1804 to 2009 (minus 1986 to 2009)

A response to Tony Kinsella’s earlier email.

Dear Tony,

Surely the recent historical narrative is as important as the period 1804 through 1850. The 20 words you used to portray western intervention since the 80’s as that of a benevolent midwife would have been just enough to mention a coup or two.

This, in my opinion, misleading characterisation tends to validate the calls for US/UN action towards nation building, generated on the back of generous aid pledges. Yet if the past decade is anything to go by these calls are somewhat misdirected.

You characterise Afghanistan’s recent history in much the same way, the word ‘despite’ suggesting that Soviet and US intervention was honestly aimed at nation building.

In the end, it’s what has been left out of these narratives, the similarities between these failed states, as opposed the differences that needs emphasising. A framing we would expect to see reflected in every article and report if the principle actor was say Iran as opposed the US.

Best wishes,


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