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50 years ago in Afghanistan it was 1962.

Today it is 1262.

Sort of makes you realize that peace, freedom and technological advancement aren't defaults, but aberrations. I can't imagine what it would feel like to be an Afghan citizen who was born in Kabul in the 1940s... It must feel like being stuck in a time machine.




Interesting photos of life in Kabul in the sixties.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/05/27/once_upon_a...

Quote: "A half-century ago, Afghan women pursued careers in medicine; men and women mingled casually at movie theaters and university campuses in Kabul; factories in the suburbs churned out textiles and other goods. There was a tradition of law and order, and a government capable of undertaking large national infrastructure projects, like building hydropower stations and roads, albeit with outside help. Ordinary people had a sense of hope, a belief that education could open opportunities for all, a conviction that a bright future lay ahead. All that has been destroyed by three decades of war, but it was real."

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By three decades of war and Islam.

The sad thing is, I don't see Islamic countries evolve much. They seem to have no drive to get better unless they have oil and are lucky at the same time.

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Correlation is not causality - most of the Muslim nations you're thinking about were also coincidentally victims of colonialism - after which they were used by us as pawns. Afghanistan for example, started as a British colonial buffer zone to protect interests in India - and then was carved into by the Soviets as part of the Cold War, after which the Americans aided, encouraged, and outright armed radical fundamentalists and told them to go kill some Russians. Is it any real surprise that they ended up with a brutal, fundie dictatorship?

(By the way, Afghanistan's history of being a warzone stretches back waaaaay further than just 30 years, way before the Soviets)

And Iran, that most favourite of whipping boys now that Afghanistan and Iraq are off the map. They were doing just peachy with a liberal, relatively secular, democratic government until Mossadegh kicked out Western oil interests. After that the gloves were off, and the Americans engineered a coup and installed a radical fundamentalist puppet instead. Turns out he wasn't so much a fan of America.

(though to be fair, the Shah kind of had it coming. He had a particularly nasty case of murdering political dissidents... though after Khomeini it became unimaginably worse)

Note: this is not to mean that the Middle East was not without its own problems. It would be entirely unfair to pin the blame solely on Britain and the US for the national failures that litter that subcontinent. That being said, where you see a dramatic failure of government, British or American interventionism is never too far away, and the current woeful state of Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan (disregarding recent wars, i.e. <2000) can be traced directly to Western interventionism.

And furthermore, traditionally Islamic nations such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE are doing just fine for themselves. In fact, if you put all of these nations side by side, it seems that "crossed the US/Britain" is a greater predictor of misery than "is Islamic".

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Try telling that to the Indonesians.

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>>By three decades of war and Islam.

War, I agree. Unnecessary remark on Islam!

But there are no statistics to indicate that Islam propagates backwardness. Fundamentalism in any religion, may be. But to say a particular religion propagates backwardness is not a right remark.

Islamic scholars have contributed a lot back to the world. Infact corner stone of computer science Algorithm is named after a Arabic scholar of Islamic faith.

Your point comes across as a tell tale sign of Islamophobia in the west to perceive every other muslim as a backward moron from the stonage waiting to blow up the whole world.

While the fact is muslims are like any other people in the world.

For a change you must look into your own backyard and question who started those wars. Is it the mistake of the Afghans that soviets invaded them? Is it mistake of Iraqi's that US invaded them without any proof of WMD's.

You go burning the whole world, in a century US has invaded more countries than anybody else(Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Korean Peninsula, Japan, Countries in South America). You've killed several millions of people under the pretext of war, destroyed their national infrastructure to dust. Denied them any hope recovery by sanctions. And you call others backward?

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That was the picture that struck me most as well. Reminded me of this "Iran in the 70s" collection

http://www.pagef30.com/2009/04/iran-in-1970s-before-islamic-...

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It's the same story with Lebanon and Iraq. We can take the opportunities of modern society for granted, but so much can be destroyed by war.

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Here's another photo album on that topic: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/05/27/once_upon_a...

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Some good photos of Afghanistan this year: http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2012/05/afghanistan_may_201...

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US and USSR had not entered at that time thus things were quite good over there.

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