An article in a recent issue of ‘The Nation’ reveals more than perhaps it intends to.
Writer Ann Jones observes – with some respect for complexity – that if the US pulls out of Afghanistan it will be ‘abandoning’ Afghan women.
This puts “us and Afghan women in a double bind”, she admits.
The Taliban will come back into power and that won’t serve the cause of Afghan women. True enough.
Nor does she hold much hope for Hillary Clinton’s “assurance that a ‘reconciled’ Taliban will agree to observe women’s rights under the Constitution”, which Jones sees as “either cynical or naïve in the extreme”.
I presume she refers to the U.S. Constitution; I can’t imagine that the U.S. has genuinely succeeded – or ever could succeed – in imposing a U.S.-style constitution on the Afghanis.
And this is not because in the eyes of contemporary American feminism the Afghan culture is ‘patriarchal’, ‘oppressive’ and so forth. Rather, it’s because I don’t think it’s wise or prudent U.S. policy to try to impose itself on any other people.
Especially at the point of a bayonet (or automatic weapon or drone or what-have-you). Napoleon famously observed that folks don’t appreciate the ministrations of “armed missionaries”.
And since those purported ‘Constitutional rights’ are to no small extent still not fully accepted over here, then I can’t see how it makes sense to use the military to impose them elsewhere.
Especially with a nation that is known – and has been since long before American feminism gained traction through the vote-addled support of the Beltway – to most stubbornly and effectively want to be left on its own, unmolested (as it were) by the dampdreams or ‘progress’ of other cultures. If this was true of the Brits – who in the 19th century were simply trying to use the Afghanis as pawns in their Great Power maneuverings against the Russia of the Czars – it will most certainly prove to be true about the Americans, who – under the aegis (and cover) of some form of Victimology and liberation-from-victimhood – have been trying to drag the Afghanis into some U.S.-friendly (and U.S.-shaped) broad sunlit upland of ‘progress’.
Let’s face it: American feminism as it has evolved as a political agenda and in its most essential philosophical justifications and objectives constitutes a profound assault upon society and culture (which, being presumed ‘patriarchal’ and ‘oppressive’, must be Deconstructed and Re-constructed root-and-branch forthwith).
This is not the ‘spin’ that has been put upon it here, and indeed to even suggest it is to prove oneself a ‘victimizer’ and ‘re-victimizer’ and ‘backlasher’ in the scripts that govern mainstream American elite discourse.
But the Afghans can be forgiven for not being as susceptible to American elite discourse and agitprop as the American elites themselves.
Not that they care a whit whether American elites forgive them or not.
Would any nation want to accept so profound and fundamental assault not only on its perceived short-comings but – given the deep and broad scope of such a cultural and societal re-structuring – on the most visceral and vital organs of its entire worldview and its lifeways and folkways?
Wouldn’t any nation – if it were able to retain its independence of thought and action – exert itself vigorously to repel such an assault, no matter how comprehensively spun as ‘progress’ and ‘liberation’?
Indeed, given this reality, haven’t We now set up a situation where – in attempting to drape Our military and geo-strategic objectives in the sheeps-clothing of feministical liberation – the Afghans see Us as far more of a grave threat to their national existence than the Taliban?
And if so, then Our adventure over there will not – cannot – end well.
Let me say here that my primary objection to the current mutation of American feminism is not first with its Vision (although Deconstruction, especially of such vital social organs as Marriage and Family and a robust, genuine, well-Grounded Maturity, is a lethal virus indeed). Had the Citizenry been given a chance to deliberate, some of that Vision would have been adopted here, although only after being run through the filtration of broad public debate and consensus-building to filter out the more lethal elements.
But – again, with the Beltway’s pandering help – the entire filtration process was side-stepped and instead the radical-feminist agenda was stove-piped right into the nation’s vital systems and organs.
This was not merely due to the impatience of Youth or the committed cadres of Revolution.
