It was the worst natural disaster there in two decades. That, in a country where natural and human disasters seem the norm, is saying something - yet in a way that's part of the problem: so accustomed are we today to the view of Afghans as victims, it's becoming difficult to hear stories like that of Aab Barik and still be moved.
Syria has been, by and large, relegated from the front page to the 'World News' sections of quality papers. Politicians no longer mention the fate of that nation and its occupants - and, if they can summon up the courage, they do so in mundane statements, of the sort which bloodlessly assert how truly awful it all is.
Tony Blair, seen by some as one of the worst because of the so-called illegal and immoral war in Iraq, last week offered a stark analysis of Radical Islam, this century's "biggest threat to global security" on a par with environmental and economic challenges. The speech was derided by those who think that shouting warmonger suffices but merits close inspection.
In the government's latest Orwellian measure, mothers and wives of "would-be jihadists" are being urged to report on their loved ones, avowedly to "prevent tragedies". It won't escape notice however, that despite protestations to the contrary, a message emanating from the police carries criminalising potential.
When the House of Commons voted to reject military action to protect the citizens of Syria from tyranny - both political and religious - MPs plunged this country, and the world, into the terrifying situation that exists in the region today. Non-intervention has cost Britain and NATO respect on the international stage...