Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Does this picture justify US occupation of Afghanistan?

Time has this cover picture of a pretty Afghan girl with her nose missing. Sliced off by her husband after he chopped off her ears. If Aisha didn’t have such pretty hair, one could see that her ears are missing as well. Aisha’s husband’s actions were sanctioned by a Taliban judge, for Aisha had committed a heinous crime – she had run away from her abusive in-laws. Human rights activists constantly say that events like this one justify the US occupation of Afghanistan. In my opinion, they don’t. For one, Aisha suffered thus a year ago, when the US was occupying Afghanistan. In other words, US presence in Afghanistan did not make a whit of difference to Aisha. Things are unlikely to change even if the US stays on for another 30 years.

Things would have been different in Afghanistan if the US hadn’t supported the Mujahiddin when the Soviets occupied Afghanistan. The Soviets were no different from modern day Americans. They too wanted to impose their (commie) values on Afghanistan and they would have succeeded if the Americans hadn’t decided that an Islamic Afghanistan was better than a communist one. Even after the Soviets left, if only the Americans had allowed Najibullah’s regime survive, matters would have been different. May be Aisha might not have suffered thus. Here is a very good Huffington Post article on this point.

As Ben Hur’s childhood friend Messala said, to fight an idea, you need another idea. The Soviets had communism in addition to their weapons, as they fought in Afghanistan. Soviet style communism had so many flaws, but do the Americans have anything half as good?

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