Afghani Universities .... $934.4 million of US aid for ungrateful students

U.S. Funds Buy No Love at Afghan College


Nangarhar University is a symbol of American largess: U.S. taxpayers foot the bill for dormitories, classrooms and computer labs.

Increasingly dominating the campus of Afghanistan's second largest university, however, are Islamist activists who openly sympathize with the Taliban.

"The Taliban are the people who are defending this country," said Hamad, a leader of the self-appointed Nangarhar University student council that organizes regular demonstrations against the U.S. and President Hamid Karzai's government. "The foreign troops are invaders."

The council is described by other students as a well-organized group that can muster hundreds of protesters on a moment's notice. Afghan and U.S. officials are taking note: Nangarhar University student demonstrations, which routinely block the main highway connecting Kabul to Jalalabad and the Pakistani border, feature the white flag of the Taliban and the green flag of Hezb-e Islami, the movement of anti-U.S. warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

The students sometimes also fly the black banner used by al Qaeda. Afghanistan's national flag, explains Hamad, a 24-year-old Islamic-studies student from the northern province of Baghlan who didn't want to have his full name used, "has not maintained its integrity."

The student militancy sweeping Afghan campuses ahead of the U.S.-led coalition's withdrawal next year isn't limited to Nangarhar. In late May, hundreds of students rallied outside the Afghan capital's prestigious Kabul University to protest against legislation that criminalizes violence against women. "That demonstration really made me worried, that's where you can see the radicalization of the youth," said Najla Ayubi, a women's rights activist and former judge.

This rise of extremism among Afghan students—some of the biggest direct beneficiaries of U.S. assistance—underscores the lack of goodwill that more than a decade of American taxpayer money has bought here. It also harks back to a potent precedent in recent Afghan history. Many of Afghanistan's mujahedeen warlords who combated the Soviets, each other and the U.S. over the past three decades, including Mr. Hekmatyar, started out in politics as student activists in the 1970s.

...... The international community's investment in the Afghan university system is part of a larger development portfolio: Since 2002, the U.S. Agency for International Development has spent a combined $934.4 million on education here.
Comment: Makes me sick! Frankly this is but a microcosm of virtually all US aid to the Arab world. Examples ... Iraq & Egypt.

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