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Afghanistan: lack of law and order « Previous | |Next »
August 5, 2003

You do not hear much about Afghanistan in Australian newspapers. It has faded away into the history of yesterday. What the newspapers say is that the Taliban have been vanquished, a pro-western regime is in place in Kabul and Al Quaedi is on the run in the hills.

Afghanistan has been liberated. That is the image today.

Well, that's the image one gets. There are occasional cracks. It appears that the "remnants" of the Taliban are regrouping and flexing their muscle.

It is otherwise judging by this report from The Washington Post. Violence is on the rise, the country appears to be in the hands of war lords and reconstruction is proceeding slowly. The funds that were offered to Afghanistan for reconstruction have been slow to arrive and are less than promised.

The US may well be the hegemonic power in the region but the old cop on the beat scenario ain't working to control the chaos. (link courtesy of Hesiod at Counterspin Central). There are not enough cops on the ground to ensure law and order and the international cavalry has yet to make an appearance to prevent things from spiralling out of control. Time is making things worse not better.

A democratic Afghanistan, which is a beacon light for freedom in the Middle East, is a western fantasy. The reality is that Afghanistan is run by warlords who are subsidized from the US public purse.

Rebuilding on the cheap?

But Afghanistan does remind us that not everything in the Middle East revolves around the contained Palestinian Israeli war.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 7:55 PM | | Comments (1)


From a certain viewpoint, things are just rosy in Afghanistan. The polity is fractured, the population is impoverished, infrastructure is mostly destroyed and the next generation will grow up in neo-Mediaeval hopelessness. It is likely that such an outcome is precisely what was desired. It suits a lot of people (mostly in the US, mostly in oil companies) to reduce Middle Eastern/Central Asian countries to picturesque ruin - they are much less able to resist gross violations of national sovreignty that way. Talk of "rebuilding" Afghanistan or Iraq is just PR aimed at a homeland audience which learned a little about the Marshall Plan in school.