Er....what exactly the hell are we still doing there?
I mean, yes, I understand that "a stable Afghanistan and Pakistan means a stable middle east" but I think we're winning the battlesx and losing the war to a great extent.
Consider these happy thoughts: From Broadstreet at Salon:
quote:Afghanistan legalizes marital rape Shortly after Hillary Clinton called the failure of U.S. aid to Afghanistan "heartbreaking," there came some illustrative news: President Hamid Karzai has legalized rape within marriage. You might ask, nervously: This is a sick April Fool's joke, right? Sadly, no, this is a sick reality.
The law gives husbands free reign over their wives The law, which applies to the minority Shia population, renders meaningless sexual consent within marriage. A Shia woman is allowed to refuse her husband sex if she is sick, but otherwise she has no sexual say-so. As if that weren't enough of a blow to female freedom, the law, believed to be a desperate bid by Karzai for reelection this summer, also stipulates that women must have their husband's permission to leave the house.
In sum, the Shia Family Law legally codifies that common, if taboo, cross-cultural belief that a husband deserves free reign over his wife's body -- oh, and his daughters' bodies. The law bars women from having custody of their own children and endorses child marriage.
Human rights activists say the law annihilates the progress made on women's rights since the fall of the Taliban. In fact, some say it actually makes things "worse than during the Taliban." Mm-hm: Worse than the women-hating (-imprisoning, -beating, -flogging, -mutilating, -stoning) Taliban.
quote: Karzai "rushed" the bill through parliament in hopes of appeasing Islamic fundamentalists ahead of August elections.
Human rights groups and news reports consistently refer to a report from the U.N. Development Fund for Women which reportedly stated that the legislation -- a piece of sharia law, or Islamic law -- that affects the Shiite community in the predominantly Sunni nation "legalizes the rape of a wife by her husband" by allowing men to force sexual intercourse on their spouses.
Sooo, let me see if I have this straight: the US invaded to oust the oppressive Taliban- and now Karzai wants so desperately to win re-election that he'll cater to the most radical minority, in effect becoming worse than the Taliban on some fronts.
Meanwhile, the Taliban -the guys that hate us and sponsor Terrorists, opress women, have all but destroyed their own country's cultural heritage, publicly execute women and minors for "religous infractions" like wearing makeup have made a real comback by regrouping in ("ally") Pakistan and the State Department wants to negotiate with them.
Anybody know what we're doing there?
We are NOT stopping the opium trade. NOT making farmers self-sufficent so they wont have to grow opium for the Taliban (or anyone else). NOT winning over the populace. NOT insisting on free and timely elections (as karzai has pushed them back untill at least October now).
I mean, fuck's sake. (sigh) I miss Jay, posting political outrages is draining.
Steps off soapbox, heads for open bar.
Registered: Aug 2002
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The US has failed Afghanistan. It seems the whole country has been put on the back burner these past years since the start of the Iraq War. I just hope that Obama knows that as well and starts to shift the focus to A-stan more before things get worse. The Taliban is already steadily gaining power there, the reduction of troops has made it easier for foreign fighters to cross over now lately.
Unfortunately Afghanistan is one of those countries that's been in one state of warfare or another, pretty consistently for centuries. In fact I think one of my great-grandfathers were on the march to Kandahar during our the Second Afghan War (what are we on now? the 4th or 5th?) The main reason is simply because of where it is; right at the crossroads between Asia, Europe and the Middle East and that's never going to change. The best we can really hope for, short of permanent occupation (which didn't really help before) is try our best to keep the total loonies out of power and find some way to seal the borders. Of course so long as Pakistan is still a mess (another one of ours!) that's going to be neigh on impossible.
I get so exasperated with these things I sometimes think it would be best just to glass the place and start again.
As long as there is religion and tribal thinking there will always be intolerance and fighting in that region, as Reverend has pointed out it's pretty much what they do.
I remember seeing interviews with Taliban fighters just after they'd driven out the Soviets, and they couldn't get their heads around the West at all. "How come you guys have all those great weapons, yet you dont have big fights with them? If we had them there's be HUGE fights!" He was sitting cradling a stinger missile launcher at the time, a present from the CIA.