Daily Archives: February 14, 2010

Valentine’s Day, Afghanistan – Michael Yon

Be my Valentine: American nurse, Canadian wounded. A war the west would like to remember to forget…

We at BFP and our readers enjoy hearing all sides and then deciding for ourselves.

That curiosity brought us to Michael Yon as one of our sources of information on the Islamist wars.

Michael Yon is a former U.S. Green Beret soldier who has been reporting from the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Myanmar and the Philippines since 2004. (Oh, you didn’t know that there is a war on in the Philippines? Check it out and then ask yourself why you don’t know that.)

Yon’s latest offering from Afghanistan can be found at his website: Michael Yon Online Magazine

Here are some excerpts from an article that Yon published in July of 2009…

“After nearly eight years of war and billions spent, there is not a single Afghan soldier in this entire province. There is not a meter of paved road.”

“… many people at home, including some of the political elite, do not grasp the societal inertia, complexity and natural baffles to progress. Ten years from now — 18 years into the process — this will not be finished business.”

“Today, I was in the village of Karbasha Qalat, situated in a remote area at 8,800 feet. The 20 families had no electricity and not even a battery-operated radio. During the winter, the horses, cows, donkeys and other animals live with them inside their mud homes. Only the village elder was literate, … None of the children had been to school, and none are likely to go. The mothers are illiterate … the hand that rocks the cradle. Nearly all mothers in Afghanistan are illiterate.

Let’s be frank. We must look at the situation and ask, “How far can we nudge this place by the year 2100?” Reasonably speaking — let’s take out the pencils — how many generations are required to achieve even 80 percent literacy? If widespread literacy is a goal — literacy should be a primary goal- – it’s already too late for most of the youngsters who will be born in the next five years.

If Afghanistan is to reach even the level of Nepal — maybe we could do that in 25 years…”

… from the Michael Yon article The Girl with no future

Further Reading

BFP article July 9, 2009: Michael Yon: Afghanistan will become far more deadly for our troops than even the darkest days in Iraq

Michael Yon Support Page (make a donation to keep him blogging in the field)


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