The recent debacle surrounding the arrest and threat of death penalty for
the man in Afganistan who converted from Islam to Christianity is nothing less than an embarrassment for the nations involved in the deposing of the Taliban government. While this embarrassment is more easily explainable in terms of the Afghan invasion being a more direct response to 9/11 and thus there was less time for planning a post-war Afghanistan, it does raise some questions on how such things are handled. George Bush wanted to set up Afghanistan and Iraq as shining democratic examples, but seemed to forget that a democracy is more than just allowing elections. And its not that there was a lack of experience with how to establish a democracy in a conquered nation, as it was done in both West-Germany and Japan after World War 2.
I googled a bit and I found this section from the Potsdam declaration, which was the document setting the terms for Japanse surrender.
We do not intend that the Japanese shall be enslaved as a race or destroyed as a nation, but stern justice shall be meted out to all war criminals, including those who have visited cruelties upon our prisoners. The Japanese Government shall remove all obstacles to the revival and strengthening of democratic tendencies among the Japanese people. Freedom of speech, of religion, and of thought, as well as respect for the fundamental human rights shall be established.
After the war the allied forces put clear directions of the writing of the new constitution. In Afghanistan it seems that apart from demanding a system based on elections there wasn’t any such guidance given. And it seems just as little guidance has been given in Iraq.
I am not sure how its been possible to screw up so completely twice in a row, but I guess part of the problem was ‘selling’ the wars as freeing the peoples of said nations. I guess that when you come in as a liberator as opposed to a conquerer its harder to impose your rules on the freed. Nontheless I am sure that the US government had a lot of negotiation options with the northern alliance before the Afghan invasion and maybe that would have been a good time to demand that a post-war constitution that was based on the same values and principles as was demanded of Japan, as shown above. Instead we got Taliban-light .