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Riots in Afghanistan: Your views

Kevin Anderson | 19:07 UK time, Tuesday, 30 May 2006

As Ros said, many of you wanted to talk about riots in Afghanistan after a US military vehicle crashed in Kabul and killed several people. The US military said that the vehicle's brakes failed. They said that the families would be compensated.

Here is a round up of your views, and the conversation can continue long after we go off air. Ou first caller, Farima said that US forces cannot act as they would in the West, and drive around and 'hit and run'.

Afghan expert Ahmed Rashid said, "Iraq has engaged the US and the international community so much that Afghanistan has come a very distant second."

Our callers said that the US troops have lost their popularity in the US. One caller Nafifa said that such car crashes are frequent.

The head of the BBC Pasthoservice, Andros Ilves, said it was a 'chicken-and-egg' problem. US troops drive quickly to avoid suicide bombers, but if there was a mechanical failure, it could lead to accidents like this.

People are raising the question of how there could be marches and protests so quickly. Within hours, there were marches on embassies, hotels, NGOs, and other buildings associated with the West.

Some suggest that there were groups that used this accident as an opportunity to foment anti-US, anti-Western sentiment, Andros said.

We had this anonymous text message:

The arrogance with which the Americans conduct themselves both in Iraq and Afghanistan cannot win hearts and minds but indeed hate and disdain .

Bertha Maegga sent us this text message from Dar-es Salaam Tanzania:

The complex situation in the war torn country calls for a sustained, multilateral approach from all people of good will. Some neutral parties maybe more welcome.

Carie Hagan sent us this e-mail from Huntsville, Texas USA

I agree that the international community has let the afghans down. Unfortunately here in the United States, the mediated reality that most of Americans experience is what they base their decisions and opinions on. And here the #1 rule in media is “if it bleeds it reads”. So to most Americans, Afghanistan has become a boring front, and so the invasion of Iraq took the forefront of everything because it was new & exciting.

And Laura in Washington DC in the US sent us this e-mail:

The sheer speed of the demonstrations suggests fanned anger, true, but you can't fan what isn't there. America has diverted its resources, both financial and military, to this stupid war in Iraq instead of fully defeating the jihadists in Afghanistan and helping the country financially to become stable and prosperous. We win many more friends, and more future safety, by helping financially than militarily.
Oh yes, we knew about the Taliban. Americans deeply disapproved of their repression of women and of education, but if the Taliban had't sponsored al-Qaeda, and refused to disown them even after 9/11, we wouldn't have attacked them. They warp and dishonor all Islam.

Text messages from across Africa

We had a flood of text messages from across Africa during the programme. Clara from Nigeria

The lady who spoke seems in a dilemma. You canot eat your cake and have it. You want the troops to help, but at same time they should not kill the Taleban just because they are Afghans, even when they murder innocent people. If they don't want foreign troops, let them leave them to their fate. Use the resources to protect their people and countries.

And an we received this anonymous text message:

America should rather mind their own business and sort out their stupid politics first.They are making the world even more dangerous. Killing innocent lives everyday! They have to be ashamed of themselvs! America should just leave Afganistan. the riots and demonstrations were 100% right! The foreign troops should leave!

And Teddy sent us this text message from Lagos Nigeria

It is really sad what has happened, but the authourities should not blow it out of proportion in the interest of peace.

We also received this anonymous text:

The U.S spends too many precious dollars pursuing a hopeles foreign policy. It's evident isnt it? Afganistan, Iraq, Iran, Guantanamo Bay, etc etc. Innocent people pay for it!


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