I know that I'm supposed to write about Kony 2012, and I understand that for now it seems as though the Heart of Darkness has returned to Africa. But what about Afghanistan?
We've talked about Africa and most recently China. But due especially to recent events, Afghanistan seems to be a Heart of Darkness (it has been for 10 years). The other day I stumbled on a New York Times opinion piece by columnist Maureen Dowd. Dowd does not explicitly state why she deems Afghanistan a Heart of Darkness, but it seems fairly clear to me.
The United States has had troops positioned in Afghanistan for ten years now. Our motive for occupation varies from "protecting American lives" to "promoting democracy". This second objective strikes me the most. Promoting democracy reminds me of the Pilgrims in Conrad's Heart of Darkness who traveled to the Congo to "civilize" the natives. What if the Afghan people don't want our sometimes blurry sense of democracy?
In fact, how should we know what the Afghan people want? The media rarely (if ever) gives them a voice. Americans seemingly choose to ignore that Afghanistan is compromised of dozens of tribes and religions, making our selfish "missions" complex. We have spent hundreds of billions of dollars protecting American soil (although more people have died from gang violence than terrorist attacks since 2001) and promoting democracy in a country at the expense of its people.
Is this not a modern Heart of Darkness?