Changes Made With a Gun Don’t Always Work Out

by James Glaser
February 6, 2006

Sometimes, no matter how good the intentions were, things just don't work out as planned.

Washington: President Bush and Congress were so very sure that by attacking, and defeating the Taliban in Afghanistan, we could turn that country into a success story. It was a nice thought, and even though George Bush touts our war there as a success, the facts tell another story.

The Guardian Newspaper of Great Britain, in a story by Dan McDougall, explains "Five years after the Taliban were deposed by a US led military alliance, Afghanistan remains entrenched in poverty. Intense frustration with the government, particularly among refugees who returned amid promises of change, is growing. The Observer has learnt that such is the demand among ordinary Afghans to leave that this weekend the Interior Ministry has run out of the basic materials to make passports."

Unemployment is running around 70%, and the country's main income comes from the heroin trade. War Lords still control most of the country, with the US backed government only controlling Kabul, the capitol city, and the surrounding area.

No matter how well Washington paints the progress made in Afghanistan, the truth is that the Taliban are still thorn in the side of the Government. Mulla Omar, the President of the country under Taliban rule is still urging resistance, and in the last few months, tactics learned in Iraq are being employed in Afghanistan. Suicide bombers have now come to Afghanistan.

America has been trying to bring democracy to the Middle East at the point of a gun. The Afghans and Iraqis did not invite our help nor were the consulted about what kind of government they wanted. George Bush forced democracy on both Iraq and Afghanistan and it really hasn't worked in either country. Yes it is true that both places have had elections and many people have voted, but those elections were the cart before the horse.

In Afghanistan, the forces of Mulla Omar and al Qaeda never surrendered and in Iraq, no one ever stopped fighting there either. America has not won the hearts and minds of the people, and we never will. Point a gun at my head and I will do what ever you say, but turn away for even a minute and I will try and figure out a way to kill you.

America can control who ever we want to, but that requires "boots on the ground." We pull those troops, and the democracy we forced on these people will crumble.

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