Friday, November 11, 2011

The property Market will plummet once the new of international community departure sink in, how bad is it going to be?

It is going to be very bad. House prices were driven up by the rent prices the international organisations were prepared to pay. A regular house in downtown Kabul would return around US$ 25000 per year for the owner. This encouraged many to invest in property and the price of a flat in Kabul residential areas climbed to a range of 700000 to 1 million dollars. Even the suburbs such as charai Qambar saw a huge rise, a house would be around half million dollar at the very least in this part of town. Another reason for the increase is cultural, I went to see a family friend some time ago and he advised that I should be buying a house. Many people who made good bucks in the gold rush of foreign assistance have invested the money in a house. It is seen as an investment but also an icon of status.

Now we are facing a scenario where house prices in the suburb of Kabul cost as much as to buy a similar one outside London in the UK and higher than most European countries.

The international money has also funded the extravagant mansions in Kabul's most expensive neighbourhood of Shirpur, Wazir Akbar Khan and Shari Naw. Ornately gilded pillars hold up pastel-hued balconies; brightly coloured domes crown mosaic walls made of mirrored tiles. In this part of town most homes were built by Afghanistan's corrupt political elite on land stolen from the poor and the state since 2003. A good majority of these houses are rented by mercenaries, embassies, the UN, warlords, MPs, ministers, high ranking government officials and television journalists, scrambled to pay tens of thousands of dollars in rent, and moved in. these houses are known as "poppy palaces" because of the suspicion that they were built with the proceeds of opium smuggling. These are the luxury houses and the first thing which will happen as the tide of Western money starts to recede is a drop in the prices of these houses. This has already started to happen. The prices of these houses are crashing as we talk. The prices had plunged by half and plummeting at a faster rate. The rent for one 14-bedroom house had dropped from dollars $18,000 a month to $9000. Properties are empty for the last six months since Obama announced the withdrawal of troops.

Once the foreign money starts to recede considerably in the next couple of years the time of bust will set in. not only the prices of houses come to the real world level but there will be a serious panic, initiated and stimulated by panic selling. 

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Why Liberal Muslims don’t matter?

It was a few weeks ago that I went to a talk in southbank centre on the summer “uprisings” that swept across the Middle East. Among others a Muslim academic from Egypt talked about the “revolution”.  She talked of falling in love with revolution. That she is a proud Muslim but not an Islamist. She also emphasized on the need for freedom for all human beings and how western politics deptrived them by supporting autocratic regimes across the region; here she unleashed on the west for double standards and moral corruption.
Once you summarise the speech and look at her line of thinking you will realize that it is one of those common thread of thinking that is prominent among “moderate Muslims” and the one that western liberals could easily associate themselves with, because of its universality such as all people are rational including Muslims and a believe in things are going to eventually take a turn for the better.  

This theme of thinking has been incurring around me for the last few days and it was the other day that I come across Marwan Muasher article that was published in New York Times; the response is not for Mawan Muasher but to all Muslim Liberals that argue along the same train of thought. To summarise Marwan is saying:

Islamists are unlikely to take over new governments in the Arab world for reasons:
first, Islamists are not stupid. Arab countries face daunting challenges and whoever governs them will need to tackle tremendous political and economic problems. 
Second, Islamists are not as popular as Western pundits and policy makers think. Political Islam benefited from closed authoritarian systems.

You've heard this "thought" expressed in one way or another, the message of the Islamists resonates with the Islamic believes and common thinking, the common man is not politically active but will listen to the words of Islam in whatever format and shape delivered. The second point Marwan is making is exactly why we should worry. The Taliban were not that popular, they started with a group of 800, the Ayatollahs of Iran were a minority but took over the revolution. The popularity of Islamists has never been the problem but the question has been whether it could be contained by the government or not and that is exactly the worry about brining Taliban to the government.
Now to clear the first point raised, (1) If Marwan knows what is in the minds of Islamists, it is his solemn responsibility to inform us of the source of his information, and also to share it with the authorities. (2) If he does not know what is in Islamists minds--as seems enormously more probable--then why does he rush to appoint himself the ventriloquist's dummy for such a faction? Who volunteers for such a task at such a time?
Not only is it indecent to act as self-appointed interpreter for the killers, but it is rash in the highest degree. The fanatic Islamists have not favoured us with a posthumous manifesto of their grievances, or a statement of claim about Palestine, Iraq or Afghanistan, but we are nonetheless able to surmise or deduce or induct a fair amount about the ideological or theological "root" of their act and if we are correct in this, then we have considerable knowledge of two things: their ideas and their actions.

I don’t think there is the need to talk about the killings that happen by the Islamists on daily basis or the several thousand Hazara that were massacred in Bamyan by the Taliban or the fact that women can’t vote in Kuwait or drive in Saudi Arabia. I think the action of the Islamists speak for itself but lets contemplate about their thinking, to the Wahhabi-indoctrinated sectarians of Islamists (that are not only driving the politics of Islam in the Arab world but also in Afghanistan) only the purest and most fanatical are worthy of consideration. The teachings and published proclamations of this cult have initiated us to the idea that the tolerant, the open-minded, the apostate or the followers of different branches of Islam are fit only for slaughter and contempt. And that's before Christians and Jews, let alone atheists and secularists, have even been factored in. As before, the deed announces and exposes its "root cause." The grievance and animosity predate even the Balfour Declaration, let alone the occupation of the West Bank. They predate the creation of Iraq as a state. The gates of Vienna would have had to fall to the Ottoman jihad before any balm could begin to be applied to these psychic wounds. And this is precisely, now, our problem. The Taliban and its surrogates are not content to immiserate their own societies in beggary and serfdom. They are condemned, and they deludedly believe that they are commanded, to spread the contagion and to visit hell upon the unrighteous. The very first step that we must take, therefore, is the acquisition of enough self-respect and self-confidence to say that we have met an enemy and that he is not us, but someone else. Someone with whom coexistence is, fortunately I think, not possible.  

Now to the question I raised at the beginning of why Islamic Liberals are irrelevant to the political discourse of the region. The Liberals have no real ties with their own societies, they are merely the face of Islam to the rest of the world and that is precisely what is bothering me. The group claim for universality of rights while advocating the Barbaric Islamic Fascists, further the liberals would take any opportunity to unload the blame on the west.  The secularists would only be successfully once the Islamic countries address the issue of injustice and corruption that has riddled these countries therefore removing the common cause for public disillusionment. In such an environment the determined minority of secularists and modernist could be able to seize the opportunity, as was the case in Turkey by the elite officers of the army, and pull the country out of the polluted water of Islamic Fascism that they all seem to drown currently.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Gilad Shalit, beloved brother and son, what is the story of over a thousand Palestinian prisoners

The Islamist Palestinian organisation Hamas on Tuesday liberated the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was abducted five years ago. In return Israel is releasing 1,027 Palestinian prisoners. Despite whatever Islamic sentiment I have it is hard to ignore Israel emergence as the moral victor from the exchange. Yesterday in the media all you could see is the story of a man who is much like everyone of us, with dreams, family and loved ones who was locked up by a group. The other side of the story is the release of prisoners grants the terrorist organization Hamas too prominent a role. The media story was preoccupied with what the release means for the people of Palestine. I did not see a single story that was similar to Gilad Shalit, the story of an individual suffering in the hands of brutes and kept away from the loved ones.  Palestinians were being carried awy on shoulders, chanting Allahuakbar. I could not connect with them, they were impersonal and full of anger. i thought why is no one telling the story of Palestinian prisoners. Are they really a bunch of whackos who needed to be locked up, which again gives Israil another moral triumph. The validity of the claim that the Islamists are not people that seek reasonable methods to resolve their grievances but a fanatic group that belongs to a cult of death and terror. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

first gunbattle in the neighbourhood

gun fires disturbed our dinner an hour or so ago and still continuing. it is the first time it happens in my part of town. i got a call from a few of the neighbors trying to get to their homes but the roads are blocked and he seems to be stranded. the attack was on an MP house killing M. hashim and a karzai advisor Jan Mohamad. this city had never felt safe for me but events like this remind me the question of why bother staying in this country.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

جنگ درقندهار، سرآغاز وضع جدید نظامی و سیاسی درافغانستان

شماری از آگاهان و وکلا در مجلس نمایندگان می گویند، زندانیانی که حدود یک و نیم هفته قبل موفق به فرار از زندان سرپوزه شدند، با حمایت بیرونی شان در حملات دو روزه ی شهر قندهار دست دارند.

شکیبا هاشمی نماینده مردم قندهار درمجلس نمایندگان روز یکشنبه گفت وحشت و دهشت که از روزگذشته بدین سو درشهرقندهار به راه افتاده است محصول بی کفایتی مقامات امنیتی درقبال فرار زندانیان سیاسی از این ولایت می باشد.

هاشمی می گوید فراری دادن زندانیان سیاسی از زندان قندهار که به کمک آی اس آی پاکستان و دست داشتن شماری از مقامات امنیتی و دولتی انجام شد برای پاکستان و طالبان از اهمیت خاصی برخورداربود.

خانم هاشمی ، ضعف دولت مرکزی دربخش تامین امنیت، دست داشتن مستقیم استخبارات پاکستان، بی کفایتی مقامات دولتی و امنیتی قندهار وقتل اسامه بن لادن را از دلایل عمده دیگری درایجاد نا امنی های جاری درقندهار عنوان میکند.

هاشمی می گوید مردم قندهار از حکومت مرکزی می خواهند تا هرچه زود تر با گماشتن افراد با کفایت و کاردان در پست های دولتی قندهار امنیت را دراین ولایت کلیدی ، تامین کنند.

علی اکبرقاسمی کارشناس امورنظامی و عضو مجلس نمایندگان، روز یک شنبه درخصوص حملات تروریستی در قندهار به خبرگزاری بست باستان گفت تمام جنگ هایی که درافغانستان جریان دارد بدون شک نتیجه پلان های استخبارات پاکستان است .

این کارشناس امورنظامی می گوید غفلت نیروهای امنیتی و همکاری شماری از حلقات دولتی درقندهار باعث آن شده است که مخالفان و تروریستان به راحتی امکانات لازم جنگی و ترورریستی را در نزدیکی مقام این ولایت و مراکز نظامی جابجا کنند.

وی می گوید طالبان به کمک القاعده و استخبارات پاکستان با نا امن ساختن ولایت قندهار نقطه قوت خود و ضعف دولت مرکزی و نیروهای امنیتی را ثابت کردند.

آقای قاسمی، نقش زندانیان سیاسی و افراد بلند رتبه طالبان والقاعده را که به کمک آی اس آی و همکاری مقامات زندان قندهار فرارکردند در برخورد های مسلحانه تازه در ولایت قندهار برجسته و مهم عنوان میکند.

توریالی ویسا والی قندهارنیز درگفتگو با خبرگزاری بست باستان، مهاجمان در قندهار را نیرومند عنوان کرده ، گفت : " درعقب این حملات دست های بیرونی وجود دارد. "

درعین حال جنرال سالم احساس، قومندان امنیه قندهارطی تماس تلیفونی با خبرگزاری بست باستان ، دلیل طولانی شدن درگیریها درقندهار را کمبود و ضعف شدید نیروهای امنیتی عنوان کرده است.

موازی با این رزاق مامون ژورنالیست و کارشناس امورسیاسی کشور، معتقد است که رهایی برنامه ریزی شده بیش از500 تن ازطالبان به شمول حدود 100تن از فرماندهان شان، درنتیجه مفاهمه با شورای صلح، پاکستان و اجازه امریکایی ها عملی شده است.

به باورآقای مامون ،تحول به وجود آمده درقندهارمی تواند سرآغاز وضع جدید نظامی و سیاسی درافغانستان تلقی شود چون که تهاجم فارغ بال دسته جات مسلح طالبان که از زندان" به "پایگاه های جنگی خویش بازگشته اند" روحیه و قدرت رزمی شان را تقویت کرده است.

آقای مامون می گوید جالب این است که حضور ارتش در آوردگاه قندهارضعیف است و پولیس به حیث یک نیروی علیل و ایله جاری، دربرابر طالبان، اراده مقاومت ندارد.

