"Four Corners" is a long-running and very reputable documentary program here in Australia. The last one was on what has happened to all the aid going into Afghanistan:
18 billion dollars. The reporter wanted to follow the money trails, find out where it went.
The UN claims that 268 schools have been built, and the reporter asked for some addresses. But, he had trouble getting even one address, and when they finally gave him one, he went there and found a billboard with a picture of a grand building -- the billboard had been put up two years ago. What was actually built? -- there were some tents and the students were studying in those.
And that was a lucky school. he found another "school", they didn't even have a tent, they just sat outside, until it snowed too much.
Then there was the hospital. The money donated was, if I recall, about 2.5 million, of which foreign NGOs took most for admin (etc.) and under 1 million finally got to the local construction company. The final building is shoddy, falling down, yet the foreign quality control engineers gave it the thumbs up.
So, there is virtually no reconstruction, and whenever the reporter spoke to local people there was heaps of bitterness.
Ah, but there is one area where there's lots of activity -- mansions for the rulers. No delays there. Also no explanations how they can afford million dollar mansions.
In summary, everyone is on the take, both Afghanistan and foreign companies. The UN, well, I don't know what to say about them.
The overall picture is that the hearts and minds of the people have not been won. Just the opposite. If that's the case, then the foreign troops are staying there with some other agenda.
Comments:Posted on 22 Oct 2009, 21:23 by poverty observer
"there is virtually no reconstruction" he didn't look hard enough. NGOs don't go anywhere where their are no 5 star hotels for them to slum in. basically it is your government supporting the 5 star hotel chains to the tune of millions. Err.. corruption whats that?
Posted on 22 Oct 2009, 21:44 by bapster
"...of which foreign NGOs took most for admin (etc.)"
This is precisely why I belong to the Lions (lionsclubs.org). As Lions, we are strictly forbidden from using any public funds for admin type expenditures. All publicly raised money must go 100% toward serving the community. Any funds needed for admin-type expenses has to come from Lions members themselves.
Posted on 22 Oct 2009, 22:05 by edoc
The UN is the most corrupt institution in the world.
ABC-anything is not generally worthy of trust so I looked elsewhere and there has been a buzz about corruption and mismanagement in the handling of aid to Afghanistan for a couple of years - at least.
Aid to traditionally corrupt and primitive nations like Afghanistan has always been difficult to manage. Pres. Bush found a better way to handle AIDS aid to Africa.
Afghanistan has been so politicized by those whose motive was to harm Pres Bush in the USA that they have not even tried to address any of the problems, before or after they assumed power in the USA. It is shameful.
There is a better way but to-date the powers-that-be at the international level have lacked the wisdom to do so -- they are too obsessed with criticizing those who earn their livings, defending petty tyrants, and living lives of corrupt luxury to do anything meaningful to help anyone but themselves.
What a mess ...
Posted on 22 Oct 2009, 22:12 by me
Aghanistan: why are we there?
What happens when an islamic fundamentalist government gets nuclear weapons?
The UN is hopelessly corrupt, a reflection of the majority of the governments that it represents. Why do we give them money and power, and pretend that it's an honorable organization?
Posted on 22 Oct 2009, 23:41 by Flash
What, 'trickle-down' doesn't work?
There's been a lot of vague talk in the news we see in U.S., about how corrupt the whole country of Afghanistan is. This is the first report I've seen by someone who actually went and looked.
It seems everyone is on the take. I guess that shouldn't be an unexpected result of the Reagan/Thatcher "trickle-down" theory being applied wholesale to a third-world country.
Posted on 22 Oct 2009, 24:18 by retry3
The UN, Afganistan et al are corrupt now and always have been.
"me" is absolutely right plus the radical Islamists must learn they are not beyond the reach of retribution.
Posted on 23 Oct 2009, 4:49 by philosofr
Afghanistan - one woman
Rosemary Stasek, low-overhead activist in Afghanistan, died of heart failure in Kabul September 29, 2009. ---
When Rosemary Stasek first moved into her Kabul apartment, her Internet service provider would not connect her to the Internet because the apartment’s previous tenant had not paid his bill, Lesti said. She confronted the former tenant, whom she discovered was a member of the Taliban. The man refused to pay the overdue bill and told her, “go away, stupid American,” Lesti said.
