Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Friday, August 16, 2002

Things are returning to a semblance of normality in Bagram.

Col. Christopher Scott Pritchett, the Bagram base commander, said U.S. dollars are pushing the economic rebirth of the town.

''In April, all that was for sale in Bagram village were items stolen from the U.S. base,'' he said. ``Now you drive out there, you see Afghan products, Pakistani products. The money is getting to the people.''

The military has contracted with Afghans in the area for much of the base reconstruction work. Contracts -- for gravel, sandbags and construction tents -- could put almost $1.5 million into the regional economy, Pritchett said.

I said it yesterday. It may be a small victory but every one of these put together will lead to something better. The people in Bagram, the children now allowed to go to school, those who have gotten life-saving vaccinations, those with new jobs, women allowed to move about freely again and every other person given this new taste of freedom will be less likely to give it up. When they have a measure of freedom to lose, and they know from experience what a return to Taliban rule would bring, will fight to keep things moving in the proper direction. Yes it will require an ongoing military presence to end the dispute among warlords still battling to keep things feudal. But, it took 25 years to reach this state we can't expect an overnight turnaround.

< email | 8/16/2002 03:38:00 PM | link

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