United States And Afghanistan; Hope Of An Agreement

The United States pre-World Cup schedule keeps filling up

And so there were numerous pleas from the citizens of Chicago, saying, “Let’s get the sewage out and send it to the West and to where people don’t care about it.” So, they did build first of all the Illinois and Michigan Canal … and then finally they took it upon themselves this engineer called Isham Randolph to build an almighty canal to serve the dual purpose of sending the sewage out to the West, but also to allow ocean-going ships. A longtime journalist with The Guardian, Simon Winchester is also the author of The Professor and the Madman. Setsuko Winchester/Courtesy of Harper A longtime journalist with The Guardian, Simon Winchester is also the author of The Professor and the Madman. Setsuko Winchester/Courtesy of Harper On the “wire rope express,” a name for the early telegraph That was the name given by Native Americans to this peculiar phenomenon of a copper or metal wire suspended between poles. … Samuel Morse’s telegraph that allowed the transmission of information from one corner of America to the other in seconds changed everything. And, of course, it led the way to the telephone and radio and television and, of course, to the Internet. So Samuel Morse: hugely important figure. On two American presidents and one massive road system This remarkable, curmudgeonly man Thomas MacDonald who was the chief of the Bureau of Roads was called into the Oval Office by FDR, who unrolled an enormous map and drew, with a chinagraph pencil, three lines east and west, five lines north and south and said to MacDonald, “Build me a road system along those lines.” But it was actually Eisenhower who, long before that, had the first idea of the system, and that was in 1919. Just after the first world war, the American National War College was somewhat afraid that … the United States might be attacked by an “Asiatic enemy,” and by that presumably they meant the Japanese. How do we get troops as rapidly as possible across the country by such roads or railways as exist?

“Tonight we reached some sort of agreements,” Karzai told a news conference, speaking through an interpreter. U.S. officials said they wanted the pact finalized by the end of October and Kerry’s visit was seen as a last-ditch effort to push the deal through before the deadline. The United States is insisting it cannot agree to a deal unless it is granted the right to try US citizens who break the law in Afghanistan at home in the United States. A senior US administration official said the sides had agreed on language in the draft deal that covers the issue of immunity and “that can be put to his Loya Jirga for their consideration.” “We need to say that if the issue of jurisdiction cannot be resolved, then unfortunately there cannot be a bilateral security agreement,” Kerry told a news conference. Karzai said the talks had focused on protecting Afghan sovereignty and that major differences had been resolved, including a US request to run independent counter-terrorism missions on Afghan territory. Such operations carried out by the United States have long infuriated the Afghan president, who had been demanding Washington agree to share intelligence instead. Karzai said the U.S. snatching of a senior Pakistani Taliban commander was an example of the kind of action that Afghanistan wanted to avoid. “This is an issue that we have raised in earnest with the United States in the past few days as we have all previous occasions of such arrests in which the Afghan laws were disregarded,” Karzai said, referring to the capture of commander Latif Mehsud. “Therefore our discussion today in particular has been focused on making sure that through the bilateral security agreement such violations are not repeated.” Kerry attributed the complaint to a misunderstanding. “We followed the normal procedures that the United States follows, we did what we are supposed to do,” he said. In view of the negotiations, which have taken place between the two countries, following are some observations: * Agreement on discussion of issues that effect the process of reconciliation in Afghanistan is a positive signal. * Agreement on the need to further consider steps for resolution of differences is a welcome development.

A longtime journalist with The Guardian, Simon Winchester is also the author of The Professor and the Madman.

Soccer keeps reminding us how few opportunities there will be to gather the first team ahead of next summers World Cup. No opportunity can be wasted. Thats why the United States Soccer federation has announced its latest friendly, set for Nov. 19 in Vienna against Austria . These teams havent met since 1998. That match will follow a Nov. 15 contest against Scotland at Glasgows famed Hampden Park. Thats the last well see of the national team until the annual January camp which will look quite different this time around. U.S. Soccer isnt officially talking about the January camp yet, but officials will quietly allow that part of the camp will take place in Brazil. It will still be a camp for MLS types and for any Scandinavian league men on break.