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July 04, 2007


Dan Hardie

So we've either got a Kabul-based make-believe 'government' full of people who have spent more of their lives in the US or Europe than Afghanistan and who pass these laws to convince themselves that they are actually governing London or Paris, or we've got international aid donors who have the make-believe government by the balls and are using their power to implement their own trivial, narcissistic agenda.


IIRC, banning smoking might be one of the only things you could get a majority to agree upon in Afghanistan - weren't the Taliban also in favour of banning tobacco?

Dan Hardie

Wahhabis and Takfiris are generally against tobacco, seeing it as sinful on the normal 'look through the Hadith for loopholes' principle, but I've read a number of accounts of travelling in Afghanistan and found no reports that the ordinary people are anti-smoking. And 'the Taliban want it so it must be popular' is joke reasoning: the Talibs were trying to impose a mixture of imported Saudi fundamentalism and Pashtun traditional law on people who were neither Pashtun nor Wahhabi.


I think what we have here is a kind of modernist pashtunwajlia: This is our customary law and it must be imposed on the areas we control.

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