Saturday, August 21, 2021

Desperation Sets In

The U.S. issued a warning on Afghanistan today, and of course, hopes have been shattered among the people.

At NYT, "Desperation sets in for Afghans after return of Taliban":

For many Afghans, desperation is deepening. At least a quarter of a million people have fled their homes since the end of May as the Taliban marched steadily across the country. About 80 percent of them are women and children, according to the United Nations refugee agency.

At a park in central Kabul on Saturday morning, people who had escaped the Taliban’s march across northern Afghanistan in recent weeks were stuck in dust-blown makeshift settlements, washing their clothes in a stream and unsure of where to turn.

Days after they reached Kabul, the Taliban seized the city of six million, and now they may be stranded without assistance as international aid groups try to evacuate staff members who they worry are at risk of Taliban reprisals.

Known for barring girls from school and chopping off the hands of thieves when the group led the country in the late 1990s, the Taliban have presented conflicting signals of how they intend to govern this time. Top leaders have pledged to protect the rights of women and the free press, even as fighters beat protesters and search for supporters of the former government or its Western allies, according to the United Nations and witnesses.

The former insurgents have also demonstrated little aptitude for administering basic services in a country that is heavily reliant on foreign aid...

Keep reading.