Just days ago, the Bush administration
victory, that its efforts had averted "widespread famine" in
Afghanistan. Relief agencies countered that it was far too early to be
sure that is the case.
I don't know what
"widespread" means to George Bush, but a Washington Post story
today makes it clear that widespread or not, there are a lot of people --
unnecessarily -- already starving to death in Afghanistan. The numbers
at risk run into the hundreds of thousands.
Basically, the villages where these
people live are terribly remote. One problem is a lack of security on
roads to villages accessible by truck. The food and the trucks are
available, but there is no one to safeguard the deliveries.
The other major problem is that many
people live in villages not accessible by road. Again, food aid is
available at depots. But transport by donkey is too expensive, aid
officials say. Airdrops are necessary.
Starving villagers have resorted to
eating bread made with grass and traces of barley flour, or grass straight
from the ground. Babies are fed "grass porridge."
Many people have already died.
Nearly everyone remaining is sick.
I would be dumbfounded, if I weren't
so disgusted. Maybe I am both.
How are we letting this happen right
before our eyes?!
Would it really kill us or the British
to send some troops into those areas to safeguard aid convoys? Would
it be so hard to get a couple of choppers and make some food drops to save
thousands of lives? We're already over there in great force.
This is eminently doable.
Just yesterday I described how on roads leading to urban areas,
bandits hijack food from aid convoys, then warlords in the cities steal much
of what remains when the convoys arrive at their destinations.
At least no one in those cities seems
to be literally starving to death -- yet. But the situation in these
remote areas cries out for immediate U.S. assistance. I want my tax
dollars put to that use NOW.
[call the White House and demand
immediate U.S. assistance: 202-456-1111 9 am - 5 pm E.S.T.]