Is the situation in Afghanistan improving at all?

Don't Panic! ... Your war questions answered

click to enlarge Is the situation in Afghanistan improving at all? - Andisheh Nouraee
Andisheh Nouraee
Is the situation in Afghanistan improving at all?

Dear Prince Harry:

How goes it?

First of all, before I forget, I just want to say thanks for putting together that Concert For Diana thing last summer. Who else but you and your bro would have thunk to put Andrea Bocelli, Donny Osmond and Kanye West on the same bill? Genius! I'm so glad I get BBC America on my cable.

And kudos for not letting (Sir) Elton John sing the "Candle In Wind" remake he did for your mom. I know Elton meant well, but the lyrics are retarded. "It seems to me you lived your life like a candle in the wind, never fading with the sunset when the rain set in." Pardon my French, Your Highness, but what the fuck does that even mean? What kind of candle fades in the wind and rain? A trick party candle, maybe.

Anyway, the reason I'm writing to you is Afghanistan.

You recently fought in the British army in Afghanistan. Your service to the United Kingdom was valiant. According to reports, which I'm sure were in no way exaggerated by the British military's public relations department, you killed 30 Taliban while you were there. You killed more Taliban than Henry VIII killed wives. Prince Terminator.

Even more impressive than your killing prowess, your presence in Afghanistan finally got the American broadcast media to start paying attention to Afghanistan again.

Our TV news programs couldn't resist airing footage of a prince in harm's way.

OK, so Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, The Insider and Extra aren't really news, but beggars can't be choosers, right?

Which gets me to the heart of my letter.

I need you to go back to Afghanistan.

A lot of bad stuff is happening there and no one here realizes it. The way I figure, the best way to draw attention to it is to have you standing there looking all cute like you do, while someone stands next to you and explains what's wrong. It's the only way I can think of that Americans are going to listen to just how badly the War On Terror™ is going in Afghanistan.

Here's the plan.

We call a press conference somewhere in Kabul that's relatively safe. Maybe the U.S. embassy there.

When the cameras show up, we can have you standing next to Matt Waldman, the Afghanistan policy adviser for the charity group Oxfam. While you do that cute, squinty smile thing you do, he can talk about how foreign aid donors have failed to deliver on their commitments.

Of the $25 billion pledged by foreign governments to Afghanistan since 2001, only $15 billion has been delivered. And of that $15 billion, an estimated 40 percent ended up going back to the donor countries in the form of corporate profits, consulting fees and salaries.

When Waldman's done, I would have you take off your shirt while the U.S. director of national intelligence repeats what he told the Senate Armed Services Committee in February about how Afghanistan's central government only controls 30 percent of the country. Another 10 percent is controlled by the Taliban, and the rest by local tribal leaders.

Next we're gonna have you strip down to a Speedo while NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer (that's really his name) warns us about how NATO member nations are wavering in their commitment to keep troops in Afghanistan — threatening the NATO mission to help stabilize the country. Taliban attacks, including suicide bombings, are happening more often now than at any time since the U.S. invasion in 2001. At least 8,000 Afghans died last year in the violence.

Then, we could bring your hot blond heiress girlfriend, Chelsy Davy, to the podium. While the two of you suck face and grope, someone from the Afghan government could explain how the United States has failed to stop neighboring Pakistan from incubating Taliban fighters and al-Qaeda. If NATO's troop presence dwindles in Afghanistan, the Taliban and al-Qaeda could take over and use the country once again as a launching pad for 9/11-style attacks.

I checked online; it'll cost $8,175 to get you and Chelsy round-trip tickets from London to Kabul — first class, of course. If you don't have the cash, ask your grandmother. Maybe she can pawn one of her rubies or something.

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