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I don't know if he was there; I'll probably never know.  The little guy who stood outside the ISAF American compound gate where the blast took place today (pictured below.)  Seven killed 91 wounded.  I was standing there with him, in June.  Right on the spot.  I hate this war, I hate all war.  I hate it I hate it.  And it is so  unnecessary.

He stood selling bracelets and trinkets each day, just outside the gate which we entered for our meeting with US command staff who agreed with us, wholeheartedly, that what this country needs is a program of measly $5-a-day-jobs to keep the young men out of the arms of the Taliban, which pays $8 a day to men whose families are semi-starving.  There is FORTY PERCENT unemployment.  The UN says 35% of Afghans are malnourished.  

The commanders said, Go home and tell the Congress...

Lobby.  This is what we need.  It's cheap.  It would cost about what we already spend here in a month on jet fuel, bombs, and bullets.  We were on a fact-finding mission for our peace program of Jobs for Afghans.

I doubt the bomber was an Afghan, most likely an Al Qaeda foreigner from Yemen or Pakistan.  Afghans won't blow themselves up.  They'd rather stand and fight.  Most recently General Stanley McChrystal said: Send jobs.  These are dirt poor people.  They don't want to fight us.  But they need the money.  Is Congress listening?

USA Today: "McChrystal: Jobs could curb Taliban fighting":

The top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan says many Taliban insurgents, particularly in the violence-plagued south, could be persuaded to stop fighting if they could find jobs in a stabilized country.

Even the generals say it.  The generals.

My little guy had the look of a boy who had already had a hard life.  His brother, working down the same street you can see here, where the bomb was, pushed packages of gum at us through our car window as we left and said in a very soft voice "I'm so hungry.  I'm so hungry."  No human new to this country can hear that and not fish out his wallet.

What worries me is the reports said some children were hurt, and that a boy selling gum was ok, but he didn't know where his friend was.  There weren't may boys selling gum on that street.  I emailed to Col. Julian, the Pentagon spokesman for US forces, and a kind warm man.  When the boy selling bracelets started to walk up to him, he smiled and wagged his finger gently as if to say "No no, I'm talking to these men now, son.  Not now."  I'm sure he'll tell me if he finds out anything.  He wanted jobs too.  He understood immediately what we were saying.  He went out of his way to set up a meeting for us with the general.

This war is a creature of the military-industrial complex which doesn't want to end it the easy way, with a modicum of economic help and development.  The executives of Bechtel, Dyncorp, Halliburton, and KBR.  It's just too damned profitable.  If my little guy is hurt, or dead, that is what he died for.  That is what they are all dying for.  Are you listening, Congress?  Do this for him.  Yes I'm mad.  All I know is, I'm going back.  I'm in this too deep now.

I accuse.  I accuse greed, the passion for self-enrichment, these greedy evil men.  I will tell them to their faces.  Bring them to me.



Diarist with buddy outside the ISAF gate in June, where the blast took place.

Blast damage today.

Originally posted to Ralph Lopez on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 11:43 AM PDT.

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