Sunday, April 26, 2009

Paging Descartes: Afghan Dreaming

I have to admit my subconscious' humanitarian efforts always put my awake state to shame.

Last night, I had a dream that I was in Afghanistan. I was in Kandahar where the Canadian forces are stationed. Across the street past the barricades, I could see little Afghan children playing under the watchful eyes of the Taliban.

I believe one of the grave mistakes, the US made in Pakistan was that they just handed over 10 billion dollars to the former Pakistani President Musharraf, without any accountability. I think the drone attacks, which Obama supports, further polarize Pakistanis. Before 9/11 there were hardly any extremist groups in Pakistan, but now the Taliban control majority of the Northern Pakistan.

Handing out weapons, and backing corrupt governments is not the way to secure our borders. In Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson shows us that with education we can eradicate the spread of extremist ideology in the region. But, sadly, we would rather solve the problems with weapons, and power exertion; than providing them with the basic necessities, such as proper health care, and education. Poverty nurtures terrorism. Not religion.

I see the US repeating the same mistake in Afghanistan. The US backed Karzai government in Afghanistan is corrupt and weak. Instead of funding the military to tame the ungovernable Afghanistan, we can spend the same money on setting up pharmaceutical industries in Afghanistan, which would not only put an end to the opium drug trafficking, but would also create jobs.

I have no faith in the world leaders to solve our problems, but what gives me hope is people like Fatima Gailani, who are changing lives in one of the most intolerant countries.


Maria Sondule said...

The US tends to make decisions based on what's good in the short run rather than what's best overall. We need to learn to think ahead and try to understand rather than to change, because change comes only when one knows about the problem.
I hope that made sense. Spouting my mouth off usually creates confusion..

Zany said...

I couldn't have put it in better words. I completely agree with you. What I find disheartening is that over my own lifetime in the past 20+ years our problems have become more severe. Africa is still poor. Asian countries which were doing somewhat okay a decade ago, cannot sustain on their own.