The approach that I’ve attempted in my book No Regrets is to simply tell the story. Lay out what happened/happens in Afghanistan/Nation Building and let people decide for themselves if it’s good, bad or somewhere in between. I try not to lead to an opinion.
My opinion is that the Afghans are not ready for “democracy” or even Republicanism/Pluralism. They are still tribal, patriarchal, superstitious (religious) and, by our standards, medieval. There is nothing that an outside force can do to elevate them to a higher plain.
For the most part, they still sell their daughters into marriage. They still see dark people as inferior. They still believe that non-believers (in Islam) are inferior. Their politicians are corrupt and see that as the way of business and governance.
Warlords still rule every facet of political life, social justice and still guide the way through violence or the threat of violence. Mullahs still rule the social sphere. Islam guides their thinking to a large degree.
We can only influence and hope that they integrate some of our mannerisms, culture (political and social) and values into their way of life. In many ways we have done this already — positively and negatively. However, the people of Afghanistan are a long way off from becoming anything resembling what the West would recognize as civilized or modern. They’re somewhere around 1500 in terms of Western attitudes and such.
Women have no real rights. Factions vie for power in the post-ISAF Coalition Afghanistan, corrupt officials steal every silver coin upon which they can lay their thieving hands and Mullahs still spout lies that America or the West is trying to crush Islam when, in fact, most of the West could care less about Islam except to the degree that it violently affects our cultures because of their obsessions over Israel, Wahhabism and a new Qaliphate over all of the old Muslim possessions.
I still keep an ear to the ground in Afghanistan as I care very much what happens to that nation and it’s people. I have friends there. I’ve heard rumors that the Taliban, or some factions thereof, are leery about the post-Coalition Afghanistan. These talibs worry over the influences of Iran and Pakistan. They are suspicious of the aims of those two Muslim nations.
However, China is out there to play some role in the post-Coalition Afghanistan. China has invested billions in the region and has a vested interest in a peaceful, non-fundamentalist Afghanistan.
I hope my books creates discussion of some sort . I’d love that. Aside from lining my pockets, it might enlighten a few muddled headed souls about Islam, nation building and the US Coalition among other things. How’s that for naivite’ and arrogance all rolled into one?
There are, of course, many negatives to the story of Afghanistan and our efforts therein. Yet, there are also stories of hope and kindness. There are patriots in that nation that wish for a strong, healthy Afghan Republic that is free of insurgents, Taliban, coalitions, war and violence. Many private citizens work hard in the private arena to bring business to the country and to bring employment and build a strong economy with which Afghanistan can forge ahead.
Within the coalition, as misguided as it may sometimes be, there are many who work hard during their tours of duty in the Stan to leave behind a lasting legacy. Schools are built. Water pumps installed in villages that, theretofore, had no running water. Hospitals are established and staffed. Fire Stations are manned and equipped.
There are many who wish work to halt corruption and to find a way to work for the future.
If these folks are supported and successful, Afghanistan may prevail. May the Gods be with them, comfort them and carry them to a day of promise and fulfillment.