Sunday, September 26, 2010

Go fly a kite

From the Times:
KABUL, Afghanistan — It was an engaging idea.

Hundreds of children would gather on the iconic Nader Khan Hill in the capital, Kabul, on a gorgeous Friday in September and fly kites emblazoned with slogans lauding the rule of law and equality for women. The kites, along with copies of the Afghan Constitution and justice-themed comic books, would be gifts of the United States, part of a $35 million effort “to promote the use of Afghanistan’s formal justice system.”

What could possibly go wrong?
What could possibly go wrong?

I just said that.
... For starters, Afghan policemen hijacked the event, stealing dozens of kites for themselves and beating children with sticks when they crowded too close to the kite distribution tent. To be fair, the children were a little unruly, but they were also small.

Ha, ha! Because it's fun to get snarky when discussing the beating of children by police. New York Times, can I remind you that you're not a blog?
... Asked why one of his officers was loading his truck with kites, Maj. Farouk Wardak, head of the criminal investigation division of the 16th Police District, said, “It’s okay, he’s not just a policeman, he’s my bodyguard.”

Glad to see the American influence is truly rubbing off in Afghanistan.
The District 16 police chief, Col. Haji Ahmad Fazli, insisted on taking over from the American contractors the job of passing out the kites. He denied that his men were kite thieves. “We are not taking them,” he said. “We are flying them ourselves.”

At least he had not lost sight of the event’s goal. “It is so people can understand the rule of law, and it lets the kids get together instead of wandering on the streets,” he said.

This is reminding me more and more of the midterm electons.
... Most [kites] bore messages about the importance of gender equality, but there was hardly a girl with a kite, although plenty of girls were around. One DPK [the contractor handling the event] staff member pushed through the crowd to give 10-year-old Shaqila Nabi a kite; her sister Farzana, 8, had wanted one, too, but a policeman had just swung at her with a stick and she had darted out of harm’s way, and out of sight.

Shaqila raced back to her father, Gul Nabi, a horse wrangler peddling rides. He promptly took the kite and gave it to a boy.

“He is my son and he should get the kite,” he said.

In other words, the event was a success.
... Mike Sheppard, the DPK project head, pronounced the event a success.

I just said that.
“We just gave out a thousand kites in 20 minutes,” he said.

Which is kind of like saying a hot-tub party on the set of Jersey Shore was a success because they passed out a thousand STDs.

4 comments: said...

Why are we so bad at things like this?

Talley Sue said...

Because we expect them (the Afghans) to think like us.

Remember, the U.S. wasn't the ones hitting children and hogging the kites. Nor was a U.S. father taking the kite given to his daughter and giving it to his son.

They don't think like us. In a deep, deep, deep way, they don't look at the world the way we do. And we are stupid beyond words to think that they ever possibly might, in the smallest way.

ChefNick said...

Anyone who hits a child should be killed on the spot. Point.

ChefNick said...

And Sue is right. They will never think the same way we do. There will never be "human rights" or "freedom" or any of that elevated nonsense, There is no point in trying to "educate" them, and I'm not saying this from an elitist point of view.

Primitive folk exist and we have no right to try to bring them into our world. But theirs is often brutal and without mercy.

It's always been that way with humanity -- it always will be.