It was due to the gimlet-eyed awareness on the part of the vanguard-elites that their Vision precisely required so massive and fundamental assault on the ethos of American culture and society that no Citizenry in its right mind would have accommodated it whole-hog.
The entire ‘democratic’ process HAD TO BE side-stepped, and through Beltway stove-piping it was.
Now, since the citizens of a far-distant nation are not legally under the aegis of the Beltway’s authority and its hyper-excited illuminations, the effort will be made to put them under the aegis of military invasion and occupation.
I can’t imagine that the Afghanis don’t see this. Only Americans, it seems, don’t see it – but of course, the ‘beam in one’s own eye’ is one of the great and classic strategic traps, as even Scripture saith.
Nor is it legitimate to insist that with a little ‘democracy’ imposed upon their polity the Afghans can surely make their own changes. They very well may not.
And to claim that the Identity of ‘women’ overrides national Identity and the sovereign authority allowed to nations and peoples, is to undermine the Westphalian international system that has managed to hold the modern world together for 350 years or so. And while that system has not been perfect – may indeed be riddled with limitations – yet, as Churchill said of ‘democracy’, it is still “the worst of systems – with the exception of all the rest”.
Humanitarian invasion to right perceived wrongs or – worse – preventive invasion to prevent perceived wrongs – is not ‘progress’; it introduces a hugely regressive wild-card back into the deck of international affairs (which is a chancy game as it is). No government – and few human beings – can be trusted to wield justly and effectively so huge and freighted an authority as the authority to preventively invade and occupy and Deconstruct and Re-construct whomever they think is not performing up to expectations.
Yes, the Federal government did it to the Jim Crow South, for the (originally) limited objective of abolishing that system’s clear violations of long-recognized and accepted Constitutional rights.
But even within its own nation, on its own turf, the Federal government was seduced into expanding its objectives virulently, to the point where it has made a lethal hash of some of this nation’s and this polity’s most vital and quintessential supporting structures.
And I can’t imagine that the Afghans (or any other nation) haven’t seen that; the mess is, so to speak, visible from space, for heaven’s sake.
I had Posted a while ago on the effort to get the International Violence Against Women Act passed, which would essentially turn the entire planet into a herd of ‘potential’ abusers and sex-offenders and rapists and ‘oppressors’, and bring them under the ‘legal authority’ of the enlightened Beltway elites and their pandering pols.
Although that Act has not – to the best of my knowledge – made it into law, its essential dynamics are being shrewdly deployed in Afghanistan and against the Afghan culture.
I can’t help but notice the hell-hot irony: just as the Beltway attempts to further justify its military presence over there by claiming to be liberating some feminist conception of ‘victims’, just so does it incite genuinely patriotic resistance by locals (the Afghans) who don’t relish the Deconstruction of their entire ethos.
They know – as We have not allowed Ourselves to know – just how surely Deconstruction rides in the train of Our current ‘humanitarian’ interventions.*
Nor, in another hell-hot irony, will there be success through the effort – perhaps to kill several unpleasant birds with one stone – to use American females (military or contractor) to fan out and soft-sell the whole thing to the local villagers. The elders won’t pay much attention, and if the Western females try to ‘organize’ the village females instead … well, I don’t see things progressing well from that point on. And you are well-advised to put as little trust in happy-face reporting of ‘success stories’ in this regard as you might put into official military media’s happy-face, can-do BurbleSpeak about how We are advancing boldly on all fronts, where no man/person has gone before.
This is the real-world, not Star-Trek, even that oh-so-transgressively-Correct ‘Next Generation’ that cruised through the early 1990s in the equivalent of a flying Marriott concierge-level suite.
But those were the salad-days of the American feministical movement as its radical elements managed to spin its moderate elements as gender-traitors and spin themselves as the One True Feminism.
A lot of good that’s done Us.
And the Afghanis know it.
*I wonder if someone isn’t going to come up with a Four Horsewomen of the American Apocalypse sort of image: Deconstruction, Re-construction, Identity Politics, and (fill in the fourth blank as you see fit).