Friday, August 17, 2018

Afghanistan: What and Why

The problem of Afghanistan, from an American perspective, is the fact that it is a sinkhole for many of the evils of Islam in the Asian subcontinent in direct proximity to the dysfunctions of the bastardized nation-state of Pakistan. And Pakistan has the bomb---more than just a few now. Should that precarious government fall into the Islamic abyss, then those bombs would need to be recovered if at all possible. Otherwise, they would be used.

But a problem for which there is no solution is not a problem. As they say, it is merely a condition to be endured. That struggle which is present day Afghanistan does serve a purpose in stabilizing a greater system. As long as the central urban skeleton of Afghanistan continues independent of Taliban control, then Afghanistan acts as a killing field for the castaways of the slums of Quetta. The government of Pakistan avoids its most direct threat and no one is much the worse. To maintain this balance becomes just another cost of global prosperity. Since it is displaced upon America, you might say if you wish, that it is part and parcel of the "white man's burden".

But we believe that it needn't be so. We hope that we all might be better to our fellow man and that such suffering is not absolutely necessary. Is there a way from this quagmire to a place less odious?

In short, no. As long as there is Islam, there will be places such as Afghanistan. But by itself, Afghanistan would die a slow heat death as one generation of fighters grows old without greater conquest. To contain the Taliban's expansion is to bleed it to death. The Taliban is ultimately maintained by the throwaway wealth of the global jihad--by petrodollars of Riyadh.

Islam is a system that gives moral license to those who would take from others rather than to create. As a revelation-based theology, it is not possible to disprove its central tenets and to reform its masses. To cause a following for Islam, one must simply have a want to take rather than to create. There are many of such people in the slums of Quetta and the oil palaces of Riyadh. These are not people that grew to value an honest day's work and it is not within their culture to change that predisposition. The cause of that dysfunction is the excess of free wealth in Riyadh and the dearth of the apparatus of wealth in Quetta. This pipeline of misery flows both ways.

The positive evolution of Afghanistan is not unlike the ultimate evolution of Cuba. Once external funding is cut and the opium exports are eradicated, a slow process of reform will eventually overtake the country and drive out the death cult. It will take decades, not months.

Until then, the best we can do is to learn to value patience and discipline ourselves against acts of rash stupidity. We must continue to allow the derelicts of Quetta to learn the hard way as we demand that the princes of Riyadh learn the easy way. So far, we are now on the right track, but it would serve us to do away with the opium as we mind the palaces.