THE NEWS from Afghanistan has been nothing but bad, and every indication is of worse to come. By the end of 2014, the Afghan people will be on their own, as they were in 2001 before the arrival — at local invitation — of British and American forces. Recall that twelve years ago the Islamist dirtbags who constituted the Taliban held Kabul, where they supervised a fanatical program of demodernization and terror punctuated by regularly scheduled mass executions. Imagine trying to re-engineer a nation of the twenty-first century along bronze age specifications, and you’ve got the idea — or, rather, don’t imagine it: the experiment was there before the eyes of anyone who cared to look. Now that the war-weary West has thrown its arms around the convenient fiction that the Taliban are ready for a negotiated re-entry (or is it entry?) to the twenty-first century, let’s review a sample of the bad tidings.