You know things must be improving in Afghanistan when my morning paper has a story about how internet cafes are springing up like poppies in major cities like Kandahar - an area where Canadian troops have been operating heavily for the past several years.
Seems as if the Afghans have discovered on-line porn and they likee. Not that that's all they're flocking to cafes for. Many of them just want to find out what's happening in the world. As one can imagine, the Taliban did not look kindly on either.
One of the main goals of any incursion into a muslim or other type of thugocracy should be, without question, the exposure to the big world, and if that means complete with pornography, so be it. (And, before anyone gets all upset and calls me misogynistic or sexist, I will also point out that a recent Australian study showed at least one-third of those people who regularly view on-line porn are women.) Maybe pictures or videos of all the various possible sexual interactions shouldn't be tops on the list but it's a lot less dangerous than Taliban-style thinking.
Sadly, Afghanistan is in the minority. Much of the world seems to be going backwards. In the palestinian areas, internet cafes are now regularly firebombed even though their owners say they block sites that don't carry the proper Islamist message (I don't know how many sites that would leave, but it can't be many). In Egypt, bloggers are routinely jailed. In China, the government blocks endless numbers of sites and, unfortunately, major corporations like Google and Yahoo! go along for the ride.
The internet is an amazing tool - heck, for starters, it allows you to read my pearls of wisdom. Western nations should deluge nations like Iraq with computers and internet access because information will defeat the islamists much more convincingly than bullets. Sure, the internet is full of an amazing amount of bullshit and more lies than a stadium full of politicians, but it's the exchange of ideas that allows it to flourish and has made it into a tool for freedom.
And, if that doesn't work, throw some more porn at them. A sexually-drained islamist is more likely to fall asleep than chop a head off.