Friday, 23 February 2007

Irish foreign aid

You know, the IT sometimes really does a disservice to its readers. For instance in yesterday’s edition Dr. Rory Miller, of King’s College in London, laments the fact that Ireland provides ‘only’ €21 million a year to Afghanistan. Rory, old son, according to your Savant’s computation, this money would have been precisely 8673% more effective had it been spent on keeping our own inner city youth in our rundown education system, or even on Bertie’s makeup artists or Martin Cullen’s PR team. This is because not only is it useless to give it to Afghanistan, it’s worse than useless.

Now pay attention Rory, and those of you at the back of the class, while your Savant explains why.

Afghanistan has been a violent, backward, tribal, poverty-stricken hell-hole since God wore short pants. A foreign invasion was the only thing that stopped its various tribes from slaughtering and robbing each other. The British invaded three times, and are now on their fourth attempt. All previous adventures ended in disaster, just as the current one will, as surely as night follows day. Pouring vast sums of money into such an environment, accompanied by yet another invasion, makes things worse for a number of reasons.

First, it should be obvious to even to an IT contributor that an infidel army blowing the shite out of the locals may not be the best way to win hearts and minds. Then the money that comes in ends up with warlords and various religious, criminal and tribal groupings, who use it to further their own nefarious ends. Such intrusions are like poking a short stick into a large hornets’ nest.

The solution is to let Darwinian forces apply - let them at it until force of circumstances compels them to arrive at a solution. This could mean warlords reigning, the Taliban resurgent, or whatever. The point is, these malign forces could not gain and hold power without the support of a critical mass of the population. It’s only when the population finally rises up, or evolves into some other form polity, that some semblance of order will be achieved. If they don’t do that, then they deserve what they get.


Fiona said...

How horrible!! Let them suffer and die while we watch. Thats seems to be what your saying. Im glad to see my taxes go there, small and all as it is.

SAVANT said...

Yes Fiona, it's called tough love. If certain traits are embedded in a culture you won't change thme by invading or pouring money in. No ruling group, no matter how ruthless, can keep a whole population down. If enough Afghans really want to shake off the Middle Ages, they can.