Friday, April 3, 2009

Afghanistan thought experiment

I've been hearing some about the recent controversial legislation in Afghanistan with regards to women's rights, and I preface this with the admission that I haven't thoroughly investigated this matter. On the face of it, it does sound like legally codified rape within marriage, but I'm also not sure this didn't already exist anyway (not that it should).

But it occurred to me the western world might have bigger expectations than it could justify. What realistic expectations should we have over a foreign nation (and culture) in return for our financial and military aid?

Remember, Canada has long promoted multiculturalism. I personally believe in the concept.

As a thought experiment, consider the following questions:
  • Should an aid-providing nation influence the election of one party in a foreign government over another? Think about Hamas vs. Fatah. Remember, western nations would deny Hamas' right to exist as they would deny Israel. All that said, I'm definintely against violence and war.
  • If the U.S.A. would offer financial aid to Canada (with respect to the current crisis), but demand that we recind our socialist medical system, what would you choose? What would be your price, sir or madam (monsieur, madam, mlle.)?
  • If the world court ordered a stay of execution for a foriegner (for reasons of procedure, say), should the executing nation obey that treaty? Follow up here. OK, this is just a per peve of mine, not directly related to this line of thought. But it is irrational, IMHO.
I find these questions difficult and worth arguing. If you find them easy, I suggest we have different political orientations.

My starting point for rational thinking, is that ending violence should be independent from rationalizing political, religious or cultural views and policies. STOP VIOLENCE NOW, worry about formalisms later. And yes, I understand rape is also violence; read the preceeding paragraph to see I admit these are difficult questions.

Please keep in mind, I'm not advocating one decision over another; I'm comparing the decision methods and criteria. I am advocating the decision methods and criteria should be kept constant across other nations (cultures, groups, etc.) as much as possible.

Short answer: IMHO, you can't enforce laws (either based in religion or not) as long as prisons are blowing up. What judge would defy that?

1 comment:

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