Tuesday, 28 July 2009

British War Aims In Afghanistan

What's wrong with accepting that the majority of people in Afghanistan and the Third World in general are content to live in the seventh century, just as many people in the west read the bible literally or have no greater cultural desires than X-Factor or Emmerdale? Why can't large tracts of the world be established as cultural protection reserves* where indigenous peoples can live out their lives free of western liberal enlightenment, science and technology? Without that care the particular knowledge of societies handed down through hundreds of generations will be lost for ever. The reserves would be sustainable because a lack of modern medicine, electricity, etc would limit population growth. Should anyone wish to leave and live in the west they must agree to accept our values and renounce theirs.

* Yes, just like the Savage Reservation in Brave New World.


Anonymous said...

Well, the main war aim is supposed to be to prevent Al Qaeda using the 'bad lands' between Afghanistan and Pakistan (new phrase that cropped up yesterday) as a base for launching terror attacks. The establishment of Afghanistan as a 'Western-style' liberal democracy is merely a secondary war aim ('the best way to defeat the Taliban / Al Qaeda in Afghanistan is to create a strong West-friendly democracy there') and a secondary justification for our presence.

Neither objective, as currently conceived, is realistic. Indeed, it is we who have driven the Taliban and Al Qaeda into those 'bad lands' and into Pakistan itself through our military activities in Afghanistan. We should pull out primarily because no one's security is being served by our being there (which means that the fighting is wholly unjustified), and not because the Afghans are simply incapable of progressing into the 21st century. But we're still going to have to reach some sort of accommodation between the modern West and traditional societies, whether Islamic or other.

The truth is perhaps we should try to learn from each other, rather than assume we in the West have all of the answers - which we manifestly do not. And a willingness to learn from each other is a precondition for peaceful co-existence, which is supposedly what we all want.

Gallimaufry said...

Many thanks for your erudite contribution. I agree with your comments. However, the manifest aim of Al-Quaeda to establish a world caliphate is difficult to square with the peaceful co-existence that all reasonable people in the West want.

James Higham said...

Should anyone wish to leave and live in the west they must agree to accept our values and renounce theirs.

Ah but they won't though. They want Britain their way.