Conflict & Justice

The impact of 9/11 in Afghanistan

Kabul's main tourist market is about the only place you'll see a visible marker commemorating 9/11, some random towels that show planes crashing into The World Trade Centers. It's a strange carpet. For this market seller, he says everything takes time but the improvements in Afghanistan are undeniable: health care, better roads and infrastructure, etc. but few other shopkeepers on the street agree. Suicide bombers have seen this street as a key target, and business has been dead, says this shopkeeper, who thinks this time is worse than when the Taliban ruled. There are some who are pleased to see the U.S. struggling here, mainly supporters of the Taliban. This young man says he fought alongside Bin Laden in Tora Bora and he wound up in Guantanamo for six years, and came back to Afghanistan just in April. He thinks all of Afghanistan is turning against the foreign forces here, especially because of civilians killed in military actions. Those who share his views are in the minority, but that doesn't mean the majority is content, says this newspaper editor. He says the government is riddled with corruption. He comes from the exact opposite end of the spectrum: he fought with the Northern Alliance against Bin Laden. He was hopeful that 9/11 meant a new day for Afghanistan, but now he blames the coalition troops for allowing the Taliban to regroup and become stronger.

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