It was just another day in Afghanistan, another British soldier died when his vehicle hit a mine. Staff at the British embassy in Afghanistan have taken to wearing white cardboard poppies in their lapel in honor of British dead, it also the famous line about the British soldiers who died in Flanders fields in WWI. A Kabul bookseller inquired of his British customer about the poppy because to his people, poppies represent money for farmers or for the Taliban or for drug dealers. Most of fighting in Afghanistan has been in southern regions but a few days ago a blast in the northern city of Baghian left seventy dead, including sixty children as well as over a hundred wounded. Even as 7,700 British troops are deployed in Afghanistan, there is frustration at refusal by many NATO nations to send troops or to place restrictions on there being allowed to serve in combat areas.
A recent Taliban slogan has become an effective piece of propoganda. It states, “You have the watches, we have the time.” It is becoming apparent there is considerable lack of enthusiasm among NATO nations to have their soldiers serving in Afghanistan. We are left with the Bush legacy of abandoning Afghanistan in order to invade Iraq leaving chaos in both areas of the world. Is the president going to send 20,000 more troops to Afghanistan in another “surge” movement? “In Flanders fields, the poppies blow…”