07/17/2009, 00.00
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Afghans look with indifference on death of soldiers

As the Italian paratrooper who died in Farah is laid to rest, an AsiaNews source describes the social and political situation in which Western democracies are losing the war, because they can not change the social situation to give hope to people.

Kabul (AsiaNews) - "In a country where one child in every five will never see their 5th birthday, people are pretty indifferent to the deaths of soldiers, be they Italian or British or American. The people do not applaud those deaths, rather they have become part of the daily routine”.  AsiaNews sources tell of the daily plight of Afghanistan, while the coffin of Alessandro Di Lisio (see photo), the paratrooper killed by a bomb June 14, about 50 kilometers from Farah, arrives home to Italy.

An honour guard together with civilian and military authorities greeted the arrival of Di Lisio’s body yesterday at Ciampino airport (Rome) with the highest honours. This afternoon the solemn funeral will take place in the Cathedral of Campobasso, his hometown.

But perhaps the worst aspect of the deaths of Western soldiers, is that the Afghan population seems almost indifferent to it as something that does not concern them. AsiaNews sources say that "everyone knows that nobody can win this war, neither foreign armies nor the 'insurgents', or those that people nowadays call the Taliban. But the Taliban have the advantage of time that passes, because one day the foreigners will grow weary and leave. They will not.  They know that foreigners will sooner or later have to accept a compromise, and perhaps the most intransigent among them will not want to accept it. "  

"After the intervention of the United States in 2001 - continues the source, requesting anonymity - people were ready to change. For years they hoped and they waited and they were willing to renounce feuds, factions and tribes. Now they don’t believe anymore, they no-longer believe that the country can arise to compete on the same level as other countries ". The presidential elections of 5 years ago were followed with great interest and enthusiasm. The new elections will be in August, but there is minimal interest. Everyone says the outgoing president, Ahmid Karzai, will win. But they speak as if it does not concern them". "People go more to school but the level of education is low, teachers are paid little and do not keep themselves up to date, many schools in the south were burned. The girls can go to school, but not for women there has been almost no change in society. Hundreds of private clinics have opened up with no control: just think that in Kabul alone there are around 200 private clinics and nobody cares about controlling their quality. In the south, the war zone, there are few doctors. In this period there is a massive Allied operation taking place in Helmand province, but this also means that no doctor is likely to go there and children can not be vaccinated.

Foreign aid has reached only a small percentage of its objectives and cities still lack basic services: roads, power, sewerage and health systems. Some positive results have been achieved by the many private associations, but they are active especially in big cities, they do not go into countryside for security reasons.

 But the real problem is the widespread poverty, says the Dr. Alberto Cairo, an official of the Red Cross in Afghanistan since 1992. "The needs of the population - he points out - are enormous: bread for today, for tomorrow and work. If someone falls sick it becomes another serious problem. With the global economic crisis the funds donated by foreign countries have also diminished. For example, this year Italy has destined about half of what it donated for the Red Cross, worldwide, in 2008. "

"Western States made the mistake of choosing war, opting for a solution of force, rather than working primarily with civil society."

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