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Money Down The Toilet In Afghanistan

$2 trillion down the toilet: art teacher exposes Afghans to Dadaist art. America tried to win hearts and minds of Afghans by teaching them to be as stupid and as decadent as we are (BBC)

This sign of American decadence and stupidity in Afghanistan cannot be improved on. The Spectator columnist Cockburn reports on America’s attempt to turn a nation of medieval goat herders and Islamic hillbillies into penis-possessors and vulva-havers suitable for campus life at some of America’s more elite colleges. Excerpts:

So, alongside the billions for bombs went hundreds of millions for gender studies in Afghanistan. According to US government reports, $787 million was spent on gender programs in Afghanistan, but that substantially understates the actual total, since gender goals were folded into practically every undertaking America made in the country.

A recent report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) broke down the difficulties of the project. For starters, in both Dari and Pastho there are no words for ‘gender’. That makes sense, since the distinction between ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ was only invented by a sexually-abusive child psychiatrist in the 1960s, but evidently Americans were caught off-guard. Things didn’t improve from there. Under the US’s guidance, Afghanistan’s 2004 constitution set a 27 percent quota for women in the lower house — higher than the actual figure in America! A strategy that sometimes required having women represent provinces they had never actually been to. Remarkably, this experiment in ‘democracy’ created a government few were willing to fight for, let alone die for.

The initiatives piled up one after another. Do-gooders established a ‘National Masculinity Alliance’, so a few hundred Afghan men could talk about their ‘gender roles’ and ‘examine male attitudes that are harmful to women’.


But all this wasn’t just a stupid waste of money. It routinely actively undermined the ‘nation-building’ that America was supposed to be doing. According to an USAID observer, the gender ideology included in American aid routinely caused rebellions out in the provinces, directly causing the instability America was supposedly fighting. To get Afghanistan’s parliament to endorse the women’s rights measures it wanted, America resorted to bribing them. Soon, bribery became the norm for getting anything done in the parliament.

Cockburn dredges up something so horrible and hilarious that it’s straight out of a Monty Python sketch. In it, the American occupiers attempt to enlighten a group of Afghan women by showing them Marcel Duchamp’s famous urinal-as-museum-piece, and telling them that it’s important art. Cockburn says watch to the 31-second point and see the moment when America failed in Afghanistan:

Read it all. Last night at dinner in Milan, I asked a friend of mine, a veteran Italian foreign correspondent, what he thought of the way America had handled its departure from Afghanistan. “America is a declining power,” he said. “You can’t deny it now.” No, you can’t.

There should be Congressional hearings, but you know there won’t be, because nobody is ever held accountable for anything in this country anymore. Next time you hear one of these people in the American expert class telling you, for example, that Hungary is a fascist state, remember that they are the same geniuses who read Afghanistan and thought they saw a country that was ripe for gender studies and classes on the artistic breakthrough of pissoirs.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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