Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Irshad Manji No Longer Believes in the Afghan Mission

Reading this piece by Irshad Manji caught me by surprise. One of the great voices of women's rights in the Islamic world thinks it may be too difficult to reform Afghanistan:
There was a time when I believed. With every fibre of my feminist Muslim being, I believed in our Afghanistan mission. No longer.

On Sunday, the Taliban assassinated another Afghan women's rights activist. It happened only days after the world learned of yet one more anti-female statute that Afghan President Hamid Karzai had signed into law. Critics accused him of caving in to warlords ahead of the coming elections. Only when Western voices amplified the protests of liberal Afghans did Mr. Karzai put the law "under review." Human-rights advocates called it a triumph.

The victory, such as it is, will be short-lived. I'm increasingly convinced that Afghanistan's problem lies deeper than a recalcitrant Taliban or a gutless central government. It's a problem so profound that for the first time I have to ask: Should our troops just get out?

When somebody as optimistic as Manji thinks reform is impossible, then we have to conclude that she's right.

This leaves us only one reason to be in Afghanistan: To ensure that they don't build a base for world wide terrorism. This certainly is important but becomes moot when they have these bases right next door in Pakistan.

Why do we continue this mission over there when it's not working?

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