Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Are we losing Afghanistan?

No, it's not April Fool, it's not even the Taliban winning, it's the government we are supporting. The Daily Telegraph reports that Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai has signed a new law legalising marital rape. The Telegraph continues that the unpublished law...

"is believed to state women can only seek work, education or doctor's appointments with their husband's permission.

Only fathers and grandfathers are granted custody of children under the law, according to the United Nations Development Fund for Women."

The Guardian reports:

"Senator Humaira Namati, a member of the upper house of the Afghan parliament, said the law was "worse than during the Taliban". "Anyone who spoke out was accused of being against Islam," she said."

It is believed the law is part of a strategy to win votes in the upcoming election. The US government has raised it directly with Hamid Karzai.

The point should be clear. Aid is dependent entirely on Afghanistan moving towards more individual rights and freedom, and should be pulled if the opposite happens.

Idiot Savant thinks it calls into question New Zealand's military commitment to Afghanistan, (Which he opposes, preferring Afghanistan be left to the Taliban presumably). What it SHOULD do is question all aid, and New Zealand should support a united front of all countries with military presence supporting the fragile democracy in Afghanistan to demand that this means protecting individual rights.

It is important to fight the Taliban, it provides succour for Al Qaeda, part of the Iraqi insurgency and is pushing into Pakistan. It is the dead enemy of Western civilisation. Afghanistan's government should not look like a Taliban-lite.

Afghanistan should be a constitutional liberal democracy that guarantees basic individual rights and freedoms. If foreign troops are not there defending, nurturing and protecting that, they are doing less than half their job.

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