Afghanistan: April 21, 2004


Tribal politics, which includes the remnant of the Taliban (who are still respected in several southern tribes), plays a large role in the attempt to register people for elections later this year. Most Afghans are more concerned with personal survival and tribal politics, than they are with a democratic Afghanistan. Tribes provide something of a social safety net, an extended family that offers some protection. For this reason, Taliban remnants are trying to terrorize foreign aid organizations. Taking away the benefits of foreign aid demonstrates that the Taliban are strong enough to chase away the foreign benefactors, and that the Taliban should be relied on for any assistance. The alternative is to suffer the punishment of the Taliban. It's all about law and order, and power, rather than hearts and minds.



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