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Open Ended

It’s funny sometimes how the logic of an argument gets tilted by one’s pre-conceived notions about things. Because this is what I would exactly term the following. I was reading an article on Time magazine about how Haji Bashai Noorzai, an Afghan warlord or druglord as he has been variously described, got into these ‘deal’ with American agencies about how he could be of value to America’s fight against terrorism by trading information for freedom and 'no capture’. But on reaching Manhattan, Noorzai does his job and when he is about to leave, he is arrested instead. Deal over, trust broken.

Now, I am not debating the intricacy of it all, not debating Noorzai’s credentials or the US’s stance in arresting him. But my first reaction as a citizen of the world is: why backtrack on a deal and stab someone from behind? That to me is heinous a crime as anything else. It’s just unacceptable that you enter into a contract of ‘give and take’ with someone and without warning, the other party sidesteps and arm-twists the deal to their advantage and pin the other party down. And what would happen to all the principles and ethics of the world if we were to say that just because one is a thief, a deal with him shouldn’t be respected? Why enter the deal in the first place, then?

That is my ire. But my British colleague goes off in a tangent and counter questions me. He says the likes of Noorzai are responsible for thousands of deaths and for the flourish of illegal opium trade in the world. And so, would I support him knowing that and let him off? Surely, no. Coming from an insurgency ridden place, I know more about terrorism and about living with terrorism than him. I do not condone terrorism, I hate it all as much I loath the Islamic world for their parochial view about things. And maybe the likes of Noorzai, again, are abetting terrorism in Kashmir, he goes on. Probably, presumably. But that is not my point again. My point is: Noorzai as a human had a right for his deal to be honoured, so that is why we have criminals/terrorists turning approvers too. It doesn’t help the argument, he replies because the bottom line is terrorists are terrorists.

Dragged into what is turning out to be a 'for' and 'against' Noorzai debate, much against my intention, I go on: “Then, would it help if Noorzai remained in his home country and carried on with his heinous crimes killing more people in the long run, than for him to have turned informant and help the US fight terrorism? Isn’t it good for society in general that he leave his past and take sides with people who are on the right side of law? Isn’t the deal good then, shouldn't the deal have been mutually respected then…” My young Brit friend answers: "How do you know he will not go back to his old trade?"

I have run out of steam, my argument defies a white man's logic.


Anonymous said…
i guess your friend has not heard of the saying that u dont kill the goose laying golden eggs. This one act of betrayal will stop many from giving inside info of various mafia operations.
Shanti Thokchom said…
Definitely this act of betrayal would not make anyone to come forward to help.
Anonymous said…
All's fair in love and war

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