نامبرده می افزاید احتمال آن وجود دارد که میان بخشی ازحکومت داران درکابل و رهبری طالبان درمورد تحویل دهی مرکزاصلی جنگ( قندهاردرقدم اول) توافقات نوشته ناشده ای حاصل آمده باشد.

به عقیده رزاق مامون ، با توجه به رابطه ناجورمیان کابل وواشنگتن، ممکن است نیروهای خارجی چندان علاقه ای به سد بندی در برابر طالبان از خود نشان ندهند و این می تواند سرآغاز سقوط حکومت و مبارزه دوباره قدرت میان طالبان و جریان های ضد طالبان شود.

خبرگزاری بست باستان ضمن تماس های مکرر با مقامات حکومتی تلاش کرد تا نظرریاست جمهوری را نیز درخصوص رویداد های جدید امنیتی درقندهارداشته باشد اما موفق به اخذ نظریات ایشان نگردید.

Monday, May 02, 2011

امریکا اسامه بن لادن را کشت

باراک اوباما رییس جمهور امریکا لحظاتی پیش در یک سخنرانی اعلام نمود که امریکا اسامه بن لادن رهبر القاعده را کشته است .

وی گفت که اسامه بن لادن روز یک شنبه در پناهگاهی در پاکستان کشته شده و جسد وی اکنون در نزد امریکا است

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Afghan armed forces trustable?

the security in some cities were handed over to afghan security forces and it is to be completed until 2014. i was just wondering how capable they are of fulfilling their duty and whether we could trust them.

  1. April 27 - an Afghan pilot had an argument with his american mentors, left the meeting and then returned and forced 9 Americans to remove their weapons before shooting them with a U.S. provided M9 semi-automatic weapon. he then shot himself.
  2. 25 April - Taliban jailbreak from the Sarposa prison of kandahar, something out of a bad gangster movie. some 500 Taliban got away including prominent commanders and they police and afghan official said to be involved in facilitating it
  3. April 18 - An insurgent kills two Afghan soldiers and an officer at the Afghan Defense Ministry.
  4. April 16 - Six American troops, four Afghan soldiers and an interpreter are killed when an Afghan soldier detonates an explosive vest at Forward Operating Base Gamberi in Laghman.
  5. April 15 - A suicide bomber impersonating a policeman blows himself up inside the Kandahar police headquarters complex, killing the top law enforcement official in the southern province.
  6. April 4 - Two American military personnel are shot and killed by a man wearing an Afghan border police uniform.
  7. February - An Afghan solider shoots nine German soldiers, killing three and injuring six.
  8. January - One Italian soldier is killed and another is wounded after an Afghan soldier opens fire on them.

the afghan national security forces (ANSF) has been growing in numbers but continues to be greatly lacking in quality. Still plagued by widespread corruption, it continues to be deeply resented by the population for its abusiveness. It is still trained mainly as a light paramilitary force to hold off insurgents until the ISAF can arrive on the scene and has little ability to deal with ordinary crime, the daily scourge for Afghans. The lack of order on the street creates important inroads for the Taliban.

The stampede to create militia forces in Afghanistan further complicates the reliability of Afghan security forces. The local police set up by ISAF may have robust vetting and safeguard mechanisms, but the myriad of other militias created by ethnic politicians and local strongmen often don’t have any vetting at all. Their growth reveals the level of ethnic tensions and uncertainty in Afghanistan. Nor does the Ministry of Interior have any clear ability to control any such forces that go rogue.

Karzai, distrustful of and confused by Washington, operates an increasingly narrow patronage network and easily overrides the local officials whom he perceives as threatening, regardless of their performance. Many Afghans, not the least of whom are the Northerners and minorities, are deeply worried about negotiations with the Taliban. Even with quarter of a million Afghan security forces and 160 billion dollars spent in the last ten years, the current political situation in Afghanistan is unstable.

Monday, April 25, 2011

احتمال تبادله میلیون ها دالر در فراری دادن زندانیان قندهار

فرار بیش از 500 تن از زندانیان در قندهار، آن هم در یک زمان، پرسش های زیادی را مطرح کرده است.

تحلیلگران به این باورند که تا حکومت، مقامات امنیتی و پرسونل زندان دست نداشته باشند، امکان فرار برای آن ها وجود ندارد.

حاجی احمدخان یک تن از بزرگان محلی قندهار می گوید: "در فرار زندانیان، حکومت صد درصد دست دارد و این مسئله به بی کفایتی آقای کرزی بر می گردد. در قندهار همه می دانند که این مشکلات همه از سوی کرزی صاحب است، اگر بندی می شود هم رضای او (کرزی) است، اگر کشته می شود هم."

به گفته وی برخی از خبرها حاکی از آن است که شماری از زندانیان به کمک مسوولین امنیتی زندان از دروازه فرار کرده اند نه از تونل، اما مقامات امنیتی قندهار گفته اند که این زندانیان از تونل فرار نموده اند.

احمدخان می گوید: "از آنجایی که در میان زندانیان رهبران، سردسته های طالبان و نیز کسانی که با استخبارات پاکستان دست داشته شامل بودند، مقامات امنیتی پول گرفته و آن ها را فراری داده اند."

شکیبا هاشمی وکیل ولایت قندهار در مجلس نمایندگان می گوید: "تا از حکومت کسانی در این قضیه دست نداشته باشند، چگونه زندانی که دیوارهای آن از سنگ ساخته شده، سوراخ شود و چگونه سامان آلاتی که برای کندن تونل به کار برده می شود، به داخل زندان منتقل گردد؟ "

به گفته وی ممکن است این مسئله یک پروسه بوده و با کشته شدن فرمانده پیشین پولیس قندهار (خان محمد مجاهد) در ارتباط باشد، زیرا از یک سو افزون بر دو ماه برای فرار زندانیان آمادگی گرفته شده و از سوی دیگر خان محمد مجاهد در یک حمله مشکوک کشته می شود.

هاشمی افزود: "این بار دوم است که زندانیان فراری داده می شوند. دفعه قبلی هنگامی که زندانیان از زندان فرار کردند فرمانده پولیس آن وقت، در هنگام فرار حتی یک فیر هم به سوی شان نکردند و آقای اسدالله خالد که والی بود او (فرمانده پولیس وقت ) ودیگر مسوولین امنیتی را نیز مورد بازپرس قرار نداد که تحقیقات بعدی نشان داد، در فراری دادن زندانیان چندین میلیون دالر تبادله شده و مسوولین، آن مبلغ را دریافت کرده بودند."

به گفته هاشمی، آقای کرزی والی و مقامات امنیتی آن زمان را نه تنها مجازات نکردند که به پست های بالاتر از آن هم گماشت و این مسئله نشان می دهد که آزادی زندانیان از ارگ و به دستور مقامات بلند پایه حکومتی هدایت می شده است.

هاشمی می گوید پس از تحقیقات به درستی روشن خواهد شد که چه کسانی در این قضیه دست داشته اند اما این احتمال وجود دارد که این بار هم میلیون ها دالر برای فراری دادن این زندانیان تبادله شده باشد.

سیامک هروی یک تن از سخنگویان رییس جمهور ضمن خود داری از پاسخ روشن در مورد این اتهامات، به خبرگزاری بست باستان گفت که وی در ارتباط به این موضوع چیزی نداشته و باید از مقامات امنیتی محلی پرسیده شود.

توریالی ویسا والی ولایت قندهار به رسانه ها گفته است هنوز مشخص نیست که این زندانیان چگونه فرار کرده اند و آیا کسی در فرار آن ها دست داشته اند یانه؟

ویسا ضمن تایید این که آن ها از راه تونل فرار کرده اند، افزوده است که تحقیقات در ارتباط به این مسئله آغاز شده است.

کارشناسان امور به این باورند که گفته های حکومت هیچگاه جامه عمل نخواهد پوشید. زیرا حلقاتی که در درون حکومت وجود دارند نه تنها مانع از افشای عاملان این گونه قضایا می شوند که با وارد کردن فشار بر دستگاه دولت تلاش می کنند سرنوشت این پرونده ها به فراموشی سپرده شود.

