Monday, July 23, 2007

Afghanistan- Kites for Hearts and Minds?

Polish troops serving with ISAF in Afghanistan have started distributing ISAF-logoed kites to poor children in Ghazni province.

'With big grins and excited chattering, the children jumped up and down shouting, "Patang! Patang!" (the Pashto word for kite.) Soon the sky had several of the yellow, green and red kites with International Security Assitance Forces logos flying, much to the delight of the children dancing around below.

"These kites are so much fun," said Mahmad-Amid Hahn, a 12-year- old boy, as he made whooping sounds while his kite dipped and swerved in the air. "The Taliban would never give us these things." For the children who had never seen a kite before, some of the Polish soldiers stepped in to assist, unfolding the kites and showing them how to take off with a running start to get it airborne.'

One has to wonder if the ISAF-flags won't be yet another magnet for Taliban forces looking to see who has colluded with foreign forces, that violence will provoke more visits by foreign troops... the cycle of accusations of collusion will continue.