Hamid Karzai is a weak ruler, which at least means he is no despot, for good or ill. His main interest is in doing what modern rulers of Afghanistan have always tried to do, which is to inveigle outsiders into bringing aid to the country. The Americans thus have been told, and do believe, that if they build roads and schools and so on and so forth, this will somehow — no one explains how — not only manage to “transform” Afghanistan (for more on this o’erweening and silly idea, see Rory Stewart), but make the Muslims of Afghanistan friendlier.
Nonsense. All the evidence suggests that greater access to the outside world, to the world of audiocassettes, videocassettes, satellite television, all the greater movement that American-built roads supply, all the access to new and better weapons, will only cause the people in Afghanistan (not “the Afghani people” which is a different and doubtful construct) to be more easily subjected to the al-Jazeera messengers from outside, and what’s more, more inclined to participate in Jihad.
Better to do nothing, nothing to change them, nothing to “transform” them, nothing to lift them out of their permanent hardscrabble existence which is the fate of all Muslim peoples, with their habit of mental submission and inshallah-fatalism. That is, that is their fate unless they are rescued, as so many have been, either by the manna of oil and gas deposits, or by the Jizyah of foreign aid that so many Muslims have managed to extract from Infidels, rather than going, as they should, to their fellow rich members of the umma.
Why isn’t Saudi Arabia now contributing ten or twenty billion to the “reconstruction” of Afghanistan? Wasn’t it Saudi Arabia that spent billions to keep Afghanistan from control by those Infidel Russians? But of course the Saudi interest is not on behalf of people in Afghanistan, but only against their falling under Infidel domination. The same is true for the Arab aid given to the “Palestinians.” It is given only for weapons, and as rewards to the families of suicide bombers and other terrorists, and not to improve the daily lot of those fellow members of the umma, to whom loyalty is supposedly owed. This is merely a negative loyalty, a loyalty that works not for fellow Muslims but only against Infidels.
The investment in Afghanistan will come to nothing. It attracts less attention because it seems acceptable, but that is only because we are all silently making the comparison with the fantastic folly of Iraq. On that scale, Afghanistan is hardly to be complained about.
People are not as malleable as the naive Administration thinks. Nor has the case been made that Western aid, endless aid, will do anything to make the Muslims now in Afghanistan less hostile or less of a threat. Is Afghanistan one more of those countries where Infidel efforts, and vast amounts of Infidel money, will somehow change the minds of people about Islam, change what Islam is, change its use as the natural vehicle for expressing all discontent? Will this money change the way almost all of the people — not the handful of those who educated in the West came to see more of what was wrong with Islam, but the others — view the universe? How? In what way?
This aid will only make them better able to participate, in whatever way they can, in what is a worldwide Jihad, conducted with different instruments and with different levels of intensity depending on conditions, and with different local targets — targets of those who are Infidels, or are seen as collaborators of the Infidels.
This is a lesson that the generous, willfully ignorant, and essentially misconceiving Infidels, including above all those in the government of the United States, have to learn. It is hard for good-hearted, generous, ignorant, naive Westerners to understand that the problem with Muslim countries, their political, economic, social, and intellectual disarray, is permanent, as long as Islam retains its hold on the minds of Muslims and cannot be seen, as Ataturk saw it in Turkey, as a force to be constrained and channeled. And those same good-hearted, generous, ignorant, naive Westerners are ill-prepared to recognize the threat that Islam, in the form of Da’wa and demographic conquest, poses to their own society. The lack of imagination of both leaders (I mean “those taking a leadership role”) and those led in the West, the inability to imagine what can most certainly happen, takes us back to yesteryear — to the 1930s.
It shouldn’t. One should figure things out in advance. One should plan. One should head off disaster, not primly dismiss its possibility.