Bashar Al Assad must be rubbing his hands with glee. His heavily armed security forces and henchmen are killing the Syrian people right under the noses of the UN observers and the noses and ears of the silent witnesses Kofi Annan and Ban Ki-Moon. The UN and NATO are unwittingly providing cover for the massacres in Syria.
At a women's shelter I saw some of the consequences of Afghanistan's ingrained patriarchy. I talked to a teenage girl married off to a 70-year-old man who then suffered sustained beatings at the hands of the man's family. I also heard from a young widow who explained how she'd escaped her father-in-law who wanted to force her into marriage after her first husband had died.
When Secretary of State Clinton and all the NATO foreign and defense ministers convene in Brussels today, they will have one issue topping their agenda: the tumultuous, fragile situation in Afghanistan. With the deadline to withdraw from Afghanistan fast approaching, the enigma of finding a lasting solution has become even more perplexing.