BAGHLAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- The man standing up at the provincial governor's audience seemed agitated but forceful. He told of a dream in which the Prophet Mohammed had instructed him to go forth and tell the people that the foreigners are the enemies of Islam, and that the faithful should all join the Taliban to fight them.
The man was quickly ushered out, while the governor visibly rolled his eyes. But it was a clear reminder of how close to the surface animosity against foreigners runs in this previously stable part of Afghanistan.
The security situation in Baghlan, hitherto a relatively peaceful province just north of Kabul, has been going downhill for about a year, along with the rest of the north. Insurgent attacks on convoys along the main north-south highway, an important artery for NATO supplies, have become commonplace, as have raids on police checkpoints.