Instead of going away, Stasek pulled out an AK-47 assault rifle.
“That got his attention,” Lesti said.
She forced the Taliban member into her van and drove him to the company to pay his bill, Fischette said.
After the Internet problem was resolved, Stasek drove the Taliban member out into the desert where she left him, Fischette said.
“She was amazingly relentless and persistent,” he said.
Before Stasek moved to Afghanistan, she was elected to two four-year terms on the city council of Mountain View, California, a city of about 70,000 people near San Jose. She also served as the city’s mayor in 2000.
During her term as mayor, she often rode a Razor scooter to city hall to meet with constituents, Fischette said.
“She was always an iconoclast,” he said.
Posted on 23 Oct 2009, 6:30 by downsouth
Two points folks:
If you've ever had even a mid-range national security clearance, you realise there is so much going on below the radar.
For those old enough to remember, Neville Chamberlain came away from a meeting with Hitler, proclaiming 'Peace in Our Time!' - he thought England was safe, but Hitler knew they would be unprepared, and thus nearly conquered them.
Posted on 23 Oct 2009, 10:57 by edoc
Perfect the Enemy of the Good?
There is a saying "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." One finds oneself sometime allied with the bad to resist the evil.
As another has noted, the strategies necessary to defend freedom in a world filled with those who would extinguish it, often involve choices among only imperfect alternatives.
The end of freedom does not justify evil means but may involve imperfect ones.
"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."
Posted on 23 Oct 2009, 13:23 by Sit Heel Speak
Afghanistan--my advice to Oz
Prior to 2001, the neocon faction of the American government had already drawn up plans for invasion of Afghanistan, in order to secure pipeline rights-of-way from the Caspian Basin through same to a planned oil-tanker-loading port on the Indian Ocean at Karachi, and to gas-fired electric generation stations in India, most notably the Dhabol Project which was built by Enron in the early '90's. Hamid Kharzai, hand-picked by the CIA to play President, is an ex-executive of the Unocal oil corporation.
Since 911, the central truth about Afghanistan is that it is a genocide, more than 3 million dead, the whole country a death zone of depleted uranium residue; if you doubt this, I suggest your government medical service start tracking every Australian soldier who served in Banyan Province after 2007. This, like the Iraq genocide, has been committed by the American government in order to lend credence to the propaganda line it is shoveling, that Moslems committed 911.
Since Afghanistan is remote, the society in chaos of holocaust, the only significant export being illegal opium, it is of course not under any settled law--Hamid Kharzai's rule does not extend after dark beyond the city limits of Kabul--therefore it is a perfect black hole into which to pour taxpayer and donated funds for purposes of money-laundering, political payoffs under the guise of (falsely billed) services rendered, and straightforward embezzlement.
The smartest course Australia could take, would be to pack up and get out at once.
Posted on 24 Oct 2009, 2:17 by PaulBx1
War is a racket for the benefit of the ruling class and war profiteers (essentially the same people).
Not only is Afghanistan's government corrupt, but all governments are corrupt. The American Empire's government most of all.
This will only come to an end when the dollar crashes and the American economy goes up in smoke.
Face it, human beings go rotten, any time you give them power. The nature of the beast.
Posted on 24 Oct 2009, 4:17 by libertas
Corruption the world over
The globalists in the UN and the national governments of the west care nothing about their own citizens or the fate of the nations in the middle east. They care only about enriching themselves and their friends through corruption while the blood of brave soldiers and innocent civilians flows in the streets.
Either fight to win or don't fight at all. We need a Churchill and all we can find are Chamberlains...
Posted on 27 Oct 2009, 22:05 by jim1911
Can't vouch for this but has a lot of information.
See http://aliveinafghanistan.org/# which doesn't appear to be controlled by the mass media. It claims to be an independent, non-partisan project, formed in response to the huge success of Alive in Baghdad and Alive in Gaza and the result of the hard work and collaboration of many partners and individuals. Alive in Afghanistan empowers Afghan citizens to participate in society by reporting on their political process. Alive in Afghanistan is launching in time for the August 20th presidential elections so that people across Afghanistan can report fairly on the elections and related events through SMS, email, and the web.