Four Americans have been killed in Afghanistan by raging Afghan soldiers -- and about 20 Afghans have died in protest rioting -- because some Qurans inadvertently were burned at a U.S. base. This is lunacy. American Christians wouldn't plunge into murderous violence if someone burned a Bible. The Afghans are behaving like savages.
Other troubles plague the mountainous Asian nation. For example:
Thousands of alleged "teachers" in Afghan schools can't read or write, and are completely ignorant of class topics, research by the Institute for War & Peace Reporting found. But it hardly matters, because most of their schools are closed, and they continue getting government paychecks through rampant corruption.
For instance, the institute reported, Ghor province has 4,000 teachers on the payroll -- but perhaps 3,200 of them are illiterate and never teach, because 80 percent of province's schools are abandoned. The provincial education chief, Ahmad Tawab, is under arrest on bribery charges.
This is the so-called Afghan "democracy" for which American soldiers continue to die.
Meanwhile, a female member of Afghanistan's parliament, Fawzia Koofi, has written a book, The Favored Daughter, describing the plight of women in that country's puritanical, male-dominated society.
Her father, a political leader in Badakhshan province, had seven wives and 23 children. When Koofi was born, she was put outside to die because she was female. She suffered severe sunburn, but her illiterate mother furtively rescued her. After her father was murdered in never-ending political violence, she was taken to the capital, Kabul, and allowed to attend school.
But the rise of the Taliban theocracy wiped out female education and imposed extreme taboos forbidding all entertainments and pleasures in the mountain nation. Women had "fewer rights than dogs," Koofi wrote. After the Taliban were toppled, some democratic rights began to grow, and girls returned to schools. But Afghanistan remains barbaric, compared to Western freedoms.
As we've said before, it's absurd for America to spend billions of taxpayer dollars and risk American soldiers' lives in an attempt to create a modern democracy in such a primitive region. Washington doesn't impose military occupation and "nation-building" on other countries that are just as backward -- so why waste U.S. wealth and lives in Afghanistan?
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is correct when he says it's time to stop pouring billions into Afghanistan and bring the money home to help the United States.