Monday, April 04, 2011

politicians, liars or idiots?

further to my previous post and exactly my concern about telling Afghans that murder in the name of God is unjustifiable because you felt offended. today i noticed in the news that everybody rushes to blame Pastor Jones, he might be insane and extreme but he is not responsible for the murders. the murderers are responsible for the murders, I wonder if US senators, UN Afghan chief, US chief commander in Afghanistan truly believes in what they are saying in which case they are idiots or they clearly see that Taliban are benefiting from this in which case they are lying hypocrites.

The UN Chief's envoy to Afghanistan, Staffan De Mistura, strongly criticised the Florida pastor for burning a copy of the Koran. Staffan De Mistura blamed the violence on the Florida pastor, describing the burning of the holy Koran as "insane and totally desprecable gesture by one person".

I don't think we should be blaming any Afghans, we should blame the one who burnt the Koran, he said addressing a news conference in Kabul on Saturday. Freedom of speech does not mean to offend culture, religion and traditions, he added.

then I tuned to US politicians and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) and other lawmakers on Sunday joined Gen. David Petraeus in condemning the Quran burning staged by a Florida pastor and the resulting violence in Afghanistan.

one clear beneficiary has emerged from the wave of deadly riots that swept Afghanistan after members of a Florida evangelical church burned a copy of the Quran: the Taliban.

it is not rocket science to realise that the concern of western politicians and Aid workers in kabul is not the truth but the politics of the riots. i followed the news again and noticed that according to Afghan and Western officials, taliban have exploited the ongoing tumult, using the riots as cover for attacks against Western and government targets and reaping propaganda benefits by allying themselves with popular fury over the desecration of the Muslim holy book.
Lindsey Graham, (R., S.C.), US senator said on “Face the Nation” that “free speech is a great idea, but we’re in a war. During World War II, you had limits on what you could say if it would inspire the enemy"
Lindsey's comment sums it up for me. western diplomats perceive each Afghan as Fascist fanatic who they can not reason with but rather to trick. I have to admit that this would bother me less than the naivety some aid workers show in kabul by truly believing that the murders were not members of the riot. it just show how misguided they are which is fine but it bothers me because they introduce themselves as experts.

from: anonymous

Saturday, April 02, 2011

it's "racist" to expect Muslims to abide by the concept of personal responsibility.

Why do Afghans believe that it is their moral obligation to commit murder, even to annihilate innocent people in God's name? What aspects of their scriptures and traditions tend to support such violence? What ethical principles--religious and non-religious--can we affirm in response to those ideas and the atrocities that they engender?

in Afghanistan violence happens on daily basis and at least a dozen people die in political unrest, tribal conflict, petty crimes and domestic violence everyday. however religious violence can take on a particularly intense and ruthless character, if the objects of that violence are seen as blaspheming or insulting God, as the enemies of God or God's way narrowly conceived. The problem of indiscriminate religious violence is particularly difficult to eliminate from within because it's deeply rooted in the scriptures and traditions. The same religious traditions that affirm God to be compassionate, merciful, and just, also include more disturbing claims that promote religious hatred and intolerance, and sadly have provided a rationale for aggression. We need to face these things head-on. Questioning the moral justification of mazar sharif killings leads, moreover, to troubling questions about traditions, culture, morality and ethics of Afghans.

i am very saddened by the murders that took place in mazar yet not surprised at the action of my fellow Afghans. however, the question above is not for my fellow Afghans as expecting them to question deep rooted traditions and culture would be similar to ask moon to find another orbiting space instead of earth. i am absolutely appalled by the actions of Mazar murders but i am also disgusted at the reaction of the world. people who value freedom and understand that no religious principle or any other rational can justify murder need to speak against this despicable action. instead westeners and their institutions tend to blame Paster Jones. all day today i am hearing from westeners that Afghans went nuts because afghans are deeply traditionally and conservative. i take an insult to that, it means that we, as afghans, are not treated like human beings by not being held accountable to our actions. free people of the world, stop appeasing the fanatics and stand for what you beleive in.

