mercredi, mars 22, 2006

Afghanistan after Duh!merica

George W Bush was almost moving in his inability to deliver cogent speech during his address to the people as the War in Iraq entered its fourth year (almost two years after it was won). I am constantly bemused by the fact that this man is utterly incapable to utter one convincing phrase when he is called to do so. His pauses are in the wrong places, his gaze remains one of eternal bafflement that he got over the first word in a string of ten, and the general idea is that he has not read the speech before because (a) he cannot read, (b) the prompter in his ear normally does quite a good job but today there is some kind of interference.

But back to Duhmerica. Or rather let's zoom to Kabul. We move to that other nation that has had the chance to be freed by the knights of liberty in the 21st century. Afghanistan seemed to be moving along quite well. Post-Taleban Kabul was picking up and Hamid Karzai was looking charmingly convincing in his bonnie hat. Only that the constitution drafted for the importation of democracy seems to carry along with it something very duh!merican - the death sentence. Apart from this anomaly in a modern democracy which the US is happy to live with there is the teeeny weeny weird reason for which the death sentence may be pronounced that jars with this idea of an idyllic post-taleban state.

Have you heard of Abdul Rahman? Well you probably heard that name but not when used for this person. In this case Rahman is an Afghan national who, while working with Afghan refugees in a camp in Pakistan, converted to Christianity... 14 years ago. This year, after returning to liberated Afghanistan he has been arrested and threatened with the death penalty for... conversion. Yep. Converting to Christianity is a crime punishable with death in good old democratic Afghanistan. Of course Karzai is not happy, he blames the clerics who infest the courthouses of the Republic. A bit like Clinton blaming a Republican appointed judge for a decision of the Supreme Court. Fact is the law allows them to be there and it allows them to mete out these sentences.

Fact is that the democratic constitution left behind by the liberating forces who are still running after Mullah Omar (one of the reasons they went there in the first place - remember his McQueen like escape on a bike?) was meant to be a proof of the success of the interventions made ever so haphazardly by the democracy of stars and stripes.

And Iraq is half-way there. Good luck to them innit?

Photo: The trial judge holds up the 'incriminating evidence' - Abdul Rahman's bible.

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