Tim Lynch retired from the U.S. Marines and heads a private security consulting business that works in Afghanistan. He likes Afghans, has learned a bit of the local languages and insists that "in a majority of this country it is completely safe for foreigners, especially Americans." He supports the U.S. war there -- but he also tells it as he sees it, with photos to go with the words like the one above. Here's part of a vivid description of a day in his life from his personal blog:
That observation about the Afghan women caught my attention because it reminded me of what I learned from my partner's account of life in Nicaragua during the 1980s. Because of the terrorist war that U.S.-backed opponents of the government were waging, gas was scarce and transport iffy. Packed buses would lurch along, half their human cargo standing, men, women, children and chickens. Temperatures were sweltering. The bus would pull into some crossroads. All the men would get off and go behind the nearest bush, then perhaps buy a drink in a plastic bag. All the women would stay on the bus, crossing their legs and hoping the trip would resume soon. Central America was a less oppressive place for women than traditional Afghanistan, but there were social constraints ...
The dislocations of war hit women differently --and often more painfully -- than they hit men.
And despite Lynch's support for the U.S. effort in Afghanistan, it is impossible to imagine how something so oblivious to the elementary needs of the population is every going to "succeed" -- whatever that means.