Monday, March 29, 2010

Afghans say they've heard it all before - USA Today

KABUL, Afghanistan — Over the course of his 60 years in Afghanistan, Ghulam Ghaus has heard promises from an Afghan king, Soviet commanders, mujahedin fighters and Taliban mullahs. Over the last decade, he's heard from two U.S. presidents and countless coalition officials.

"Many countries have come to help and they've built bridges, roads, schools and hospitals. Many presidents have come and given speeches," Ghaus said. "But what have they done for security?"

Ghaus echoed the sentiments of many Afghans in Kabul on Monday as they responded to Obama's first trip to the war-torn country as president.

Shafiqllah Anwari, 36, a Kabul house painter, said the visit gave him hope that Americans won't forget about Afghanistan the way they did in the years immediately after the ouster of the Taliban. "His trip assured me that U.S. support will continue," Anwari said. "It shows that the American people continue to support Afghanistan."

Mohammad Khan, a member of the Afghan parliament, felt the trip was intended to scold Karzai for recent visits to Iran, Pakistan and China.

"In the private talks, (Obama) must have pressed on these issues," Khan said. "It's not possible to maintain two strategies: to have friendship (with the Americans) and to make plots with America's enemies."

"We have been promised so many times," "Afghanistan has been at war for 30 years and our ears have heard a lot. But we have seen very little." Afghans say they've heard it all before - USATODAY

Opinion among Afghans is divided on Obama's visit - latimes
Obama takes personal approach


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