Compare this quote:
The U.S. and others are helping to train a new Afghan national army, a force committed not to one group or faction but to the defense of the entire nation, which we hope will allow Afghans to take responsibility for their own security rather than relying on foreign forces. Already 28 countries have offered weapons, equipment, funds and support for this effort.
We’ve averted a humanitarian catastrophe. The U.S. and coalition partners have delivered some 500,000 metric tons of food since the start of the war, enough to feed almost 7 million needy Afghans. Thanks to those efforts, the grim predictions of starvation last winter never came to pass. De-mining teams from Norway, Denmark, Britain, Poland and Jordan have helped clear land mines from hundreds of thousands of square meters of terrain, although I must say there is still an enormous number of land mines in that country. U.S. civil affairs team have dug wells, built hospitals, repaired roads and rebuilt schools. Jordan built a hospital in Mazar-e Sharif that has now treated more than 86,000 patients, including 18,000 children. Russia’s cleared out and rebuilt the Salang Tunnel, the main artery linking Kabul with the North, allowing transportation of thousands of tons of food, medicine and supplies.
Together with coalition partners, we rounded up some 600 terrorists in Afghanistan and many hundreds more worldwide. They’re being interrogated. They are yielding information that is helping to prevent further violence and bloodshed.
But perhaps the most important measure of progress is the flow of people. Since January, many — literally many hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees and internally displaced persons have returned to their home. When it comes to coalition efforts, the Afghan people are voting with their feet. They’re coming back to their homes. And indeed, it is a vote of confidence in the progress that’s being made in Afghanistan.
To this quote:
The American air campaign in Afghanistan has produced a pattern of mistakes that have killed hundreds of Afghan civilians.
The first is the daily briefing on the status of Afghanistan and the War on Terror by Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. The second quote is from the NY Times, which was observed and commented on in detail by Michael Moynihan at the Politburo.
If you do not read the Politburo, you should. It is a damn fine blog, and I find it to be one of the most aesthetically pleasing blogs out there. Thanks to the Blogfather for the heads up on this post.