Saturday, January 18, 2003

Life in Liberated Afghanistan

Maybe I'm naive, but I've always thought that if you're resorting to war, it's because that the last possible thing that will restore order. If the point of war is not to restore order and the rule of law, then what is the point of war?

That's why I'm so angry at reading this. (Via Atrios.)

Newly announced rules on female education in the western Afghan province of Herat prohibit men from teaching women or girls in private educational courses and uphold strict gender segregation in all schools, Human Rights Watch said today. Because of a shortage of female teachers, the restrictions will result in a severe limitation on the ability of women and girls to receive proper education.

Our war with Afghanistan has not liberated the Afghani people. It has not eliminated the threat of al-Qaeda. It has not caught the man responsible for the murder of nearly 3,000 people on September 11, 2001. It may not even help Bush get re-elected.

Look, I'm not even saying that we were wrong to bomb Afghanistan. (I feel that way in my heart, to use a really maudlin turn of phrase, but that's not the point I'm trying to make here.) I'm just saying that if we're going drop a bunch of explosives on a country that's already been reduced to rubble, then we sort of have the obligation to put it all right again before we go level someplace else. If we didn't take down the Taliban with the intent of putting something better in its place, then why did we do it? To make ourselves feel better? To teach the world a lesson about the United States?

Well, I think I learned something about my country, at least.

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