Wednesday, December 12, 2007

New York Times: Afghan Suffering

Image © Tyler Hicks/NYTimes-All Rights Reserved

This is how the New York Times' article starts:

"The Afghan boy crouched near a wall in this remote village, where the Taliban’s strength has prevented the government from providing services. His eyes were coated by an opaque yellow sheath. Sgt. Nick Graham, an American Army medic, approached. The villagers crowded around. They said the boy’s name was Hayatullah. He was 10 years old and developed the eye disease six years ago. “Can you help him?” a man asked.

Sergeant Graham examined the boy. He was blind. There was nothing the medic could do."

The photographs in the accompanying slideshow feature is by Tyler Hicks, one of my favorite photojournalists, and they ram home the fact that Afghanistan is strangled by underdevelopment, governmental corruption and incompetence, poverty, illiteracy and by the regressive ideology of the Taliban.

There's no question in my mind that the only way to defeat this repellent ideology is by doing exactly what the American Army medics are doing...and expanding it further. Not only is it the humanitarian thing to do, but it offers what the Taliban seem incapable of providing: compassion for human beings and for fellow Muslims...a fundamental tenet of Islam.

Tyler Hicks' photographs are here

The article is by C.J. Chivers, and is here

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