Patrick Cockburn, Middle East correspondent for The Independent, discusses the extreme poverty on display in Kabul despite the many NGOs and billions of dollars in aid spent since 2001; subcontracted rebuilding projects in dangerous and remote areas that are especially prone to fraud and waste; the Afghan government’s inextricable ties to the heroin trade; how the US squandered any goodwill remaining from overthrowing the Taliban; and how the US praises Afghan “democracy” while ignoring the request of supposed-potentate Hamid Karzai to stop night raids.
MP3 here. (22:10)
Patrick Cockburn was awarded the 2009 Orwell Prize for political writing in British journalism. He is the Middle East correspondent for The Independent and a frequent contributor to CounterPunch.org. Cockburn is the author of The Occupation: War, Resistance and Daily Life in Iraq and Muqtada Al-Sadr and the Battle for the Future of Iraq.