Tuesday, April 1, 2008

plus ça change

It’s been seven years since the Afghan campaign started. Seven years since we allegedly ‘freed’ Afghanistan. It was all going to be better.
Certainly some things are. And then other things just didn’t change. From today's
Wiredispatch:

Afghanistan's lower house of Parliament passed a resolution Monday seeking to bar television programs from showing dancing and other practices deemed un-Islamic.

Part of the reason for this is the devolvement of the power and influence of the Afghan government. It’s area of influence has shrunk so far as to barely make it viable. Poppy crops are breaking records, the Taliban are resurgent and the government, in a bid to keep the radicals happy, is toeing the line.

It’s fallout from the Iraq debacle. Had the US and the UK focused on maintaining a presence there, on actually getting aid to the country, instead of gallivanting about on the Euphrates, something may have truly changed in Afghanistan.

I wonder what a fraction of the money that’s been poured into Iraq would have accomplished in Afghanistan. As of today, even Kabul only has power in fits and starts, the majority of the Afghan population is still on the verge of starvation, it still ranks as one of the country’s with the highest infant mortality rate, still ranks as one of the world’s least developed.

The right would have us believe, that the mission to Afghanistan and Iraq were both altruistically motivated. Anyone with even a glimmer of intelligence will have realized that that is not the case. But as both Iraq and Afghanistan and Iraq regress into a fundamentalist framework, it becomes glaringly obvious that Western governments don’t give a hoot about the freedoms of the people there.

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