Arnon Grunberg


Keeping your promises

An article in today’s Times about Afghanistan: ‘The turning point in Wardak came when the government began to deliver on its promises, Mr. Popal said. “The Taliban, when they say something, they do it,” he explained in an interview in February. “They threaten to kill people, and they do it. But when we say we will protect you, we often do not.”’ I was reminded what a Dutch major told me last fall in Afghanistan about the civilians in the province of Oruzgan: “During the day they are more or less protected by us, during the night they are protected by the Taliban.”