Thursday, April 05, 2007

The price we continue to pay

When the Italian journalist Daniele Mastrogiacomo, friend of Romano Prodi’s spokesman Silvio Sircano was released in a controversial deal that involved the release of five Taliban fighters, there were warnings that the case would serve as a precedent. (It also served as an indication of the value placed on Afghani life – Signor Mastrogiacomo’s driver was murdered and his interpreter has not appeared. Reminds one of the fact that when British and, less so, American soldiers go out on any mission or patrol they get heavy air cover. Afghanistani troops do not. Nor do their wounded get helicoptered out.)

The latest news from Kabul is that two French aid workers and their three Afghani staff have been kidnapped by the Taliban, just a week after a five-strong Afghan medical team had been kidnapped in the same area.

One presumes that little attention will be paid to the Afghanis in question, though they are more likely to be in danger, if, indeed, they are still alive. But, I expect a great deal of fuss about the two French aid workers. Will anybody ask the obvious question of what all these NGO aid workers are actually doing in Afghanistan apart from demanding a great deal of protection from the military?

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