from: anonymous

murder in mazar sharif

as a human being I'm deeply ashamed, as an Afghan I am not surprised. Generations of people being fed utter non sense and fused within their "moral" fiber to lash out with extreme violence and disregard the consequences against any who dare to speak ill would naturally lead to to this unfortunate conclusion. The psychopathic inversion of truth for falsehood where these actions are not only the expected norm but are also praise worthy from the people around them resembles a parasitic cancer. In a lot of ways these people wish the world to accept them and at the same time to gain said acceptance they will pursue these actions, because when what you preach is vile in nature acceptance will not and cannot come through hearts and minds, but might come through fear, brutality, and violence. This is the hand they must play because the only other option is to opt out and choose the enlightenment. This sort of behavior is a fractal example of the larger mentality. Deeply held beliefs even by the 'moderates' would not condemn this. It is my opinion based on sitting and conversing with many from a wide spectrum of Islamic believers that the moderates feel although these actions are not great they are also not the worse thing that could happen. The worse that could happen is that no one cares deeply enough anymore to react in any way. Sort of like a person who sadistically loves another who is wired poorly enough to fly into deadly rage because of jealousy. It is ironic and amazing that these groups would sit on a high horse, criticize without mercy let alone insightful well reasoned reflection on all the flaws that other systems represent but would immediately resort to violence when the shoe is on the other foot. They have three positions (a double pull double throw switch), criticize others and preach to join a clearly flawed cause, fly into rage, or sit silently and accept both the previous options. On behalf of the rational, the reasonable, the descent, the nobel, the kind, and the respectful community of Afghan and global free thinkers, I offer my condolences to the families of the slain as well as to humanity for what has happened.
from anonymous

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Legal Plundering

The late economist, historian and libertarian philosopher, Murray Rothbard, was right on the mark when he wrote:

"The great German sociologist Franz Oppenheimer pointed out that there are two mutually exclusive ways of acquiring wealth; one...production and exchange, he called the 'economic means.' The other way is simpler in that it does not require productivity; it is the way of seizure of another's goods or services by the use of force and violence. This is the method of one-sided confiscation, of theft of the property of others.

"This is the method which Oppenheimer termed 'the political means' to wealth. It should be clear that the peaceful use of reason and energy in production is the 'natural' path for man: the means for his survival and prosperity on this earth. It should be equally clear that the coercive, exploitative means is contrary to natural law; it is parasitic, for instead of adding to production, it subtracts from it.

"The 'political means' siphons production off to a parasitic and destructive individual or group; and this siphoning not only subtracts from the number producing, but also lowers the producer's incentive to produce beyond his own subsistence. In the long run, the robber destroys his own subsistence by dwindling or eliminating the source of his own supply."

The sooner the people "overthrow" the political means and reestablish the economic means of acquiring wealth, the sooner we will be rid of political corruption, high taxes, runaway government spending and onerous regulations. Until that day arrives, expect more bribes, shakedowns, and "waste, fraud and abuse."

the international community is struggling to find a way to stifle corruption in Afghanistan but too high stakes to take an objective look into the issue and the answer is very clear. less money for government and humanitarian organisations who are not answerable to redistribute through corrupt entities they have established. solution number one for the situation is; limiting government to a few well defined functions would liberate Afghans from self-serving, incompetent, and dishonest public officials. solution number two is making developmental organisations answerable. none of the Aid organisations such as IRD, UN agencies, ARD, Chomonics, and dozens others which receives more than 200 million dollar each every year to spend on developing afghanistan could be held accountable. the most transparent of all is UNDP which has over half a century experience in development and governance in over 160 countries. in theory they have a transparency and audit office i know of a series of corruption cases in the UNDP and it was brought to their attention yet they have done little to look into it. all these developmental organisations are dealing with sums of money that they never want to give up and any serious look into their conduct might compromise the flow of money.

We need to end "legal plunder," as Frederic Bastiat called for more than 150 years ago. He wrote: See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.

the institutions of the state and the structures of large international development organisations are plundering tool for a few Afghans to benefit at the expense of others in the society.