Tuesday, 7 August 2012
some silly Stoppers and similar have been tweeting that the USA boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games because the Soviets were occupying Afghanistan, and that - you're ahead of me - it is the USA which is occupying Afghanistan now. Well, it's perfectly true that the US has changed sides on Afghanistan - in the 1980s they deemed it right to give covert support to the Taleban - but they were of course right to change sides, and are on the correct side now. The Soviet Union is long gone, and the world has changed. That said, I was a strong supporter of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979-80. If something isn't right, it's wrong. Blowing up girls' schools, with the girls inside them, is wrong. Come to that, banning music is wrong, but I wouldn't invade a country for that. Under the Soviets, girls went to school and the literacy rate climbed. There were women in professional and public life. They were all sent home when the Taleban, so beloved of the keffiyeh-wearing Guardianistas, came back. But there is a whole generation of Afghan women, now in their forties and fifties, who are mothers and grandmothers, and influential in their families if nowhere else, who can read and write and who keep hope alive for Afghan girls and women. That's a good thing, hein? Stay and finish the job, say I. If the Taleban can be smashed for ever as the evil they are, good. If not, help to keep a regime in place which is strong enough to ensure that those barbarians never get the chance to run the show. Oh, and nationalise the poppy fields while you're about it. Tankie, much?