Margaret MacMillan, in "The Uses and Abuses of History" warns of how prone we are to manipulating stories of our past, in order to protect our interests in the present. In the case of the Canadian lens on Afghanistan, its the history of our own struggles for rights and freedoms that we ignore.
As we gaze upon the often deadly battle Afghan progressives wage to secure democracy, rights for women, and a more open society, we pretend those same battles never occurred here. It's as if it just were always so, not an incremental thing that occurred only as the culmination of a long, arduous struggle against the status quo. We deem the valuing of democracy, rights and personal freedoms is "ours" alone, inherent to western culture. This view makes it easier to dismiss the present-day ideological battle in Afghanistan, between the Taliban's death-cult and the masses who want the very same privileges we expect in our society: democracy, human rights, wealth, and the capacity to live a life of dignity and free of fear. As Adrian MacNair pointed out recently in...More >>