a world away from “Jingle Bell Rock” and Currier & Ives, there is a Dickensian nightmare, where babies are succumbing to the cold, where gruel is being cooked over a fire stoked with garbage, where a father cringes in shame because he cannot even buy his son an apple.
This a world we should know but to which most of us plead ignorance. It is Afghanistan, where, according to new accounts by the United Nations and independent Non-Governmental Agencies (NGOs), the crisis of refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) is worse than the first years of the decade-long foreign occupation. From the squatter slums in Kabul to the dystopian purgatory they call “camps” pressing out from the cities and into the rural areas, tens of thousands of Afghans are settling into to endure the winter – in many cases with no more than a tarp over their heads – rather than go back to their homes as targets for both Taliban and international forces.
IF the complete destabilization of Afghanistan, and the complete and utter disruption of the lives of noncombatants, were the objectives here, one can well say, "mission accomplished".