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.


omg said...

Wow. That's... Obviously I'm no expert, but I'm shocked. :-(

Waspgoddess said...

You left a comment on my Sunday Scribbles and as a result I have started to learn about Afghanistan. I'm so grateful for that.

Your post has helped to put things into perspective for me. I thank you for that.

'Askar Gu-raiz' said...

Need not get agitated—this was a non-binding resolution that will become law only if the Meshrano Jirga approves and the President signs it.

Now: are there any guarantees that any of the two steps would deter this resolution from becoming a law? I wouldn’t bet money on either. But it is not fair to take this whole debate to a different level and say: ‘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.’

You need to explain a lot of terms there, including ‘western democracy’, ‘justice’, and convince me that these ‘whole lot of folks’ who passed the resolution were not voted into office by the people themselves. It is another deal if they bought votes, or coerced people into voting for them. The truth is, your society is divided, and one man’s war-criminal is another man’s hero. Either an all inclusive impunity or an all inclusive punishment is the way to go. I am not sure which one I would pick. But I am scared of mixing ‘revenge’ with justice, and of the practical unfeasibility of justice in today’s Afghanistan.

homeinkabul said...

O: you and me both. ugh.

W: Thanks for visiting and commenting. :)

Askar gu-raiz: Thanks, I do know the significance of the motion and it is agitation-worthy.

First, I think you're getting your legal terms confused. This is a proposed legislation, which is different from a resolution. The Wolesi Jirga has passed resolutions in the past and similar to the U.S. system, it is non-binding.

However, this is an attempt to pass a binding law. The proposed law may be against the Constitution but I haven't researched it yet.

Look, I have complete faith in democracy but as one who is working working to promote rule of law in Afg - I do think that the fact that institutions (such as Parliament) are being thrown together haphazardly, without a focus on justice is depressing, irresponsible and overall bad for the reconstruction process.

Most local Afghans only want a good leader who won't let their property get stolen, their wives/children raped and their husbands killed. Most Afghans that I have spoken to have said, "Y'know, if we could've just had a stronger king, who wouldn't let the theives/murderers get away with everything, we'd be fine." Afghans, after the years and years of war, didn't have a choice of the leaders and the parliamentary election process was very confusing.

And yes, our society is divided, but not as much as outsiders think.

That said, I don't really need to convince you of anything. This blog is a way of corresponding with friends, engaging in a dialogue with interested people and venting.

I'd be happy to continue this dialogue but I don't 'need' to do anything.

homeinkabul said...

I forgot to add, you haven't given much of a background on what makes you think 'all inclusive immunity or punishment is the way to go'.

I disagree on this point. While punishment for everyone isn't necessary - it is particularly galling to see the men who made so many Afghans into orphans or widows, also be the ones who live in the nicest homes and give themselves such a veneer of respectability.

There is no future without forgiveness, as Archbishop Tutu has said - but I don't see much of a future without honesty either.

(I really should've just written this as a post)

koonj said...

:( I'm sorry to hear that.

Frida World said...

Getting to meet and work with Malalai Joya and Shinkai Karokhail (and travel to Paktia and Farah respectively) are two of the proudest moments of my time here.

These woman are brave in ways that I only dream of and if my work with them gives them even an inch of advantage then it is all worth it.

Both these woman have spoken out against this resolution, as have the Commissioners of the AIHRC - also people whom I have been privileged to work with.

I'm not sure I've fully understood the point behind Askar Gu-Raiz comment, but I am quite clear on the point made by Malalai, Shinkai, Sima Simar and today by the Spokesman for the President, Hamid Karzai - i.e. nobody has the right to offer forgiveness for human rights violations apart from the victims.

HomeinKabul - when do we get to meet? I'm in Kabul tonight and was hacing dinner with some Afghan-American friends and couldn't help wondering if I already know you, or at least know people who know you... I'm off on home leave but I'm back in town on 24 Feb - how long are you stateside?


homeinkabul said...


I'm posting a new essay to clarify my position at least and address AG's comments in part. They've made me think which is always good. :)

Y'know, I'm pretty sure that we do know some of the same people. Some of the names in your 'goodbye' post were familiar to me. I am coming back in mid-March/April-ish, Inshallah. So maybe we can meet up then?