Self Deception of the Innocent

By: Dr. Rauf Roashan
The blame game, hypocrisy and false claims for credit have become the law of the land in Afghanistan. Power, on the other hand, has corrupted the already corrupt system of government. All the powerful, or the so-called leaders to be correct, claim that they have the solution up their sleeves to rectify the situation and put the country back on track. Yet it has been almost a decade since the new claim on democracy in Afghanistan and there is still no security, no prosperity, no sound governance and hopes are eroding for a future that never comes.

Afghanistan is a country with resources, most of which are untapped so far, that would make her one of the richest in the region especially in the current century of technology. When in the past, her strategic location drew the attention of world powers today it is her wealth of resources that continues to attract the attention of the world to her.
But she is presently in trouble. Lots of trouble, imposed on her by wars, some of which are not her own, but wars by others on the Afghan turf. Where there is war, there are casualties and unfortunately, most of the time it is the innocent civilians, Afghan civilians in this case, which are victimized.
Afghan civilians suffer because of direct effects of war and the indirect consequences of it. They suffer morally and materially. They live in fear and in a state of deep doubt for any solution to the problem in their country. They find it difficult to put their trust in the people who have ended up running the government, all three branches of it. The executive is corrupt, the legislature consists mostly of selfish warlords in the garb of former mujahidin and is mostly uneducated and unaware of the workings of the parliament, the court system is paralyzed in that for the most part it is being strongly influenced by the executive and the powerful in the country. The concept of the powerful being responsible for their conduct and accountable to the dictations of the law is missing from the Afghan scene. A minister accused of corruption today is proclaimed innocent by the President tomorrow. A warlord whose excesses have been witnessed by thousands of citizens is proclaimed innocent by the powerful in the executive that are in collusion with him. The system of justice in the country is like a circus dominated by the clown who creates comedy in the midst of  tragedies, but no solution and no salvation are offered by anyone in power.
Corruption is so deep and so wide that it has embraced everyone from the President to the pawn. Not only the government officials, but their families and friends also engage in corruptive practices. Corruption is a given in the conduct of the government.
And under these conditions the innocent citizens find solace in deceiving their minds into believing that:
Tomorrow will be a better day.
Our leaders will follow directives of their clear conscience.
Our friends, led by the United States and our neighbors will forget their own interests in the benefit of the interests of Afghanistan.
Whatever goes wrong in Afghanistan is the doing of foreigners.
We are not to blame as our destinies are decided by outside interests.
They forget that they have decisive roles to play in the determination of their destiny. They forget that ignorance is their enemy number one and that education will be their best friend. They forget that united they can change many things, through democratic process. They could, through a mature and free press and media as, provide guidance to the masses to place their trust in better politicians and politics and that it is their patriotic obligation to educate themselves and their children and prepare for playing their role as members of the civil society. They forget that the world countries even those who claim to be their friends have their own interests in mind fist and foremost. And it is therefore important that they find means to remove the reason from their land that has resulted in the war on terror with some forty countries fighting inside their borders with an enemy that is mostly invisible and has resisted to be defeated for the past almost a decade. They fail to realize that their country where more than a hundred thousand foreign fighters are engaged in a fight they claim is for the world is not very different from a country that is directly occupied. They and their enlightened representatives could convince the world that Afghans have suffered too much, have carried the burden of this war for the world more than any other nation and that it is time that the tactics for the war be changed in a way that more coordination and cooperation with the people are sought and received and that suspicion and mistrust regarding the foreign forces in Afghanistan are changed into mutual trust. 
Perhaps now that the Afghan executive and legislature have failed to bring about any positive change, the people should organize themselves in creating a national council, obtain some degree of legitimacy from the general population through their recognized local leaders, and negotiate ways and means of bringing the war on terror to a desirable end and paving the way for peace and security in Afghanistan. 11/11/10