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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Criticism Of Pastorius

A guy whose opinion I very much respect sent me the following email:


About your recent blogging, I was kinda sad to see how down you've been on Afghanistan recently.. of course I understand and agree with the outrage, but (here's my 2 cents) it seems to me that times like this are when Glenn Reynolds's wise dictum "democracy is a process, not an event" really come into play. We can say Afghanistan is a "failure" because of the apostate case, because the apostate case is/was definitely an injustice. But doesn't that set up an impossible standard for democratizing countries whereby we must erase every injustice or it's a "failure"?

You can say "well we did it in Japan" etc., but

(1) no, of course we didn't erase every injustice in Japan,

and
(2) to the extent that we *were* able to impose a decent society on them, it was because we devastated them with the nukes & then had an imposing occupation force.

Similar with Germany. But in this case we are simply not able to spare the troops & cost to occupy Afghanistan to that extent. (And devastating them would be counterproductive...)

The fact of the matter is that Afghanistan is now a democratic republic (however flawed), and the good news is that killing (even prosecuting) a person for apostasy is, by any logical reading, unconstitutional under the Afghan constitution. But (absent the willingness/ability to put the entire society under our boot and issue their constitutional rulings ourselves) we're going to have to let *them* come to that conclusion (because it's their institutions that will have to do the enforcing, or not). And that's the "process" part.

Apparently, they have not come to that conclusion yet. That's too bad, in fact it's shameful and wrong.

That judge is *wrong*, those prosecutors are *wrong*, to allow prosecution of apostates, and of course it's depressing that no decent voices in Afghanistan's institutions have seen fit to stand up and point that out. But neither did we come to the conclusion that slavery was wrong, for decades. That doesn't mean the US "not a democracy" or a "failure" during that time. It had the *engine* for change/improvement, which is the important thing. And now, Afghanistan does too.

That doesn't mean I'm saying we can kick back and say "whatever happens it's all cool".

Democracy is a process! Notice that part of that process is international pressure on them to improve their institutions. You (I think it was you?) lamented that it required international pressure to help save that guy. Actually, that was a good development. The government of Afghanistan is (at least to some extent) amenable to international pressure!

Wow! Isn't that good?

When they are doing something objectively evil, we can and should shame them. If it were still the Taliban in power, of course, they wouldn't care less. But now....I guess I'm saying, you've become far more pessimistic than me. It's made for good blogging on your part, but makes me kinda sad.


Often, my readers are more reasonable than me.
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5 Comments:

Anonymous alison said...

It IS good, yes. Very valid thoughtful points!

Friday, April 07, 2006 12:23:00 am  
Blogger George Mason said...

Where to begin, that is the question:

I will just go down the statement sentence-by-sentence, but I won't comment unless my elevated blood pressure demands an immediate catharsis at each stop-or-go point.

First, the whole notion of "democracy," whether for Afghanistan or anywhere else is flawed. "Democracy," an anti-concept, is being used to nullify the proper oncept, "constitutional republic." Lefties and Righties are really in the fog about this, which makes them so eager to buy all these pigs-in-pokes. Go back to its roots and to why our Founders utterly despised "democracy." It means that a majority or a plurality can vote itself into anything, including sharia and the worst of tyrannies. The Founders knew this really well. When a proper constitution is in place, it guarantees individual rights and denies totally the ability of any mass movement to vote itself into tyranny. Get down on your knees and kiss the hems and rings of our Founders who did understand the difference!!!!!!!!

Afghanistan is no "democratic republic." Read its constitution. It is an Islamic tyranny, run by sharia. Nevermind the bullshit trying to hide this behind some fog. WE should have imposed a proper constitution on this cesspool, full of people who have to cross a 1400+ year time line even to hold a meaningful conversation about the nature of government.

Despite lip service, the constitution of Afghanistan is no better than that of Soviet Russia or Nazi Germany. Rights are obviously totally misunderstood, and they would be rejected anyway because they totally prevent any possibility of people having to live under sharia law. Islamists won't stand for this.

None of us fighting for mankind to remain free and become fully free can ever fail to understand "rights," from the roots up. Yet, most people cannot tell anyone what a right is. That has allowed the socialists and fascists to smuggle in more anti-concepts as rights in order to obliterate what "rights" truly means.

Yes, indeed, Afghanistan is "amenable to international pressure." It is called "dollars." There is an old
Special Forces expression that applies here: Grab them by the balls, and their hearts and minds will soon follow. Substitute "wallets" for "balls."

Afghanistan has what WE--the USA--permitted. This stone age society chose stone age society--what a shock. We sat around with our thumbs in our ears and let them adopt a return to "business as usual"--and that meant, of course, that g.d. Islam. We did not do that to Japan. Compare the two, and whatever the flaws of Japan, I rest my case.

Friday, April 07, 2006 1:33:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guys, guys...lets make it simple.
Islam is 600 years younger than christianity. Right ? Where was christianity 600 years ago ? See ? And they didnt invent yet "inquisition", it will be invented in islam. This is still the begining of all the worst part.

Friday, April 07, 2006 10:45:00 am  
Blogger Jay.Mac said...

Democracy may be a process but a major mistake was made in Afghanistan- the constitution was based on Sharia law.

No law can be made which is contrary to Sharia.

With a constitution like that, there is precious little room for the process of democracy to grow.

Friday, April 07, 2006 11:19:00 am  
Blogger Epaminondas said...

I have gone back and forth over whether little has been achieved, or a major step forward has been taken.

Reality has so far shown it to be a step forward.
Positive:
Rahman was not killed
After his release there were no "Islam is insulted, let's behead the insulters" riots of the easily offended.
Negative:
The law of apostasy still stands

In a "real" democracy you can't run around ignoring the law, or the populace evetually loses respect for the whole enterprise, so a solution has to be found.

In this exact problem, lies the solution to it all. You can't kill such people and have freedom of religion and protected individual rights. You can't let people be apostates under Sharia.

HUMANS
WANT
TO
BE
FREE

That's why we have BRAINS

Friday, April 07, 2006 1:31:00 pm  

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