Freedom Reigns in Kabul

From: Technotranscendence (
Date: Wed Nov 14 2001 - 15:51:21 MST

Freedom Reigns in Kabul
by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

Sweet liberty! The Uzbeks, Tajiks, and Hazaras, under the courageous
leadership of Mohammad Fahim, Abdullah Abdullah, Abdul Rashid Dostum, and
Yunis Qanoni, have taken control of Kabul and sent the Pashtuns, organized
under the auspices of the Islamo-fascist Taliban and its dastardly duce
Mullah Mohammad Omar, fleeing for the hills.

Though the Pashtuns vow they will rise again in the South, those of us who
understand Afghan history, thanks to recent newspaper accounts, know that
this is just typical Pashtun talk. My, what a descent for Omar, who only six
years ago was cheered by the world community for unseating Burhanuddin
Rabbani and publicly castrating the aging Soviet puppet Muhammad
Najibullah - who once governed with the help of Pushtan, Uzbek, and even
Tajik assistance - leaving him hanging for days. Well, power corrupts, you

May Lakhdar Brahimi of Algeria, the heralded United Nations envoy, put
together a government under the wise leadership of aging King Mohammad Zaher
Shah, who can only hope he won't be seen as another puppet. But it could be
tough: from evidence so far, the Uzbeks, Tajiks, and Hazaras seem intent on
looting and slaying every Pashtun and Pashtun ally in sight, whether Arab,
Pakistani, or Chechan. Well, to the victor go the spoils, or what's left of

It's true that identical coups in Kabul (just switch the tribal names
around) have been staged in April 1978, December 1979, February 1989, April
1992, and September 1996, and one wonders whether the cycle of tribal
warfare that has lasted millennia until just now will finally end.

Such details can be ironed out later. For now, let us celebrate the stunning
triumph, which is due, in no small part, to the steadfastness of Pakistani
military dictator Pervez Musharraf, who, though despised by most of his
citizens, is a loyal friend of the US, and has been promised billions in
debt relief as guaranteed by US taxpayers.

All this I understand. But I do have one question: what would George
Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and their contemporaries think? It's true that
our nation's pundit class knows far less about the founding American tribe
(called Americans) than they do about the ones currently battling for
control of Afghanistan. But though they lived long ago, these men did offer
some thoughts that might help us through the current foreign-policy fog.

The founding generation knew the history of European politics well; its
unending cycles of ethnic, territorial, and religious disputes, and
constantly shifting alliances. Jefferson denounced all this as "the throes
and convulsions of the ancient world." So long as kings could start wars to
maintain and secure their grip on the population, freedom of the kind the
founding generation imagined possible stood no chance. As intractable as
these wars were, of course, they paled by comparison with the relentless
bloodshed of the Continent's neighbors to the East, which had not even
developed a tradition in which religion and state had separate identities.

So the founding generation had an idea. An ocean on either side separated us
from old world feuds. It was possible and indeed necessary to engage in
peaceful commercial exchange, but it was not necessary to import the hatreds
and wars of the old world. This would be the New World, where liberty would
reign supreme.

Thomas Jefferson put it this way:

"Kindly separated by nature and a wide ocean from the exterminating havoc of
one quarter of the globe; too high-minded to endure the degradations of the
others; possessing a chosen country, with room enough for our descendants to
the thousandth and thousandth generation; entertaining a due sense of our
equal right to the use of our own faculties, to the acquisitions of our own
industry, to honor and confidence from our fellow-citizens, resulting not
from birth, but from our actions and their sense of them; enlightened by a
benign religion, professed, indeed, and practiced in various forms, yet all
of them inculcating honesty, truth, temperance, gratitude, and the love of
man; acknowledging and adoring an overruling Providence, which by all its
dispensations proves that it delights in the happiness of man here and his
greater happiness hereafter-with all these blessings, what more is necessary
to make us a happy and a prosperous people? Still one thing more,
fellow-citizens-a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from
injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own
pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of
labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this
is necessary to close the circle of our felicities."

After noting that states rights is the domestic foundation of good
government, Jefferson summed up American foreign policy as follows:
"commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with

He was only echoing George Washington, who had urged us to:

"Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and
harmony with all... The nation which indulges towards another a habitual
hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to
its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it
astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against
another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold
of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, when
accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence, frequent
collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests. The nation, prompted
by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the government, contrary
to the best calculations of policy. The government sometimes participates in
the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would
reject; at other times it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to
projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and
pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of
nations, has been the victim.... The great rule of conduct for us in regard
to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with
them as little political connection as possible."

That said, let us continue the celebration of the victory of the Uzbeks,
Tajiks, and Hazaras, over the hated Pashtuns, and may our friends and
enemies forever keep changing so that our foreign-policy fun may never end,
and prosperity and peace never come to the Middle East. Jefferson and
Washington were interesting guys, but their ideas just don't engage the
nationalist imagination.

November 14, 2001

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