< meta name="DC.Date.Valid.End" content="20050825"> Amendment Nine: The Forgotten War

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Forgotten War

We have so many wars going on, its easy to forget the one that started it all... Afghanistan. According to the NATO commander if it isn't under control in 6 months, its lost.
"If we collectively ... do not exploit this winter to start achieving concrete and visible improvement," then some 70 percent of Afghans could switch sides, Richards told The Associated Press.
What never ceases to amaze me is the "transcendental" argument which neocons and indeed, pro-globalization folks make all the time. It essentially works like this: "if "we" (i.e. the west) stays and does Y, then democracy and free trade will spread in area X." This is the epitome of white liberalism as I've always known it. "Oh those poor savages, they just need to see the Queen's Navy, Christ's word, and let us teach them proper English." There's a real view out there that freedom is something outside of personal decisionmaking. That somehow we give freedom to people through some form of warfare or governmental change. I wonder what these folks think of Epictetus?

Anyway, when 70 percent of the population isn't with you, you've lost. Doesn't matter how many ballot boxes you set up, nor how many pray meetings, nor how many soldiers die for the cause, and certainly doesn't matter how many landings your president does on an aircraft carrier. The concrete, underlying choices made by the people who live on the ground dictates the "march of freedom". Trade pacts, cluster bombs and sit ins don't.