From the semester’s worth of following the news on Afghanistan I see a trend of corruption in the government and it seems to be heading toward a downward spiral. There seems to be way too many secrets among Hamid Karzai and all the other officials that are leading the country. There are ulterior motives and greed that is running through this region; everyone is trying to have the upper hand whether it is to win the election by paying off people to vote for them or earn money by smuggling drugs. The Afghan citizens are so blinded by what is really happening and what their leaders are doing; the poor are yet again taken advantage of.
The strange bond Afghanistan has with the Taliban, Pakistan, and opium are all questionable and should not exist if they want to improve the welfare of their country and its people. According to Transparency.org, a website that ranks each country’s level of corruption, it places Afghanistan on the third to last country as most corrupted. The rankings are done on a scale of 1-10, 1 being extremely corrupted and 10 being least corrupted. Afghanistan gets a whopping 1.4, placing above Myanmar (1.4) and Somalia (1.1). What this country lacks is honesty. That is all that they need, an honest leader who truly cares about the well-being of his/her people instead of their own. The drug cartel and opium production is still high and the poor farmers are being paid by Taliban. Money and greed seems to rule this country. The U.S. troops are trying to decrease the number of insurgents and drug smuggling in the country by doing night raids yet Karzai wants us to stop and even suggested the troops to leave Afghanistan. It is understandable why the night raids are controversial but based on NATO’s report the night raids are very effective. If good intentions are not welcomed then all the efforts made could not reach its full potential. If the Afghan government and people aren’t making an effort to change or care to change then there is no point for us to interfere with a country that is not our own, even though we might reap some of the benefits.
The latest news out of Afghanistan is how 6 NATO-led U.S. troop members were shot by an Afghan police officer. This is controversial because it wasn’t a friendly fire mishap nor was the police officer an imposter. Investigations are still happening at the moment to see what the motives could have been and if there are anyone else behind this. Another controversial news out of Afghanistan is caused by the WikiLeaks. According to WikiLeaks the president’s half brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, has been involved in dealing narcotics but he denies all the claims made.
The oppressed far outnumbers the privileged. Religion is the heart of this region and nothing would change that anytime soon but in order for this country to improve in quality of life then the idea of that needs to be accessible by everyone. By giving people a chance to improve the way they live without having to participate in illegal activities would be ideal. The poor are struggling to have food on their tables and if the Taliban are willing to pay them more money than they will ever make in a lifetime then yes, they would jump on that bandwagon. People just want to survive. If the government isn’t able to see that their own citizens are unsatisfied then that government needs to be updated.
Karzai wants to remain friendly with the U.S. but sometimes he seems manipulative and is hiding something, perhaps an ulterior motive. If he has to choose between supporting a bunch of “ignorant power-hungry” Americans versus Muslim extremists then odds are not in our favor. The latest story is how an Afghan police officer opened fire at the U.S. troop, killing six. This is controversial because the Afghan security forces are on the same side as their NATO partners. Investigation is currently being done to see whether the Afghan police officer (who also was killed) was an imposter and if not, whether he was paid to kill.
Granted, no government is going to go into any other country and make everything right and proper. Many times schools, hospitals and infrastructure have been built only to be blown up with children and adults inside. There needs to be cooperation on all sides. We don't want to be there any more than Afghans want us there but the rest of the world needs the Middle East to function because we are all intertwined. We all want that part of the world to be at peace and to prosper. We would prefer they do it themselves and they wish they could without any help, but they can’t without support. The rest of the world seems to believe the people there are important and deserve to prosper or we wouldn't be sending our people and money to help.
Afghanistan is trying hard to change the infamous image of their country, and it is a trial-and-error type of process. They are not only about war, opium and heroin, or terrorists. There is so much more to this history-rich country that people will die without ever knowing. The country is trying to improve; it is like a child learning how to walk. They get up, fall, get up and try again. The efforts could be seen, Afghanistan along with Pakistan sent their agriculture ministers to Colo, Iowa to observe the American cornfield and get tips and advices from the farmer. The agriculture ministers are hopeful and want to learn how their country could change the way they manage crops and agriculture business. Afghanistan wants to get rid of their negative opium-producing image since the country is well known for producing 90% of the world’s supply. They are trying to grow other crops that will help bring in money for the country.
The Taliban are anti-nationalist and they become a hindrance to the potential progress that Afghanistan could possibly make. The suicide bombings are causing so much unnecessary damage and casualties. All of these damages done to the country is like the idea of one step forward, two steps back. The efforts made are wasted because there are other people who would rather destroy than make things better. In order for change to come to this country (and remain!) is if everyone cooperates and live harmoniously despite their religious background or caste system. There needs to be a way that the government isn’t getting away with suspicious activities and that information about what the government is doing (and will do) would be accessible by the people. Afghan citizens are not ignorant, they just don’t have the chance or the opportunity to stand up for themselves due to all the dangers that they face.
People just have negative thoughts and stereotypes about this country. By lack of support, Afghanistan is not given a chance because people rather not care about something that doesn’t directly affect them. What these people fail to realize is that this region does indeed affect us. On a global level we need this region to survive and thrive on their own, on a national level we want this country to remain friendly with us.
There is hope for Afghanistan and the Middle East in general. Change for the better is very possible. With better leaders and more honesty then many good things could come out of this. The school playground rule of “play well with each other” would help this region so much that they wouldn’t even know what to do with all the peace that they gained. Religion is important, that is understandable, but to fight and kill due to bigotry is absurd and anti-progress. Patriarchal societies could thrive to a certain extent, in order for a society to be even more successful everyone needs to be included. If everyone, old and young, poor and rich, women and children could voice their opinions then change would happen sooner. Open-mindedness is necessary for any form of unity to exist. No more fighting, no more hating on each other—only compromises and cooperation.