Thursday, October 08, 2009

Have We Already Won In Afghanistan?

Only 100 or so Al Qaida members remain in Afghanistan. They are in hiding.

America has defeated Al Qaida in Afghanistan to the point that no one is left to sign a surrender document.

We cannot leave without a surrender document.

So we stick around to fight all the people who want us to leave.

This includes the Taliban, who think that strict enforcement of religious law will set society straight. If Afghan society were perhaps a little less stressed by our warring presence, their perception of a need for religious government would probably decline.

Our presence - drunken, naked, carousing embassy guards and all - is no gift to Democracy, only to the power of those we befriend.

We had hoped to leave them with a functioning democracy. But our protege, their president Hamid Karzai, already likely for re-election, decided to stuff the ballot boxes just to be sure.

This appears to be a part of the world where love of power exceeds love of Democracy.

Can we fight them into loving Democracy? Or is Democracy rather a garden to be watered?

Forget nation-building. How can we nurture Democracy?

Perhaps we can set an example. Now that Al Qaida is gone, can we hold a vote and Democratically decide that we have won?

That would give us the document we need.

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