For all of the boosterism in Canberra and Washington, what emerges is a near-total disregard for the West's efforts to foster a parliamentary democracy.
Instead, the locals look to multi-millionaire police chief Matiullah Khan and other warlord figures, fearful of the violence by which they rule their turf, but seemingly resigned to an acceptance that the new Afghanistan is very much like the old Afghanistan - a chronically corrupt society in which the first language is violence; and in which the best militia, not the best argument, wins the day
veteran Australian reporter Paul McGeough once again gives us the real picture of Afghanistan - exposing the myths and the lies about what we are told every day by our politicians and media.
For those who still see this as a simplistic "taliban vs the forces of democracy" conflict need to wake up and smell the roses. The reality is the taliban are really just a secondary issue to the real problems related to corruption, warlords and the culture of violence. McGeough merely reiterates what I have been saying all along about Afghanistan - that the counterinsurgency against "the taliban" is just one small part of the overwhelming (and altogether hopeless) challenges facing the occupation forces and their client regime. This is perfectly summed up by the quote by a top analyst lamenting that:
''There were four things to do - counter corruption, contain abuse, and reconcile the people to living with each other. There's not been much progress on those three.
''But on the fourth, counterinsurgency, we've been great. We've destroyed the insurgency three times over, and every time it's come back because we haven't done the first three things we had to do.''
the truth of what our boys are doing to "help" the Afghanis is this:
Despite an obsessive focus by the Australians and their coalition colleagues on the Taliban, there is as much or even more alarm among Afghans over the inordinate power of tribal elders and the resort to violence by a brutal warlord class, which they say has been resurrected by the same Western powers that claimed to be bringing democracy to their ravished homeland.
The Australian-backed Khan is a new-age warlord, who is positioning a well-armed personal strike force to fend off what important community figures warn will be inevitable challenges to his alternate, one-man government.
Here is our great democratic mission - to pick out which random warlord - all as corrupt and unsavoury as each other - we want to prop up, and empower him as undisputed lord of his own fiefdom. In this futile game of "pick your warlord", the war against the "taliban" is more often than not simply intervening in local tribal conflicts, in order to prop up one faction against the other. And of course as soon as we leave, that warlord will simply be toppled, and replaced by another. And so the cycle continues undeterred.
http://www.bordermail.com.au/story/1365 ... ter/?cs=12