‘Very large numbers of Americans — soldiers and civilians, including every conceivable kind of aid worker — have been in Afghanistan since 2001. The American government has built schools, hospitals, roads. It has lavished money on all kinds of projects. It has fought the Taliban, and gotten rid of Al-Qaeda. It rescued the Hazara from extermination, by those Uber-Sunni Taliban. It has put in place elections. Afghans living in America have gone back to help, as they saw it, to revive their country.
But Afghanistan remains in thrall to Islam, primitive Islam, Islam in a country that is full of violence and aggression.
You can see the violence, the aggression, the superstition, the fanatical desire to “protect Islam” by beating, and then burning to death, a woman who, apparently, was mentally defective (but what if she hadn’t been? What if she had burned a Qur’an? Would her murder then be justified?). This happened not in some remote rural area — though such things happen there, out of the sight of cameras and reporters, all the time — but in the middle of the capital, Kabul. And there were armed police, according to eye-witnesses, standing right there, doing nothing to stop what these maddened Musilms were doing as they ran amok.
Is what Afghanistan needs really a “democracy” where the primitives certainly outnumber the handful of advanced secularists? No. What Afghanistan needs is not a crazed crook and depressive, like Karzai, but an enlightened despot who understands that Islam needs to be tied down, constrained, so that enough people can be raised up who live not in the fanatical Muslim world, but in something like the world of the non-Muslim West. Yet the American government, run apparently by people who believe that “democracy” is the highest good always and everywhere, no matter what the conditions of men, or of their lands, probably because they never sufficiently studied the history of democracy, of the places where, over slow time, it developed. How many Americans, for example, now study the history of English law, or the early history of American law? Perhaps Elizabeth Warren’s husband, Bruce Mann, might be persuaded to offer a llittle course, for the Democrats at least, on what it was in the history of the West, and especially of England and then of America, that created the conditions that make “democracy” make sense. In Afghanistan, it doesn’t — any more than it did in Turkey in 1922, or in Tunisia in 1954.