Last week Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai endorsed his clerics council’s new “code of conduct” for women, essentially ignoring the Afghan constitution. Now, wives can again be beaten by their husbands, and can be deprived of what most Americans consider basic human rights. Karzi’s action is seen as part of his outreach to the Taliban.
What has the U.S. achieved in Afghanistan over a decade of war? Not a weakened Taliban presence: Karzi and the U.S are apparently currently courting them in peace negotiations. Not an embracing by the Afghan tribes of a democracy based on the rule of civil law: Karzai has bowed to tribal pressure to return to religious rule.
After so many U.S. lives lost and precious dollars spent in the war in Afghanistan, it would appear that the situation has not changed since 2001; there is still a strong Taliban presence, the denial of women’s human rights is a recent announcement, and the Afghan populace seems not much interested in embracing a civilized democracy. This is a tragedy equivalent to the recent senseless killings of Afghani villagers. There should be as much anger and sadness expressed for the one as for the other.