Afghanistan; the ‘Big Lie’….

Fascinating piece in the pages of The Guardian today which really does expose the futility of the Afghan mission and Nick Clegg’s continued support for ‘liberal interventionism’. It is written by an Afghani women who was the youngest person elected to the new Parliament in 2005. She opens her article calling the democracy in Afghanistan a ‘facade’ and a ‘big lie’.

She empathises with the bereaved relatives of British war dead but says;

“It is my view that these British casualties, like the many thousands of Afghan civilian dead, are victims of the unjust policies that the Nato countries have pursued under the leadership of the US government.

Almost eight years after the Taliban regime was toppled, our hopes for a truly democratic and independent Afghanistan have been betrayed by the continued domination of fundamentalists and by a brutal occupation that ultimately serves only American strategic interests in the region.”

She goes onto say that Karzai government is full of ‘brothers in creed’ to the Taliban and explains the persecution she suffers in this supposed ‘paradise’ of democracy;

“For expressing my views I have been expelled from my seat in parliament, and I have survived numerous assassination attempts. The fact that I was kicked out of office while brutal warlords enjoyed immunity from prosecution for their crimes should tell you all you need to know about the “democracy” backed by Nato troops.”

Women’s position has not improved she says (which is supposedly one of the great gains of the intervention). You have to ask at this point what all the fatalities are in aid of especially when it is pointed out;

“Some say that if foreign troops leave Afghanistan will descend into civil war. But what about the civil war and catastrophe of today? The longer this occupation continues, the worse the civil war will be.”

Nick Clegg has admonished his own party to ‘grow-up’ over tuition fees and spending commitments but that is a little hard to swallow from somebody who naively wants to play GI Joe in Afghanistan feeling that ‘interventionism’ is the panacea for all evils.

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About darrellgoodliffe

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2 responses to “Afghanistan; the ‘Big Lie’….”

  1. Geoff Payne says :

    Good to see that I am not the only Lib Dem opposed to our continuing occupation of Afghanistan.
    I think the fundamental flaw of the Lib Dem position is that we are supporting a policy of occupation in a country where we have very little local support. What support we do have is in the Afghani government which appears to be corrupt and unpopular. We cannot assemble a local militia that mounts a serious threat to the Taliban, so we have to do it ourselves. That is a very big burden to bear.
    The complaint that we do not have enough helicopters is simply another way of saying we are losing the war. We can always have more troops, more helicopters, but we really need them when we are losing.
    The party establishment will say that the strategy they support is more about winning hearts and minds than military conflict. Of course it is easy to criticise GW Bush for blundering in and not understanding the need to do that. But they can’t say that about Barack Obama. He understands that, but up until now he too has failed on that score.
    The problem that we face in the UK is that together with the US we cannot come to terms with our diminishing power in the world, and cannot come to terms with the fact that the many of the problems in the world, no matter how much they need solving are actually insoluble. As far as Afghanistan is concerned, there is little good we can do, whether we stay or leave.

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  2. darrellgoodliffe says :

    Geoff,

    It is indeed. I think there are more of us out there to be honest than maybe meets the eye at first.

    I think the fundemental flaw stems from Nick Clegg thinking this kind of interventionism actually works and nobody has substantively proved to me that there is a major difference here between Clegg’s ideological committment to these courses of action and Tony Blair’s. Sure Clegg hides behind legalistic verbiage to square the circle of supporting Iraq but not Afghanistan but in essence there is no difference there.

    When we talk about interventionism of this character we have to be very specific in taking it to mean militay invasion, occupation and regime change. Looked at through that prism; the ‘Kosovo comparison’ simply doesnt hold water because that never was a action aimed at the above but merely to enforce the norms of international law and it was left to the Serbian people to dealiver their own verdict on the Serbian government of the time. It also has to be said that even that example is fraught with difficulties as the KLA hardly behaved in a model way in some instances.

    Your right about lacking local support but that always tends to be the case when you occupy a sovereign territory because pure and simple much though people might hate a regime they dont particularly like foregn tanks rolling through their back garden either not to mention the inevitable civilian casulties.

    Agreed that we are losing this war and will continue to do so; I think the party leadership is actually being oppotunistic and it’s position is bourne of an unwillingness to actually break the political consensus in support of our occupation of Afghanistan. Plus the above mentioned committment of the leader to intervention.

    Also agree about the mentality in both the UK and US which simply will not accept global realities and actually prefaces them with a totally unrealistic world view and the belife that can be imposed by us because we know it is right; actually it is tinted with imperialistic shades and the notion that the way to civilise the world is at the tip of a sword.

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