Sunday, February 11, 2007


Won't be updating for a while. 2 of my relatives are very, very ill and I am trying to catch-up/prepare for the exam. I won't be responding to e-mails for a while either. Please keep my relatives in your prayers and/or send healing vibes to them.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Parliament a deux

I wrote a long, in-depth explanation on the proposed legislation but I started to bore myself. It can be summarized to:

I thought that the new proposed law granting immunity to fighters of the previous wars, including persons responsible for heinous crimes, was different from the National Reconciliation charter. The National Reconciliation Shura is attempting to bring many fighting Afghans back into the fold. It’s different in that it’s not proposing a law giving wide-scale immunity.

I’m too busy to look it up now but it looks like I am wrong. I want to touch upon a few other points though. Askar Gu Raiz’s comments were thought-provoking and I’d like to babble on about this situation. I stated in my previous post, “No wonder most local Afghans don't want Western-style democracy. They have a better chance of justice when there is one 'good' leader rather than a whole lot of folks who have capitalized on the bloodshed.”

Well, as MC Serch says, “Say what you mean and mean what you say” [Yes, that’s right, I just referenced MC Serch of The White Rapper Show. That’s just me. You have to ‘Do you’ (that’s reference #2, for those keeping track). For the record, I think it’ll be a Persia-Shamrock Final.]

I was pretty angry about the whole situation. That these Wakils, who have only passed one law since the start of Parliament, would have the audacity to write, debate and approve this bootleg law. Heck, it makes me angry now.

The role of democratic institutions (Parliament voted in by the people, Judicial system and etc) is to provide checks and balances on each other while serving the people. However, in a post-conflict country like Afghanistan, these institutions are often used to co-opt or integrate persons who would otherwise rebel against the government. Couple this with voters who are largely illiterate and are afraid of said leaders – well, it’s not the best function of democracy. While stability may be achieved, the institutions perceived as ‘Western’ (Parliament and etc), lose credibility because they are not speaking out against abuses heaped on Afghans.

So I come back to my statement of, “No wonder most local Afghans don't want Western-style democracy.” I fell into my most-hated of traps, the ‘Things would be better if we had a dictator’ trap. Sure, I didn’t say it, but I felt it. I wanted a magic wand that would create an environment where local Afghans wouldn’t be afraid to speak out against such abuses. That’s never going to happen by magic. We're going to have to do it ourselves.

But, I take it back. It’s not perfect, but democracy is working, albeit imperfectly and grudgingly. The international and domestic community speaking out against the law has given the President and other groups (some within the Parliament) some help in opposing the law. The recent news that President Karzai has sent law to his experts to review the constitutionality of the law is positive. That’s exactly what should be done.

So, drop by drop, we make a river.

Hallelujah Holla back (That’s reference #3)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Oooooooh, no they didn't

But yes, yes they did:
Afghan parliament approves bill on amnesty for 'war criminals'
Afghanistan' s warlord-filled parliament has approved a bill ruling out judicial proceedings against men accused of rights abuses in the past 25 years of conflict, a spokesman said.
Let's go through another play by play:
Wakils (=Parliamentary law makers): Hey, all that sh*t we did: Y'know, the murdering, the raping and stealing...It's okay! I'm so happy that we all scammed our way in - ahem, were voted- to the Parliament.

Malalai Joya interupts to say it's wrong.

All the murderers start hitting their tables to drown out her out. They shout and call her a infidel. Someone hollers, "This is why women shouldn't be leaders! Let's talk about raising our salaries! Yay! Finally, the voice of the righteous is heard.
No wonder most local Afghans don't want Western-style democracy. They have a better chance of justice when there is one 'good' leader rather than a whole lot of folks who have capitalized on the bloodshed. But, how do we pick that one good leader? And all of this has to happen while the Western world is still interested in the country - cuz otherwise we'll end up forgotten.

I'm feeling awfully defeated today. Back to studying.