I thought that my memory of my Afghan and Pakistani travels was to remain in the distant past, but today I find myself recollecting them with all their details, as if I were seeing them again, but with a darker trace.
The tragedy engulfing the region has led some of us to accept, even glorify, the worst of options, the Taliban, dismissing the harm that will be done to Afghan women, children, Shiites and other minorities.
Condoleezza Rice in 2008 argued that democratic states in Iraq and Afghanistan were a “compelling component of our national interest.” Now, after failing miserably in both countries, the Americans are telling us, that the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate, and an Iraq ruled by militias, can be such compelling components.
The image of Kabul airport offers us a great lesson. The image of people trembling in fear, ready to hang onto a plane is the image of America. America claimed the occupation was all about values, yet now it has sold the Afghans to the Taliban.
The upcoming, and long-awaited, legislative elections are hardly a door to democracy, but rather a formality that is part of Doha’s efforts to improve its image in the lead up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup.