Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Democracy - Afghanistan Style

You'll know when conditions in Afghanistan (and Iraq for that matter) have really turned around. It'll be the day when politicians like Harpo no longer have to skulk in on "surprise" visits. Let's face it, the people Stevie is trying to take by surprise are those he figures have a good enough chance to blow his smug ass out of the air before he can set foot in Kandahar if word leaks out. They're the bad guys and we can't give Steve enough protection against them that he can fly in announced.

So, anyway, just how are things going in Afghanistan? Well, if you read today's National Post, we've all but won. The Taliban are a "spent force" in Kandahar, all but finished. Uh, sure, okay.

How 'bout that pinnacle of Afghanistan's liberation, its parliament or Loya Jirga? Some snags there, one of them being outspoken female MP, Malalai Joya. Isn't that typical. Give a woman a seat in parliament and she still won't do as she's told! This uppity female has been a real pain to the men in parliament. They've pelted her with water bottles, even lustilly joined together to call for her to be raped. They tried to off her a couple of times (okay, so it was four times). Did she get the message? NO she di'int!

But now Malalai has really torn it. She had the nerve to call the parliament "worse than a zoo." The gall! Well it didn't take long for the menfolk to sort out this nonsense. They voted (overwhelmingly I might add) to suspend her from parliament for the balance of her 5-year term.

"Most of Ms Joya's campaigning has been about women's rights, which have been severely eroded after initial gains made with the fall of the Taliban in 2001. Women activists, including the highest-ranking official dealing with female empowerment, Safia Amajan, have been murdered.

"Ms Joya said: 'Talking about women's rights in Afghanistan is a joke. There really have not been any fundamental changes, the Taliban were driven off by the Americans and the British but then they were allowed to be replaced by warlords who also simply cannot see women as equals.'

"She added: 'Those of us who speak up are targets. My friends and colleagues have been assassinated. They have tried to kill me four times, the last attack was in Kabul which is the capital of this country which is supposed to be secure and democratic. And then if you try to speak up in parliament their first reaction is to try to gag you.'"

Hey, Harpo's over there. Karzai even turned out to greet him. Why doesn't Little Stevie sort this out. After all, he's a champion of democracy and women's rights, right?


Jay said...

Yikes, what a bad photo of Harper.

It looks like he's choking on his soul trying to escape. Or is he choking on the souls of others?

billg said...

I dont get you. On one hand you want Canada to do all it can to reduce our GHG emmissions, maybe work for the next 20 years and cut one half of 2% of the worlds emmissions...its not enough to stop global warming, its not even enough to make a dent, but, your all about starting, about making a difference. Fine. Great. I'll give you that. But, on the other hand, day by day Canada makes a difference in Afghanastan. A child starts school every day that wouldnt 3 years ago, a school is built, a well is drilled, a make shift tent is now a medical centre, every day a soldier wearing a Canadian flag makes a difference. Its not easy, its not pretty..but, its a start, its a begining. I dont understand your passion and conviction for something we dont control (Koyoto), but, everyday in Afghanastan we make a difference, and you'd rather we leave and leave now. Why?

The Mound of Sound said...

Sorry Bill but I doubt that Canada is making any lasting improvement to Afghanistan. If you really want to help Afgan civilians, buy'em a ticket to Canada. When 55-year olds can sell their 12-year old daughters to other 55-year olds, that child starting school business is pretty hollow. Since we're sacrificing the lives of our young to keep the other warlords safe from the Taliban warlords (until they cut a deal), we have every right to demand that the thug parliamentarians begin acting democratically. If they want to throw their country all to Hell, why should we not find one of any number of places where our troops could really make a difference?
As for global warming, as I've written before, there are answers to the problem. The best solutions are already foreclosed. The "best remaining" will soon be gone. But don't worry, Bill, there will be an answer. We just probably won't be very happy with what we have to accept when we're finally ready to say "uncle."
If you want hope, for the Afghan kids and our own, climate change is a universal problem and one we can deal with - if we choose.