It was one of those statements that takes your breath away, one of those official utterances that hits you in the gut with that feeling of unreality, of "OMFG, George Orwell was right!"
Mark Sedwill, NATO's top civilian envoy in Afghanistan, commented publicly this week to the effect that children in Kabul were safer than children in London, Glasgow, or New York.
Afghanistan has the second-highest infant mortality rate in the world at 151 per 1000. In contrast, the UK has an infant mortality of 4.69 per 1000, and the USA is at an embarrassingly high 6.14 per 1000.
In terms of child mortality, (recorded separately from infant mortality, which is the deaths in the first year), one Afghan child in five dies before his/her 5th birthday.
So tell me, dear reader, where do assholes like Mark Sedwill get statements like that from? Are they written by speechwriters, and pre-scripted? Does the man just pull them out of his ass upon the spur of the moment? Perhaps more importantly, how stupid do they think we are? Do they not realize that we have such information at our (virtual) fingertips?
Or is it simply a case, as I increasingly suspect of late, that our governments are in the control of the criminally incompetent?