Saturday, February 7, 2015

Afghanistan .... no hope for this "democracy" venture too?

Is there no end to the failures of American foreign policy blunders?  The dying Empire's failures are also a reflection on the foreign policy failures of Canada, UK, Australia and other nations who are under the mistaken belief that their welfare and future depends on always jumping as high as possible when the puppet master Empire mumbles "jump."

Just for a moment here, reflect on how different today's world would have been if after the 9/11 attacks, the Empire had opted to  bomb and invade the country actually responsible for the attacks .... Saudi Arabia.  After a fair and sincere reflection, ask yourself if you were brainwashed at that time by the Bush/Chenney administration and whether it's time for you to free yourself  from those kind of strangleholds and stand by your own intelligence instead of being a slave to other people's agenda and motives.

Azam Ahmed writing at NYTimes:
Taliban Justice Gains Favor   as Official Afghan Courts Fail
Matiullah Khan and Muhammad Aywaz were each dug in, their property dispute in southern Afghanistan at an impasse.

Despite paying more than $1,000 apiece in lawyers’ fees, they found no resolution in the government’s judicial system. The tribal courts, informal networks of elders that most rural Afghans rely on, had also come up short.

So the two men did what a growing number of Afghans do these days when there is no other recourse: They turned to the Taliban. Within a few days, their problem was resolved — no bribes or fees necessary.

“He would have kept my house for himself if it wasn’t for the Taliban,” said Mr. Khan, a resident of Kandahar City who accused Mr. Aywaz of commandeering his home. “They were quick and fair.”

Frustrated by Western-inspired legal codes and a government court system widely seen as corrupt, many Afghans think that the militants’ quick and tradition-rooted rulings are their best hope for justice. In the Pakistani cities of Quetta and Chaman, havens for exiled Taliban figures, local residents describe long lines of Afghans waiting to see judges.

“You won’t find the same number of people in the Afghan courts as you do in the Taliban courts,” said Hajji Khudai Noor, a Kandahar resident who recently settled a land dispute through the Taliban in Quetta. “There are hundreds of people waiting for justice there.”

Western officials have long considered a fair and respected justice system to be central to quelling the insurgency, in an acknowledgment that the Taliban’s appeal had long been rooted in its use of traditional rural justice codes. But after the official end of the international military mission and more than a billion dollars in development aid to build up Afghanistan’s court system, it stands largely discredited and ridiculed by everyday Afghans. A common refrain, even in Kabul, is that to settle a dispute over your farm in court, you must first sell your chickens, your cows and your wife.

Countless training programs funded by Western allies for lawyers and judges have become bywords for waste. Laws suited to Western-style democracies have populated the books.

“The problem is we spent money on what we wanted to see, as opposed to thinking about what Afghans wanted to see,” said Noah Coburn, a political anthropologist at Bennington College.

Recognizing that informal tribal law would remain the choice for most Afghans, the United States in recent years began spending money to support local councils and connect them more publicly with the government. But a review by an independent monitoring organization found that instead of bolstering the government’s image, the effort mostly reinforced the primacy of the informal courts — of which Taliban justice could be considered a radical extension, wielding a mix of Pashtun tradition and extreme interpretations of Islamic law. ....

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