ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Archive for September 8th, 2009

Good Analogy.

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Over at Dave Osler’s socialists, “anti-imperialists”, believers in the ‘armed struggle’ and others are arguing over the Taliban and Afghanistan.

It is not a pretty discussion (if it can be called that, with all of the name calling and deliberate bad faith), but one poster, Michael, made a very good analogy:

Imagine if the US was controlled by religious extremists – and Dubya’s government doesn’t really count – a government whose treatment of its citizens, and in particular women, was brutal. Then someone invades them and installs a creaky government whose democratic principles are creaky as well. Are you going to back the wingnut KKK resistance or the dodgy foreign-backed government?

Me? Wouldn’t wholeheartedly support either. Although in the cold sobering light of day I might say the creaky not-quite-perfect foreign sponsored government would be a better platform for the growth of better human rights, better democracy, a better more inclusive education system and all-round improvement for society.

Update 1: We often tend to forget the previous situation in Afghanistan when the Taliban ruled it, and their crimes they perpetrated, just as a reminder:

Amnesty’s 1999 report on Afghanistan: The human rights of minorities.

HRW’s 2001 report on the massacres of Hazaras in Afghanistan.

HRW’s 1998 report Afghanistan: The Massacre in Mazar-I Sharif.

HRW’s 2001 report on the use of child soldiers by Taliban in Afghanistan.

Update 2: Here’s Amnesty’s report on Afghanistan: Women in Afghanistan: Pawns in men’s power struggles.

Update 3:
Another Amnesty report on the Taliban’s deliberate killing of civilians, Afghanistan: summary execution of civilians in Yakaolang.

Update 4: More on the Taliban massacre at Mazar-i Sharif in 1998. HRW’s put it at 2000. The Hazara Nation blog has a more detailed account.

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08/09/2009 at 22:02

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Women In The Not So Modern World.

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Read Flesh is Grass on the treatment of women around the world, and what is more surprising is how little indignation is found in the West over these brutal and barbaric examples.

I suspect that Universalism is often seen to apply to Western countries only, but a certain type of lazy racism, that racism of low expectations and reverse colonial thinking is partly to blame.

Written by modernityblog

08/09/2009 at 00:28