When the Taliban and alquaida were finally ousted from Afghanistan,
nobody questioned that Afghanistan should be rebuilt.
"Spend a ton of money," we said, "to completely rebuild a nation that
has been dessimated after 20 years of war." "It's the right thing to do
- for the Afghan people."
But now that one of our own cities, New Orleans, has faced destruction
at the hands of mother nature, we say "maybe it's not worth rebuilding."
"Who really cares about the people who lived in New Orleans?"
Does this approach make sense to you?
Before answering, consider a few facts.
Nearly all of the intelligent, educated, people of Afghanistan left
years ago and are living in diaspora around the world. They are
established abroad - will they really move back?
The people of New Orleans by contrast left only a few weeks ago. They
still remember and feel close to their old home. Many of them
desperately want to go home.
Afghanistan produces little. Its only real crop is poppies, which can
be purified into heroin. A reconstructed Afghanistan could very easily
become another Colombia, minus the coffee and the drop dead gorgeous women.
Furthermore, even if Afghanistan did have stuff to export, it has no
port. It is landlocked.
New Orleans has one of the largest sea ports in the world. It recieves
thousands of tons of grains and other crops from states along the
Mississippi River. Furthermore, New Orleans is home to dozens of
refineries and oil wells to produce gasoline, heating oil, etc.
Afghanistan has historically faced shortages of potable water, and is
rapidly being deforested. Much of its land is little more than
scrub-brush where one can barely eek out a life and mountains where one
can't without help. Hardly any better than the swampland New Orleans is
Considering this, ask yourself again. Does it make sense that nobody
questioned if Afghanistan was worthy of being rebuilt after the Taliban,
and every other person in the US seems to be questioning the rebuilding
of New Orleans today?