The childish and uncivilized reaction of some third-world Muslims to the threat to burn the Koran in America shows why the mission in Afghanistan is hopelessly ambitious and will fail.
These people are living in a Medieval age. They just don’t get the idea of a modern, liberal democracy where individuals have rights and responsibilities. They all seem to be living in a time where direction came from the top and individual views were worthless.
Nobody in the west would turn a hair if a bunch of idiots burned a bible. In fact, the regime in Saudi Arabia and other Arab totalitarian states do this all the time by confiscating and destroying bibles it captures from Christians.
The president of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai summed up this unbridgeable gap neatly and briefly.
“Humiliation of the holy book represents the humiliation of people,” Karzai said.
What utter nonsense. You can’t, in the civilised world, humiliate a book. This can’t possibly humiliate any people. What it does allow though is for ill-educated Muslims to be manipulated by leaders like Karzai, who wish to whip their unemployed masses into a frenzy of victimhood. The whole “educational” process in these countries seems to be based on paranoia and the necessity to manufacture a slight where none exists.
It doesn’t help when leaders like President Barack Obama take the ravings of a dopey Florida preacher as seriously as if he were some mover and shaker in the political world. A period of silence form Obama on this issue would make some sense. Why can’t he simply say that there’s nothing he can do in a country ruled by laws to stop anyone doing to the Koran what they want, and at the same time express the fact that it doesn’t actually make any difference whether a book is burned or not, except reflect a lack of intellectual power on behalf of the burners.
As for Afghanistan, this incident makes clear that our mission there is mistaken. The first part, zapping the Taliban, was right and justified. The next episode, trying to instill modern attitudes (education for girls, respect for women, adultery not a capital offense, beard-wearing optional) into a Neanderthal population is a waste of time and money. Sure, the Taliban will sooner or later emerge again as a threat to the West. We then must return again (and again) to squash it, knowing that, given the state of the population a more civilised outcome is not possible.