Monday, March 01, 2010

The USA uses "My Cousin Vinny" & "CSI: Las Vegas" as foundations for Afghan Judicial Procedures

The Washington Post has a story about the United States' latest imperialist actions (under the guise of justice and democray, of course) in Afghanistan. Are we really supposed to believe that this shit is really the best they can do? Really?
"The sessions also include providing officers with copies of the Afghan constitution and penal code, fingerprint kits and digital cameras -- and having them watch videos of American TV crime shows such as 'CSI: Las Vegas' and courtroom movies such as 'My Cousin Vinny'".
-In Afghanistan, U.S. seeks to fix a tattered system of justice '"
There's no reason to believe that there aren't law enforcement tools accessible for and to both cultures. We've been dealing with/having relationships with Muslim cultures for many, many decades. Just like we're bringing in "My Cousin Vinny", we could be bringing in Islamic jurisprudence experts from the more developed Muslim-majority nations. The majority of the people in Afghanistan reside in rural parts of the country, the Western cultural influence has been minuscule.

In reality, the United States has failed to find ways to teach fundamentals of law enforcement & court procedure that do not lead to indefinite detentions et cetera. We are still promoting indefinite detentions in Afghanistan and the people there know this. When our military is still actively "disappearing" people, it shows what a farce this system they are trying to create really is.

This is why the taliban and other similar forces are still more accepted than the American and American-backed forces. Afghanistan has a history of repelling outsiders that goes back thousands of years. Hello? There's a reason why this country has been known as the Graveyard of Empires for thousands of years.The people of Afghanistan have always shown that they will not stand for or accept imperialist forces dictating law in their country, an attitude that continues to this very day.

The fact that the American military has been able to create a program like this is no proof that the people of Afghanistan will accept the system we're attempting to create. Imagine if the shoes were on the other foot? American judicial experts would likely laugh but gladly take a paycheck if someone came over here from Afghanistan and called themselves teaching us elementary level jurisprudence. Now what do you think their counterparts in Afghanistan are doing? These people have a justice system that predates ours by THOUSANDS OF YEARS. It is much more suited for the conditions and lifestyle of the average Afghanistan than our brutal, unjust, and unequal "criminal justice" system.

I think it would be more appropriate to approach this from more culturally relevant sources. "My Cousin Vinny" may accurately reflect American/Western procedures and values, but in a place where the dominant culture is non-Western, non-American there are a lot of reasons to believe that it won't be accepted as legitimate. Since this is a mostly Muslim nation, it would be more appropriate to reference cultures with similar values (e.g. Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Egypt). If we were REALLY interested in democratizing Afghanistan--which we clearly are not--then we'd be following the lead of Muslim majority countries where this is already taking place.

No comments: