British India (Pakistan) and Afghanistan.

    Until this buffer zone is annexed and controlled, the raids back and forth will continue before things can start to mend. These buffer state policies are only a temporary affair, and if we cannot control them, we ought to leave and not come back, because we can only die here and cannot win."

    They tried three different times. Their losses were terrible. Eventually they left for good and did not return. Alexander The Great couldn't win there; half his huge army is still buried in Afghanistan. Neither could the Soviet Union: Their losses were an entire army and all its equipment, including aircraft.

    The subaltern, who was half-American and one-eighth Iroquois Indian, went on to have a distinguished and dramatic career, in the British Army and in politics, eventually becoming Prime Minister of England, twice. For his historical memoirs, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Many countries have recognized him as the greatest man of the 20th Century. In my town, Kansas City, we have erected a statue of him at the Country Club Plaza. He was Winston Churchill. More than one hundred years ago he taught us the Lesson of History: We can only die there and cannot win.

    September 22, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • dindy Sri lanka

      The war is not easy when fight in a foreign land .US was dragged into war by Taliban. Now they have controlled futher attacks by Taliban to their mother land from footing in Afghanistan plains.

      September 23, 2010 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
    • dindy Sri lanka

      I read your comment twice Smith in Oregon. here we had to fight with LTTE. Many said we cant win . But finally the Army won. There is nothing impossible if we believe we can. War must end soon . It is nice if ends with a good solution which is good for both Afghanistan civilians and for the rest of world. The British soldier is correct about tribes. Is there any other solution than attacking terrorists? If they do not come for discussion or reconcile what is the solution rather than attacking as much as we can? Devil never forgive. But coming back always. We cant say sweet words to devil because it wont understand good language😦 Not only provide weapons made with metals. We must pray too for our troops so God will be their shield. I trust that 100%

      September 23, 2010 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
  2. dindy Sri lanka

    we have to leave you alone with 360 degree. you want to make other people go crazy from repeating the same thing over and over again. May god have mercy on you.

    September 22, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. louis

    If you ever hope to have a meaningful conversation where people will either view your opinions and share their view, or tell you you are wrong and share their view, first and foremost, you need to learn to write and speak English correctly. Maybe all your special K words and symbols and italics means something to you, but to me I see a small minded, ill equiped and very very racist person trying his mighty best to insult and intimidate those that don't agree with your version of the truth. Here's my version: "you (idiotic) and your 360 can take a flying fcuk at a rolling 180 doughnut".

    September 21, 2010 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Smith in Oregon

    What is there for the Afghanistan people to become more optimistic about?

    Harmid Karzai is a dictator, utterly corrupt and widely seen by Afghanistan people as utterly corrupt, hand's down the Afghanistan people see the Taliban as less corrupt than the Karzai dictatorship.

    The moment America soldiers pull out of Afghanistan, the Karzai dictatorship is finished, the Afghanistan soldiers will immediately swear alliance to the first Taliban commander that comes along and the Afghanistan people will be under the thumb of The Taliban carrying new American weapons, driving new American hum-vee's and military transports.

    Opium-Heroin production skyrocketed under the depraved Republican administration of Bush-Cheney flooding the world including the Middle East with Heroin, creating millions of heroin addicts, waves of crime and violence which comes with that and many nations entirely blame Afghanistan for that terrible outcome.

    As long as Pakistan's Taliban fighters are undermining Karzai's Afghanistan government, the Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline traveling thru Afghanistan carrying natural gas to New Delhi, India won't be built and the Afghanistan people won't be receiving leasing royalty's for that pipeline.

    As long as Republican party linked special interest American corporations are operating in a no-bid process in rebuilding Afghanistan's infra-structure, the Afghanistan people won't be hired nor generate incomes doing those jobs.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • dindy Sri lanka

      That means US and NATO troops must be there forever ? How can it be possible as people in US are already complaining about economy break down because of so many wars.
      what you have written is true. We cant trust the power of Afghan Army. yet it is interesting to see the faith people have for the ballet not the bullet.
      Hope your comment will be considered by the superiors in US.
      I dont like war neither terrorists. It is painful to see young who are treasure of any country sacrificing their lives. May God be their shield of victory!!!

      September 20, 2010 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. dindy Sri lanka

    Jesus is a real hero, Jesus is the lion of Judah, Jesus is a living spirit who anointed me and gave salvation to me as I was a sinner who was worshiping false Gods. I called his name when I was in a big mess and Jesus was there and released me from bondage. Jesus appeared to me in a dream too when I was going through a bad time. I had not seen a bible then. yet what was written in the bible and what I saw in my dream are both same. .Jesus is the only bridge to heaven. Through Jesus we communicate God !!! we ask every thing through Jesus as jesus is the only one who fulfilled his wish.Truth is very bitter to Satan.God is peace and truth and satan hates God therefore. Satan want people to lie just like him.. Satan comes to destroy and steal what God created and blessed. If anyone get caught in satan"s trap ...it is difficult to get out from it. Do not argue with Satan for along time.Jesus replied in short answers and always did answer from the scriptures. Also human hands cant make God"s son or God. It is impossible. As I have seen Jesus..His face is like the sun..so bright and his feet were like silver lines on the sky. And his garments were whiter than snow. I dont know enough words to explain .. English is not my first language.
    Jesus is a living spirit and God almighty is agreeing with lord Jesus when ask in Jesus name.But do not ask anything in flesh.God is a spirit!!! I have many testimonies just like many others have. People call many names . But there is one God !! Jesus obeyed his orders and died and god raised him to heaven. Now we have holy spirit !! It is the best guidance any man can follow.May the holy spirit Guide us all !!

    September 19, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. dindy Sri lanka

    Jesus is a real hero, Jesus is the lion of Judah, Jesus is a living spirit who anointed me and gave salvation to me as I was a sinner who was worshiping false Gods. I called his name when I was in a big mess and Jesus was there and released me from bondage. Jesus appeared to me in a dream too when I was going through a bad time. I have not seen a bible then. yet what was written in the bible and what I saw in my dream are both same. Jesus is a living spirit and 360 degree truth.Jesus is the only bridge to heaven. Through Jesus we communicate God !!! we ask every thing through Jesus as jesus is the only one who fulfilled his wish.Truth is very bitter to Satan.God is peace and truth and satan hates God therefore. Satan want people to lie just like him.. Satan comes to destroy and steal what God created and blessed. If anyone get caught in satan"s trap ...it is difficult to get out from it. Do not argue with Satan for along time.Jesus replied in short answers and always did answer from the scriptures. Also human hands cant make God"s son or God. It is impossible. As I have seen Jesus..His face is like the sun..so bright and his feet were like silver lines on the sky. And his garments were whiter than snow. I dont know enough words to explain .. English is not my first language.
    Jesus is a living spirit and God almighty is agreeing with lord Jesus when ask in Jesus name.But do not ask anything in flesh.God is a spirit!!! I have many testimonies just like many others have. People call many names . But there is one God !! Jesus obeyed his orders and died and god raised him to heaven. Now we have holy spirit !! It is the best guidance any man can follow.May the holy spirit Guide us all !!

    September 19, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. dindy Sri lanka

    get out Satan.get lost. you have no room here.

    September 19, 2010 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  8. Dave, Afghanistan

    Bledsoe- Can you give some evidence to demonstrate why this is "propaganda" and not the truth? It isn't an outrageous statement to say that some places in Afghanistan are getting better. Just because information undercuts your position, it doesn't mean the info is false. It could just be that you're wrong.

    bailoutsos- We did that before in the 1990s. As I recall, the last time we abandoned and ignored Afghanistan, it turned out rather badly for us. Why would it be different this time?

    September 17, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Will you get off of that right-wing mumbo-jumbo,Dave?We have absolutely no right to be there and you know it!!!

      September 17, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dave, Afghanistan

        "Mumbo Jumbo"? Seems like I articulated my point pretty well. Like I told Bledsoe, just because you don't agree with something, that doesn't make it wrong. It just means you disagree. Both houses of Congress passed legislation sending us here, and that legislation has been enforced by two Presidents- one Republican and one Democrat. Seems to me we have every right to be here. Speaking of "we", are you, or have you been, "here", or are you watching from the sidelines and letting other people tell you what to think?

        September 17, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

        Should you be blaming the MIC and spouting something about Tea Party thugs, "John"/Willie/Larry the Imposter?

        September 17, 2010 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • john doe

      some people i guess dont remember we originally went into that country for a reason. that reason was we were provoked by being attacked. if we left now, the whole country would fall into civil war and destabilize the region. this includes iran, tajikistan, and pakistan to name a few. i dont think people that have ever been "here" like some of us have know what's really going on or what it's like.

      September 17, 2010 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • dindy Sri lanka

        JOHN DOE ..WELL WRITTEN !!

        September 19, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      No one in their right mind would believe that a super power would leave Afghanistan after defeating USSR...we were looking towards China and helping Taliban. These facts are omitted and it is claimed we brokered our Afghan policy to Pakistan, it is all Bull....those of us who were involved in Afghanistan know very well, we never abandoned Afghanistan(maybe its people)...Imagine we were told we assisted the Taliban into power trying to further our goals in Asia and hedging Russian influence over Norther Alliance. Well no need to imagine, this is what happened and we omiited this to save the past administration from any shame...not one Afghan attacked America, we have not done anything for Afghanistan or Afghan, but manipulate, destroy and dictate to independent minded Afghans...We need to activate the Marshal Plan and rebuild their country (which we destroyed over a 30 year period with the help of those double dealing Pakistanis). And lets stop interferring in their internal affairs, if we want to win hearts and minds.

      September 20, 2010 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  9. bailoutsos

    "Afghanistan has been the graveyard and battlefield of empires for centuries." - Get all troops out and let them deal with their problems.

    September 17, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • George Patton

      "May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't.”

      September 17, 2010 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bledsoe

    The only thing I see is more NATO propaganda and that makes me sick!

    September 17, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |