September 11, 2009

THE OPPOSITE OF A NATION:

To Save Afghanistan, Look to Its Past (ANSAR RAHEL and JON KRAKAUER, 9/11/09, NY Times)

Afghanistan faces a number of crises, any one of which would alone justify convening a loya jirga as soon as possible. But the most compelling reason for doing so is to have Afghans from disparate tribes, regions and ethnicities come together, outside the acting government, to select a president who will be considered legitimate by the people. No other process — not a presidential decree, a special commission, a court ruling, an elections committee, an act of Parliament or an internationally sponsored conference — could accomplish this.

Certainly, a loya jirga is no panacea. The emphasis on achieving consensus can cause discussions to drag on interminably. The process may not be immune from political intimidation or even violence. During the loya jirga that considered the Constitution, ethnic factions argued so vehemently that some Westerners feared the nation would splinter.


There is no Afghanistan, just divide it up into its tribal constituencies.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 11, 2009 12:03 AM
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