Saturday, August 05, 2006

Why we are in Afghanistan

The Danish daily Berlingske Tidende prints a moral booster of an editorial (link in Danish) after a Danish soldier was severly wounded wednesday after being shot in the head and chest. He has since been brought back to Denmark and is still in a coma.

The piece headlined Ethics are good - Politics are better is of course directed at Danish readers, but it could easely be applied to anyone with fellow countrymen fighting in mountains and the desserts. This in an excerpt (my translation):

The sad news of the first seriously wounded Danish soldier from the NATO-force in Afghanistan naturally makes many ponder what Danish soldiers are even doing there. Why is Denmark at war in Afghanistan and other places? That is not only a relevant question, it is a good question, but the answer is not blowing in the wind. For there is an answer.

The war in Afghanistan is a consekvense of 9/11 and the new realization that the western civilization has mortal enimies. This cannot be said too often. Someone out there hates us - our values, our life style, our ironic-sarcastic mentality - even to the extent, that they will do anything in their power to kill or hurt us and our interests.

The easiest thing in the world is to pass UN-resolutions, demanding armistice here and now. But then what? The hardest thing to do is to make a realistic attempt using realistic means. And that is what Denmark and her allies are doing in Afghanistan.

If foreign politics only where a question of morals as some seem to think, then foreign policy would exclusively be about showing the most shining morality. But foreign policy is a mix of moral and realism, ends and means and without the latter, we would be at the mercy of those bragging of their superiour ethics.

Instead of the countless people flying the colors of ethics, we need more democratic goverments realizing that peace does not come through prayers, meek hopes or petitions, but raher through the showing of true guts and political skills.

Denmark have troops in Afghanistan and Iraq because the Danish goverment has realized that we cannot sit and wait for our enimies to come to us. Call it self-defence, call it preemption - it is realism in the form of concrete action, and we owe our soldiers our respect and our gratitude.

Amen to that!

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