Breaking news this morning from Afghanistan about the frightening circumstances surrounding the arrival of U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta appears to support ongoing evidence that the world is, in fact, becoming a more dangerous place.
According to The New York Times, however, the fiery car that was driven toward Panetta’s airplane, shows no evidence that this was an attack on the Secretary of Defense.
George Little, the Pentagon press secretary, said the stolen truck never exploded, counter to some early reports.
Mr. Little said Mr. Panetta was never in danger but he could not explain the Afghan’s motive or whether he was a suicide attacker aiming for Mr. Panetta’s plane. Nor could he explain why the Afghan was on fire. “For reasons that are totally unknown to us at this time, our personnel discovered that he was ablaze,” Mr. Little said. “He ran, he jumped on to a truck, base personnel put the fire out and he was immediately treated for burn injuries.”
Regardless of the Afghan’s intent, Afghanistan has proven to be a very dangerous place, both leading up to, and following the horrifying massacre carried out by an American soldier who, on Sunday, killed 16 civilians, mostly women and children in villages near Kandahar.
Pulitzer Prize-nominated photojournalist Michael Kamber offers The Good Men Project a rare insider’s perspective on how the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the actions of a few rogue U.S. soldiers, have created unstable and increasingly dangerous situations, not only for the United States and its allies, but also for the citizens of those countries.
In his piece “Afghan Lessons From Iraq”, Kamber explains:
I realize my painful lessons from Iraq are directly relevant to our current situation in Afghanistan. The most important of these lessons is the need for clear-eyed assessment and an end to what I term “magical thinking” on the part of American leadership.
For years, I listened as generals and politicians carried on about how the US was instilling democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Iraq, and how the Iraqi people valued the lessons we bestowed upon them. In lauding our troops’ final departure, President Obama lauded the vigorous democracy and free press we left behind.
In fact, nothing of the kind exists in Iraq, nor will it exist in Afghanistan.
To read the rest of Kamber’s chilling description of what life is really like in Afghanistan and Post-War Iraq, click here.
Photos by Michael Kamber. All rights reserved. Used with permission.