By Marie Cocco, Washington Post Writers Group. Posted November 28, 2007.
As the disaster in Iraq continues, the forgotten country of Afghanistan is on the
verge of becoming another widespread human rights disaster.
Winter approaches, and as many as 400,000 Afghans face starvation. The trouble is not an insufficient supply of food. There is no way to get food to those who need it.
Attacks on aid workers and the hijacking of food convoys -- the United Nations' main feeding program says it has lost about 100,000 tons of food to attacks by insurgents and criminals so far this year -- have made it all but impossible to transport supplies along the main road connecting vast stretches of the country between Kandahar in the south and Herat in the west.
Nothing exposes a hollow promise like the prospect of mass starvation. By now, six years after the United States and its Western allies launched military operations to avenge the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and free Afghanistan from the grip of the Taliban, humanitarian workers surely should not be forced to give up on feeding the desperate. But this is only one measure of our catastrophic failure.