Thursday, July 05, 2007

Realism, Not Wishful Thinking

If only the Blogging Tories would stop spitting on Jack Layton and actually listen to the people who know what is going on in Afghanistan. People like Rory Stewart:
"I see little interest on the part of the Afghan army or police to fight the Taliban in the south of Afghanistan," says Rory Stewart, a writer and former British foreign office official who now heads a charity called Turquoise Mountain dedicated to helping artisans in and around Kabul. "The Afghan government may want to keep out the Taliban, but they clearly lack either the capacity or the power to do it."... Stewart believes the most realistic way forward could be to allow a decentralized form of government in which Taliban, and other deeply conservative elements, would play a role if they were accepted by people in the regions.

"We may be forced to reconsider our theory of state-building, which is based on a centralized bureaucracy. But the Afghan government doesn't have the ability to run the country that way. The alternative would be to look to the villages, which have been running things their own way for 25 years because there was no real government."...

"The diversity of the country is enormous, and it's little understood in the West. Some people want freedom from torture, but not freedom of the press. Others believe sharia law is crucial. There are those who want minority rights, but not minority rule, and more prosperity but not market reform. And there are many who are more in sympathy with the Taliban than with foreign troops. We need a policy that's built on realism, not wishful thinking." Toronto Star. Toronto, Ont.: Apr 14, 2007. pg. A.18
It is easy to shut your cerebral cortex down and spew hate toward Jack Layton (and no I don't agree with the party's position on Afghanistan). Try turning it on, for a change and give some thought to the realities of Afghanistan. The time for telling yourselves fairy tales about creating the Switzerland of Central Asia (and hiding behind jingoism) is over.
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