With the news that the Afghanistan Government is in secret talks with the Taliban to end almost 10 years of war it seems like it is time to find out what went wrong.
Could it be (as I’m sure some are going to claim) that our failure in Afghanistan is the karmic result of the “fact” that our presence there was not predicated on any reason, moral right or principle at all?
Let’s examine that idea.
Let us disregard for a moment the reason we went there in the first place, forget that the terrorist attacks of 9/11 ever occurred, that almost three thousand innocents died, certainly that is no reason to go to war.
Forget that once we found ourselves in that medieval throwback of a nation, that we tried to give them the benefit of every advancement in social theory from the time of the Protestant Reformation to The Women’s Rights movement. On what principle do we call for a separation of church and state? What ideal underscores the equality of men and women? Surely there is none at all, and this sort of trifling issue could never be worth the blood that has been shed.
Let’s overlook that once committed to the task, that we wanted Afghanistan to evolve from the politics of the feudal state to a modern liberal democratic republic. Surely there is nothing they need to learn from us. Look at the ideas forwarded by the Magna Carta, The Declaration of Independence, Charters and Bills of Rights, certainly none of this is worth fighting for!
Yes, let’s ignore all this and examine for a moment the possibility that our failure is some sort of mystical retribution for the arrogance of assuming that our culture, or the rights we enjoy, or our form of government or our secular laws were ever worthy of protection or of being spread.