Monday, October 24, 2005

Forcing freedom on the Afghanis

More than three years after the American military intervened in Afghanistan's civil war, the Afghanis have voted on a president and a parliment. According to some, the ability to place your mark on a ballot is the definition of freedom.

Still, a person who speaks out on religious matters is at risk of being executed by the state (not to mention the other gangs out there). I'm not saying that the Afghanis aren't more free now than they were under the Taliban, and I'm not saying that we should not have intervened in Afghanistan -- after all, our primary purpose wasn't to liberate the Afghanis.

I just want to point out that we can't impose freedom on a foriegn country, despite the common opinion of Bush's supporters. This idea that foreign forces can transform domestic political culture at will is pure megalomania. Not only is this notion at odds with most of our experience, but it is logicaly self-contradictory: FREEDOM CANNOT BE FORCED. Our military interventions have rarely changed the domestic political culture, and when it has, it was in the context of a larger war (the Cold War) where the subjected country needed our patronage to protect them from foreign invasion.

Thanks to Dadahead for the pointer

1 comment:

liberranter said...

Amen! How sad it is that as often as we expound on common sense, as you have done here, that so many still fail to "get the message." One would have thought that the Vietnam War would have taught many generations of Americans to come the costly futility of trying to build nations at the point of a bayonet.

Alas, we're clearly still part of the "slower learner" demographic.