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Seeing Afghanistan Through the Rhetoric

June 20, 2004

Re "Karzai Applauds Washington, Where the Feeling Is Mutual," June 16: While meeting Afghan President Hamid Karzai, President Bush stated that Afghanistan was "the first victory in the war on terrorism." Prior to this remark, 11 Chinese and three foreign aid workers were killed in Afghanistan (June 13). Aid workers live in fear, and on June 16, a roadside car bomb killed four more people. NATO is worried about security, though already postponed elections are still possible. Bush's victory statement is just another deception he hands the American people.

Robert Pisapia

Westlake Village

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In "A Tenacious Taliban Cancer" (editorial, June 17), on Afghanistan's progress toward democracy, your assertion that Pakistan has "not done enough to stop border crossings" of Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists flies in the face of reason.

Since last week, Pakistan has launched a determined, massive military and police operation against those foreign elements inimical to the interests of Pakistan, the U.S. and Afghanistan along the border with Afghanistan. To say the least, the negative editorial remark about Pakistan's commitment to the war on terror (at great cost to Pakistan's military and human resources) was not only gratuitous but, regrettably, also ill informed.

Talat Waseem

Press Counselor

Embassy of Pakistan

Washington

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Last week the United Nations declared that more than 1 million people who need humanitarian assistance are at risk in Afghanistan. Promised aid has disappeared, the people are growing opium again as their only sustainable crop and the Taliban and Al Qaeda are still a presence throughout the country. The war on terrorism will be won only when the world has eradicated poverty, hunger and helplessness, the real causes of terrorism.

Arturo Adame

Redondo Beach

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