Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Doctors Without Borders Abandons Afghanistan

So, so sad.  Snip: KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- The international relief group Médecins Sans Frontières has announced it is pulling out of Afghanistan after 24 years because of security concerns and frustrations with the U.S. military.
MSF -- or Doctors Without Borders -- blamed the Afghan government for failing to catch and prosecute attackers who killed five MSF workers earlier this year.
It also blamed the Taliban, who have specifically threatened its aid workers, and the U.S.-backed coalition, which MSF said had "blurred" the image of aid workers as the coalition attempted to "win hearts and minds."
"The killing of our own colleagues, together with the government's failure to arrest the culprits, along with false allegations of the Taliban, have led us to come to the regrettable conclusion that it is no longer possible for us to work here," said Marine Buissonniere, MSF's international secretary.

I'm more than a little surprised by this allegation they're making, though: "We feel the U.S.-backed coalition has contributed to the blurring of identities," Buissonniere said, noting the coalition had constantly attempted to use humanitarian assistance to build support for its political ambitions.

Gluck and Buissonniere announce the group's withdrawal from Afghanistan.
"MSF denounces this attempt to co-opt humanitarian aid; to use humanitarian aid to win hearts and minds."  Buissonniere said providing humanitarian aid is no longer viewed as a neutral and impartial act in Afghanistan.  She cited a coalition leaflet which pictured an Afghan girl carrying a bag of wheat which said that for assistance to continue, Afghans need to report information on the Taliban and al Qaeda and others.

I've always believed that if anything, the U.S. coalition wasn't doing *enough* to provide humanitarian relief.  But that was before I found out we were using it to blackmail the people into helping us.  Unfuckingbelievable!  No wonder we're hated - every "charitable" thing we do comes with very dangerous strings attached. So what - if you don't know anything about the Taliban or Al Queda you don't get any U.S. aid?  Then why WOULDN'T you turn in your innocent neighbor who you've had that ongoing beef with for years?   So we've turned from torture to extortion as our primary method of gathering intelligence in Afghanistan and Iran.  Lovely.  Quite a step in the right direction, don't you think? 

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