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February 01, 2011


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'Paul Flynn: Has it been worth the sacrifice of 350 of our valiant British soldiers to protect the election-rigging President of Afghanistan who refuses to arrest his corrupt brother, the vice president who was caught smuggling $51 million to his bolthole in Dubai, or the Government cronies who have stolen 7% of the country’s GDP from the national bank? Is not the truth that it is not the system that is corrupt in Afghanistan, but that corruption is the system?'

Indeed. There is no incentive for the Afghan government to deliver on its stated commitment to reduce corruption or to make use of any 'assistance' to achieve this:

'American investigators say many of Mr Karzai's closest advisers, some with regulatory responsibilities over the Afghan financial system, are implicated in the scandal.

Some are viewed by Western donors as the most accomplished members of Mr Karzai's cabinet, like Farouk Wardak, the Education Minister, or Haneef Atmar, the former interior minister.'


Afghanistan is treated as some sort of naughty child. Going back through the involvement in the 1980s and the 'Great Game' of the 19th century this province on the edge of the empire is seen as a source of potential disturbance. Again we will learn the lesson that it would be better for all if Afghanistan were left alone to determine its own future according to its own traditions.

Instead we have the global powers interfering and leaving destruction in their wake. "This regime is too islamic/ left wing/ under the influence of Russia etc. for our taste."

Real reconstruction is what is needed for Afghanistan's future. There are a number of obstacles in the way of this. Firstly, the corruption which leads to substandard, useless work being done.

Secondly, the futile war which is only going to end in defeat for NATO. This coming at a time when America's influence and standing is decaying. Their military dominance is a crutch which a demoralising defeat will take away. As a backlash they will elect a complete imbecile for President such as Sarah Palin.


Someone please tell me that this is intended to be a parody.


Your efforts are very commendable. These questions need to be asked. But the horror is, what would you have done about the terrorists in Afghanistan?. If you had to decide, what would you have done? Would you have done nothing? There is no reason to suppose that the option of doing nothing is unreasonable. But, had you done nothing, suppose that the UK had been subjected to a sustained series of suicide bomb attacks on sports stadiums, airports, etc by people who arrived in the country claiming asylum?

It seems to me to be true that the Gov (and Parliament in general) is trying like mad to avoid the real issue - which is that the ideas of asylum and human rights need to be re-thought. Put simply, we have been led to believe that there is some sort of 'celestial', eternal understanding of human rights. A sort of 'spiritual' thing. But that idea falls apart when reality intervenes. For example, it was suggested that, when Saddam Hussein was deposed, his widow and children could claim asylum in the UK 'because their human rights might be at risk in Iraq'. (And, they most certainly were!) It was also thought that many of Saddam's torturers might claim asylum here for the same reasons.

And so we come to the conclusion that the human rights of any individual depend upon the behaviour of that individual, and not upon some sort of 'celestial' idea of human rights. Had Hitler been captured, would he, the murder of millions of Jews, have been allowed to claim 'human rights' to enjoy family life, etc?

I'm sorry to go on so, but, as I see it, intellect must take precedence over emotion.

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