Thursday, November 19, 2009

Listening to Leaves fall

It was bad enough to see the General goose stepping, as the President inspected the guard of honor, what was even more funny was when he realised he was on the wrong side of the President and had to break step trot behind and commence the goose stepping again.

In yet another complete failure of democracy. President Karzai was today inaugarated for his second 5 year term. In any flourishing democracy the inaugaration ceremony is a time when the people can share the moment, cast your mind back to the scenes in Washington in January, when President Obama took the oath of office.

Today in Kabul, under a crisp winter sun, you could hear the leaves fall to the footpath. The solution to any potential problem here is to close the city and ban cars, to prevent suicide and or car bombs. The ceremony was such a controlled event that even TV cameras were not permitted into the Palace, and as such we were herded into the old Radio Television studios built in the classic Soviet style of the 1950's. the walls adorned with old black and white pictures from what looked like the 50's and 60's.

Technically it was a nightmare, but the staff there did there best with old equipment then told us about there new facility which was a state of the art gift from a foreign country. Why we could not use the new facility is still a mystery. The quality of audio reminded me of watching television with a deaf aunty, whose solution is to turn the sound up fully when there is no sound then to have it tear your ears apart when something actually does happen.

The guests can best be described as a b grade status of nations, the only other leader there was from Pakistan, whilst most of the nations involved in fighting the war here were represented by their Foreign Ministers. The Inaugaration speech was written for the West and the first clapping from the audience came after 13 minutes when Karzai promised a crackdown on corruption, but everyone here knows that words are cheap. Corruption is far more profitable.

As far as an end to the war and foreign troops, five years from now will become the mantra, as the President pledged that Afghanis will take control of all of the nations security by then. As he spoke a car bomb went off in a Southern Province killing two US service members.

As left we tried to gauge the mood on the streets, using the most ineffective method known to poll, known as Vox pops only to be told by the first person we asked as to whether he had watched the ceremony

"No, we had no electricity, I hope to be able to see it later tonight".

In a city that was empty of life, apart from Army and Police on every corner, an historic day has passed and yet failed at the same time. But it was nice to listen to the leaves fall and rustle along the footpath for a change.


Anonymous said...

Leaves falling this time of year are more dependable than words from politicians anyway, Mr. James. You ask us to think back to Obama's inauguration...I wished you hadn't. I still have nightmares about it. And you say politicians words are cheap? Oh that they were....over here they seem to have been spoken and our countries wealth disapeared. You are funny, Mr. James. But your story said it all. Thanks...goose set...yep...for sure you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear...which was sort of say Hillary was there?

Dr. Bzzzz said...

No electricity, technically a 'nightmare',corruption bolstered by interest, nobody of any importance bothering to turn out and yet USA and UK are still considering spending more hard earned, and diminishing, cash on a war effort. Misplaced money? Misguided politics? Mistake?......look forward to Obama's decisions......

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when you try to build something out of nothing instead of going in with over coming force, fighting a war, taking out the enemy and getting out Personally, I don't care if Afghanistan stays in the dark ages forever. Somehow, I doubt Obama's decision will do one thing to make the situation any better. He knows nothing about winning wars. All he knows how to do is redistribute the wealth we used to have. Cut the Government spending programs, get out of our lives and fund the war. It is his Constitutional responsibily....not taking all power from the citizens of our country and making us slaves of the State. And the next time any country supports attacks on America....maybe one well placed bomb would cure the problem.
One American tired of big talk and no action by the "commander & chief".