The Toll – 8/22/10 – The Culture Divide

by Dave McGill

Americans may never fully understand the gap between their culture and that of Islam.

From the official titles of this nation’s military operations, it is clear that the message the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan intend to convey is that the United States is the purveyor of “freedom” to societies that are desperately in need of it.
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The Toll – 8/15/10 – Aid and Missiles

by Dave McGill

Floods, and now cholera, continue to disrupt the lives of Pakistanis, especially those living near the Indus River bordering the tribal areas along the Afghan border. The UN has announced that 14 million people are affected and the death toll, so far, is about 1,500. There is concern that the crisis is destroying the nation’s fragile economy and undermining its political stability.
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The Toll – 8/1/10 – Corruption Nearly Equals GDP

by Dave McGill

The Washington Post reported on Thursday that, according to NATO officials, corruption in Afghanistan, including black market activity, amounts to $12.3 billion per year, slightly less than the nation’s GDP. The take includes $2.5 billion in bribes and $1 billion stolen from the Afghan government.
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The Toll – 7/18/10 – Where the Long War May Be Headed

by Dave McGill

For those who hope, and perhaps believe, that the United States will become a less hostile nation, the recent appointment of General James N. Mattis as top dog in the U.S. Central Command might not bring a great deal of comfort. The general, who is now technically Petraeus’ boss, has previously revealed a surprisingly belligerent outlook when it comes to war.
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