Comment on: Afghanistan: A Whole New Approach
There’s a nice Willie Nelson song that includes the lines — “walking is better than running away/ and crawling ain’t no good at all.”
The ignominious departure from Afghanistan of almost every colonial power has had a remarkable result. The Afghan people have survived. They never wanted the interlopers.
Throughout AfPak the chorus is succinct, Leave.
If one is to “do” development, one might wish to reexamine the philanthropic underpinnings of the current model. Who is served by our philanthropy? If one analyzes the results of our capitalist/philanthropic endeavors, the conclusion might well be that we participate in a form of benign genocide. Things are structured so that the ironic utterance of Jesus that the poor are always with us is ever the case.
However, back to Willie. We need to walk out of there. Not run away. Not fight on.
We have a crisis right here. Solving it will do more for the rest of the world than any effort we might make to “do” development in the provinces of Afghanistan. Our project is weaning ourselves from an economy of abundance to one of sustainability. No small part of our flirtation with continued colonial adventure may be our fear of facing such music.