I’d like to begin by saying that I sometimes agree with foreign intervention. Controversially, I support the war in Iraq because I believe that we have helped the Iraqi people become freer by liberating them from the genocidal Saddam Hussein. I believe that if and when we do intervene abroad it does have to be to make people more free.
I know the arguments in favour of the war in Afghanistan. The Taliban are evil. We’re saving people from terror. The list goes on. However I can’t support the war, not only because it’s just not possible win a war in Afghanistan (ask the Soviets, us many times in the past and the Romans), although that does ensure that the conflict is a waste of money, resources and most importantly – lives. I can’t support the conflict because it seems to me that the people with whom we hope to replace the Taliban with are only marginally better, but have the same anti-liberal, chauvinistic attitudes as the infamous organisation.
Let me take you back to 2009. In that year Karzai (the president) signed a law that made it permissible for a man to rape his wife if she refused to have sex with him. On top of that, women were prevented from leaving the house without permission from their husband and women could only get a job or a doctor’s appointment with permission from their spouse. Why did Karzai support this? It seems to me that there are two possible reasons for it: a) because he believes it, in which case we should not be risking the lives of our soldiers in order to help prop up a man who will oppress women; or b) for electioneering purposes, in which case we should not be risking the lives of our soldiers in order to help prop up a man willing to give away the rights of women in order to win some votes.
On top of this disgusting legislation, which was later repealed at the insistence of the US, there is other proof of sexism in the Afghanistan government – for in 2011, a woman was pardoned from jail for adultery after having been RAPED only after she agreed to marry her rapist!
There have been allegations, and very convincing allegations at that, that Karzai took part in electoral fraud and in extreme corruption, and if you want to find out more about that it’s only a Google (or Bing if you swing that way) search away.
Ultimately Hamid Karzai and his government are not much better than the Taliban were. Not only is it impossible to win a war in Afghanistan, but the war we are fighting is resulting in our troops dying in the defence of a sexist and corrupt regime. That is not right. You can’t win a war in Afghanistan, and after this very expensive intervention that will be ending shortly, the only people who can be perceived as winners are the misogynists in charge of the regime.