Jean Athey’s Third Post from Afghanistan – The Shura in the Porno Cafe

Afghanistan ranks 176th out of 178 countries on Transparency International’s corruption index, only slightly better than Somalia and tied with Myanmar. So perhaps it isn’t surprising that no matter who I speak with, the conversation quickly turns to corruption. In Afghanistan, corruption doesn’t mean just a little skimming off the top by a few people. Rather, it means a corrosive destruction of society based on a complete lack of justice. It means that the government’s sole function is to accept bribes. It means that a small group of families controls all the wealth in the country while the huge majority of Afghans barely survive. And it means that no one can feel safe because power is concentrated in the hands of a few, who are beyond any law.

“The Americans promised that they would bring justice to Afghanistan, but there is no justice,” Salim, executive director of an NGO, tells me. Because of the lack of justice, he claims, the suffering of ordinary people is now “over the limit,” but anyone who dares to speak up is dealt with quickly. It is too dangerous for local leaders, unaffiliated with the Mafia government, to arise now, he claims. “Ordinary people feel like they are in prison. The only thing we are permitted to say is ‘Yes, sir.’ This is a return to slavery,” he declares.

Salim contends that the actions of the U.S. have fostered corruption, and in the process dramatically increased the power of a few families to such a scale that even the U.S. cannot control them now.  Billions of dollars have been poured into the country, and continue to be, but still average people cannot feed their families. Where is all this money disappearing, Salim asks? He points out that during the Soviet occupation, at least people could eat, there was a basic level of subsistence for everyone. But now, immense amounts of money simply enrich the war lords who control the government, further solidifying their power. And the people go hungry.

Read more on the Peace Action Montgomery blog.

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One Response to Jean Athey’s Third Post from Afghanistan – The Shura in the Porno Cafe

  1. Luna says:

    Друзья , нужно Ваше мнение , кто знает или сталкивался.

    Есть желание приобрести подвеску с бриллиантом массой более карата, но понимаю , что это стоит не мало и мне не по карману.

    Но читала , что существуют облагороженные бриллианты, которые ничем не отличаются от обычных, но стоят меньше в

    два раза.

    Кто-нибудь вообще держал такие в руках, они правда великолепны ?

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