Thursday, September 03, 2009

"We should not presume to question Afghans' aspirations for democracy"

You stick by your friends, particularly in times of trouble:

"Sour voices from off-stage are pointing out that Afghanistan's poll was flawed, that elections do not make a democracy and that the West is fixated on elections as a measure of progress. In reality preparations for the election reflected the ad hoc and inadequate international commitment to reform. For example, the consistent failure to build the capacity of Afghanistan's Electoral Commission greatly contributed to the voter fraud seen during the election. We should not glibly despair that such failings are inevitable but instead robustly question why we have provided such limited resources for such achievable tasks.

"It might be a tall order to create a model state in Afghanistan. But we should not presume to question Afghans' aspirations to this end. The single biggest flaw of the Nato engagement has been the tendency to presume to know what Afghans want and need. State-building efforts must leave enough room for local variation. But they must not slide into a relativism that harks back to a colonial mind-set of dismissing Afghans' suitability for modern politics."


Blogger David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 09/04/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

7:31 AM  

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