What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Afghanistan, the Arab street and Darfur

For a number of reasons I don't have much time to do blogging nowadays, so I'll just very briefly note a few things about the Democratic presidential candidates' debate in Iowa. It's old stuff, I know, but I only got round to reading the transcript recently. So a basic question, with regards to the topic of this blog, is how many times and in what context Afghanistan was mentioned on the occasion. The Republican candidates haven't given the issue much attention in their CNN/You Tube debate, so this is interesting for a comparative perspective.
Well, the instances Afghanistan came up are:
"When we went into Afghanistan, the word was, the Arab street would rise up."
(Joseph Biden)
"You have Afghanistan. You have Darfur. And it requires engagement (...)"
(Joseph Biden)
Ok, questions structure a debate like this, and if there are no or only few questions on Afghanistan, candidates might find it kind of hard to discuss it, even if they spend dreamless nights pondering what to do there.
Still, this is rather disappointing. Only Senator Biden mentioned Afghanistan, but even that is not going to give much joy to Afghanistan watchers. In one instance Biden thought it important to mention the country only because Muslims live there, and because of how things done there might affect what the Arab street thinks. The next time he said Afghanistan, he rhetorically suggested that in Afghanistan and in Darfur similar engagement is necessary.
Talking about disconnect, read this post at Registan. Hey, I just managed to mention another 'stan!

No comments: