Saturday, November 7, 2009

Afghanistan's Pretentions of Sovereignty

The Karzai government is complaining that "foreign critics" are "interfering in Afghanistan's internal affairs." According to the foreign ministry, calls for specific reforms "exceeded international norms" and "violated respect for Afghanistan's national sovereignty." The Afghan attitude would be pretty funny if we weren't sacrificing the lives our soldiers and spending vast amounts of money to help the country.

You know what else causes disrespect for Afghanistan's national sovereignty? How about a corrupt, ineffective central government that only retains power through electoral fraud? The same government can't even begin to control its own territory, hasn't been able to build an effective army or national police force despite massive foreign assistance, and is utterly dependent on U.S. and other aid. Yet this government feels entitled to whine about its sovereignty. Wouldn't it be nice if the Afghan government were actually working to build a country that might someday deserve respect, or would show the tiniest bit of gratitude toward the other nations trying to help it?  There are few governments less entitled to pretensions of national sovereignty than that of Afghanistan.

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