Recently there has been a lot of talk about the persecution of woman in Afghanistan. This isn’t new in fact it has been going on for a long time even when the USA was supporting the Mujahideen. Nor is this limited to Afghanistan. This problem is happening all over the world.
(First posted on Open Salon August 24 2010)
Now it seems as if they may be using this as an excuse to maintain troops in Afghanistan. If so then they should do what they claim they’re doing and they should do it consistently not just when it suits the purposes of those that are justifying the latest military activity.
The following was posted on tripod 12/10/09 on this subject it is just one of many commentaries that have received little or no attention from the Mass Media on this subject:
Protect the Afghan Schools, and the schools of many other third world countries including Uganda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Columbia, Sri Lanka and many more. This doesn’t mean the right to abuse these children by the natives should be protected though. This is easier said than done of course.
The long term hopes for peace depend on how the children of the next generation are educated. If the USA and other western countries truly want to advance democracy around the world the most important thing is to teach the children right and provide them with an education that enables them to set up their own government and run it themselves. Past efforts to negotiate with local warlords to keep the peace have failed to do this. What may often happen in many countries is that local leaders are put in place with the help of the western governments who are sympathetic to the ideologies of the west. They often wind up dealing with western corporations in a manner that puts capitalism ahead of the best interest of the people they are supposed to serve. The resources are often plundered from many of these third world countries and used to promote the best interest of a small number of rich people at the expense of the majority. The most effective way to avoid this is to make the best education possible available to these children. In the modern age this should also involve developing a good supply of computers hooked up to the internet so that these children can benefit from a vast source of information.
There needs to be more concern with minimizing collateral damage to prevent a large number of people from joining the forces that are fighting the western countries the best way to do this may involve greater risk to American and allied soldiers but if they truly are trying to advance democracy this is what needs to be done. There is an enormous amount of propaganda about how these soldiers are sacrificing their lives to preserve freedom but this often proves not to be the case. If they want to back up this propaganda with honesty they need to do as much to protect the schools and other social institutions as they often say they do. If the Western countries led by the USA truly want to be considered the protectors of the world they need to consider the needs of less educated people who don’t know how to run their own governments and stand up for their own rights. In order to do this the local people need a much better access to education than they have had in the past.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali and other authors have written about how many third world countries have a very violent culture that encourages strict disciplinarian methods that often cross the line to child abuse which tends to teach the children to become violent when they grow up. This will not help these countries look out for their own best interests but lead to more constant fighting. It may not be easy to tell them that they need to try to do a better job raising their children but in the long term that is what needs to be done. There needs to be a better education system set up to help young parents as well as the children. Many of these parents were raised in violent homes themselves so this may not be quick in many cases. Some of these parents may be more open to criticism than others so they should be the ones in the short term to receive help since it may be the most effective. However the ones that are the most likely to resist criticism can’t be ignored since they may be the ones who wind up raising the most dysfunctional children. There needs to be more safe places for children so that they can grow up without fear. If they can’t protect them every where right off the bat they might want to consider safety zones that can gradually be expanded until whole countries become stable and prosperous.
There have been efforts like this in the past to reeducate children and they have often involved indoctrination rather than education. Hitler was one of the most famous ones that did this with the Hitler Youth. Hitler was at one point competing with Eugenio Pacelli over who would control the Schools and neither of the two was very open to fact checking. Both sides wanted to dictate the truth to the children based on their own ideology or religion. This needs to be avoided. The best way to do this is to make sure there is an open system set up that allows for fact checks. Different points of view need to be considered before finding out what is true. There may be a lot of resistance from people who want to protect their way of life and in most cases this should be respected but if their way of life involves setting up an indoctrination system that turns the public into a virtual slave class then it will mean they are protecting the way of life of the tyrants at the expense of the innocent who deserve to have their rights protected. It is often very difficult to tell who is truly more interested in looking out for the best interest of the public or who is just trying to appear to look out for the best interest of the public. To do this often takes time and a calm look at the details.
One of the most common excuses why this shouldn’t be done is that you can’t force democracy on the public which is true but you can force tyranny on the public and this is often what happens when people settle for this answer. It is also true that more can be done so that these people get a better education so that they can choose democracy on their own. The excuse that you can’t force democracy may sound good at a glance but a closer look will expose flaws in this excuse.(For more information on Blog see Blog description and table of context for most older posts.)