Tags: U.N.: | U.S. | Neglecting | Afghanis | Search | Osama

U.N.: U.S. Neglecting Afghanis in Search of Osama

Friday, 29 October 2004 12:00 AM

Bassiouni, a veteran Afghan watcher, had been involved in numerous international aid operations before accepting his U.N. assignment.

He claims the efforts by the U.S., through the State Department's USAID operations, have fallen short.

"Over $1 billion has been approved by the U.S. to help rebuild Afghanistan, but there is nobody to spend it, it sits idle," Bassiouni told NewsMax.

While U.S. aid sits idle, the U.N. investigator explained that Afghan drug lords have wasted no time in expanding their operations.

Today, "over 75% of the European heroin trade comes from Afghanistan," says the report. That translates to over $1 billion a year in income, says the U.N.

"It stands to get worse, especially if the U.S. does nothing about it, " says Bassiouni. "In a short period of time, the economy will simply be controlled by the drug lords." says the U.N. report.

According to the professor, the Bush administration tolerated the situation because "they needed the cooperation of these war lords and drug lords to chase the Taliban and search for Osama bin Laden."

But now says Bassiouni, "these people have amassed so much money and weapons there is less incentive to cooperate with the U.S."

Recently elected president Hamid Karzai wields little real power outside the capital, Kabul.

"Illicit activities are on the rise, including murder, theft, robbery, rape, kidnappings and unlawful seizure of properties," says the U.N. survey.

According to Bassiouni, the drug/war lords will provide lip service to the newly elected president because he puts "a happy face" on a bad situation and with him in office, there is less incentive for Washington to interfere in the local drug operations.

The U.N. report does point out that as dire as the situation in Afghanistan is, most people still prefer life today than under the Taliban:

"There is no doubt that from the ground up most of the people in the street feel much better off today than under the Taliban," the investigator told reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York.

That assessment is ironic because the report claims, "That all of these combined factors have produced a situation wherein gross violations of fundamental human rights are commonplace ... Afghans find it particularly disturbing to see leaders who are known to have committed gross violations of fundamental human rights, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, benefit from impunity, and even become part of what is deemed the legitimate Government."

All of this comes as reports from the region claim that the Afghan war lords have become increasingly active in shielding former Taliban officials from Coalition capture in return for protection money.

Other reports say some Coalition forces have actually been equipped with ice coolers - not for food or beverages, but for the head of Osama bin Laden; literally.

The U.S. mission to the United Nations offered no comment on the General Assembly report.

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Bassiouni, a veteran Afghan watcher, had been involved in numerous international aid operations before accepting his U.N. assignment. He claims the efforts by the U.S., through the State Department's USAID operations, have fallen short. "Over $1 billion has been...
U.N.:,U.S.,Neglecting,Afghanis,Search,Osama
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2004-00-29
Friday, 29 October 2004 12:00 AM
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