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Jason Holliston
 
Wednesday, August 06, 2003  
Misunderstanding Americans

I ran across this column, written by an Indian, through Reason's Hit & Run. If you're still interested in what's going on in Afghanistan, and you should, then it's worth a read. At the least, the writer convinces me of something that was self-evident quite a while ago -- America has itself in quite a diplomatic knot with Pakistan, India, Russia, Iran, and the Karzai government all involved. What we're going to do and what we should do isn't very clear in this case. It's certainly not as clear as with Iraq. His thesis is that the U.S. is manuvering to abandon the Karzai government and hand control over to Pakistan, allowing the Taliban to gain power again:

Karzai shared with Ahmed Rashid his belief, like that of the average Afghan today, that the answer to that question lies in an understanding reached between the United States and Pakistan during Musharraf's visit to Camp David, that Afghanistan could be, in effect, "sub-contracted" to Pakistan.

This is just a classic misunderstanding of Americans, as far as I see it. What do you think would happen if in 2 or 3 years, the Taliban gained control of Kabul again? Do you think the Jacksonian public would put up with it? Not a chance. The majority of the government would demand that military action be taken immediately to again depose the disgusting group of fanatics. It wouldn't matter if it came to light that our government had made some sort of a deal.

The only reason I can think that this writer would make such a logical blunder is just ignorance of how America works and how America thinks. I do agree, though, that we should be doing more to rebuild the country and punish the Taliban resurgence. The only reason I can think of why we haven't is our attention on Iraq, but again, what our ultimate plans are remains murky to me.

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